Take back parliament by taking to the streets

Right at the heart of all the political uncertainty over the least few days there was one truth that remained unmoved – the need for complete electoral reform.

As the three parties at the top bickered over control of the country, the majority of voters in Britain can rest assured that they weren’t counted in discussions.

Take to the streets in Lincoln on May 15th to support the campaign for electoral reform Photo: London Permaculture

The simple reality is this – if you did not back the winner in your constituency, your vote does not count. You have no representation in parliament. You lost.

Perverse, isn’t it? That in a so-called “democracy” your vote can actually count for nothing.

Let’s take Lincoln as an example. If you aren’t one of the 17,163 people who voted for the Tories’ Karl McCartney to be elected, then I’m afraid your voice doesn’t matter. To put this into some context of voting numbers, there was a 45,721 turnout in Lincoln. This means that 28,558 people didn’t vote for McCartney. So where’s their representation in parliament?

It’s the same story in every constituency up and down the country. There are millions of people whose votes are thrown away by our First-Past-The-Post electoral system. Where’s the fairness?

This is why we need a system based on proportional representation (PR) – where one person really does equal one vote.

Parliament is meant to reflect the nation. So it’s a travesty that, under the current system, the Liberal Democrats can get just seven per cent less of the vote share than Labour, yet receive 201 fewer seats.

On Saturday May 8th, when Nick Clegg was meeting with Conservatives to discuss a coaliton deal, 1,000 Take Back Parliament protesters descended on the talks to demand that PR-based electoral reform is at the top of the agenda – and to ensure that Clegg didn’t sell out democracy in exchange for power.

While a compromise was reached and the Tories have agreed to offer a referendum on implementing the Alternative Vote system (AV), it’s not radical enough.

Now, up and down the country people are taking the initiative and holding their own demonstrations in their own towns and cities to demand a fairer and proportional electoral system.

So this is a call to all those in Lincoln who want to live in a fair democracy, who want to have a vote that actually counts come election time, who want to break the stranglehold of two-party politics and open the system up to real alternatives.

We’re holding a demonstration in Lincoln City High Street, outside The Works and House of Fraser, at 12:45 – 13:15pm on Saturday May 15th. We’ve got petitions for everyone to sign and we’ll be raising awareness of how unfair our democracy is to as many people as possible. The theme is purple, in line with the Take Back Parliament campaign.

Be a part of this wider movement for electoral reform and twist the arms of those at the top – we want change, we want fairness, and we want a commitment to electoral reform based on proportional representation NOW.

Let’s take back parliament.

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