Democracy in Britain has never looked more broken. The Tories have won an overall majority with just 37 per cent of the vote – while the Greens stacked up over a million votes but are still stuck on one MP.
It’s only an accident of geography, and the hard work of local campaigners, that has kept Caroline Lucas in place in Brighton. What kind of democracy is it when over a million voters only have one representative? And how can people say with a straight face that the Tories have a mandate to govern?
I’ve been, to be honest, frustrated that this feeling is so widespread, but not much has been done apart from e-petitions. E-petitions have their place but I feel like we need so much more! So some friends and I decided to do something about it.
We believe there is a historic opportunity to launch a huge, public campaign for proportional representation. We’re not a pre-existing campaign group, and we want to be open to all, as accessible as possible and putting the case in the clearest language we can.
Our campaign is called Proportional to be totally clear what it is that we want, and it is our specific focus. This isn’t just a call for ‘fairer votes’ or electoral reform generally, and it definitely isn’t the non-proportional alternative vote (AV) system that voters rejected in the referendum. We need proportional representation, the only system that fairly represents what voters want. 94 countries have proportional systems – why should Britain be any exception?
The most common objection we hear is that Britain has a different tradition, where MPs are linked to constituencies. But this can easily be preserved through the use of a ‘top-up list’, as it already is in the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and London Assembly. The public at large needs to hear these arguments.
We plan to use a diversity of tactics – whether it’s videos, stickers, infographics, social media, mainstream media, rallies, posters, lobbying MPs… there’s so much to do and we’re open to everyone’s ideas.
Proportional representation could transform British politics and give us hope again. Please, get involved and spread the word.
Feminist futures: Red Pepper’s feminist special issue: ● Our bodies, our choice ● Is the future xenofeminist? ● Women and the new unions ● Feminists on the anti-fascist frontline ● Plus: Left politics and the generational divide ● Decolonising museums ● Book reviews ● and much more
And you choose how much to pay for your subscription...
Jane Shallice examines the history of radical research at the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science
Museums – and museum workers – have been hit hard by austerity policies and cuts. Clara Paillard outlines some of the key battlegrounds and considers what an alternative cultural policy might look like
We need look beyond individual punishment to tackle a crisis which pervades the fabric of our society, argues Ann Russo
Jon Narcross reflects on the legacy of the mass gathering for political representation, which was brutally shut down by the military and police.
A cleaners’ campaign flies in the face of traditional impressions of trade unionism, writes Lydia Hughes
"The fight for climate justice is the fight of our lives, and we need to do it right." By grassroots collective Wretched of The Earth.