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Lib Dem MP in parliamentary call for PR

June 14, 2020 10:29 PM
Originally published by City of Wolverhampton Liberal Democrats

On 8th June, MPs, led by Lib Dem MP Wendy Chamberlain (NE Fife), held a debate on the need to reform Westminster's one-party-takes-all voting system.

Wendy Chamberlin

Lib Dem MP, Wendy Chamberlain, calls for PR

Ms Chamberlain pointed out just how isolated Britain was in depriving voters of fair representation:

"Across Europe, 40 out of 43 countries carry out elections using some form of proportional representation. The Scottish and Welsh Parliaments, and the Northern Ireland Assembly, use forms of proportional representation in their elections to those bodies. When we have the chance to start from scratch, first past the post is never anyone's first choice."

"Our voting system results in the permanent disenfranchisement of millions of voters, creating persistent minorities and a real and legitimate sense of anger alongside the harm to the regions and the devolved nations."

"How depressing is it that, for a great number of people in this country, being represented here in this place by someone they actually voted for feels like a treat?"

Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith MP responded, rejecting a fairer voting system but calling for MPs to back an equalisation of the number of voters per seat. Her argument for this was interesting:

"Every voter needs to know their vote carries equal weight, no matter where it is cast in the UK."

She was absolutely right. But ensuring everyone's 'vote carries equal weight' is impossible under Westminster's warped voting system - one that sees elections fought and won in just a handful of swing seats, while most voters are side-lined and ignored.

It's time for a genuinely democratic electoral system where everyone is heard. It's time for proportional representation.