The York branch of the Make Votes Matter (MVM) group held its first cross-party meeting on 1st March, kick-starting a grassroots campaign to promote Proportional Representation and make all votes count.
Make Votes Matter is a national movement for Proportional Representation representing a growing cross-party consensus on the need for urgent electoral reform in the UK.
With First Past the Post, Parliament does not reflect the way we vote. It denies millions of people representation of their choosing. In the 2019 general election, the Green Party, Liberal Democrats and Brexit Party received 16% (5.2 million) of votes between them, yet they shared just 2% of seats.
When so many voters are denied a voice, Parliament fails to reflect the people it is supposed to represent. Millions go without a say in crucial national decisions - excluded not only from government, but from holding government to account. This isn't just bad for democracy; it's bad for our entire politics and society.
The local branch of MVM will represent campaigners and activists of all political parties and none to unite behind the cause of fair and representative politics.
For further information or to join the group, you can email [email protected]
Emma Knaggs, Grassroots Leader at Make Votes Matter, said:
“Joining a local campaign group to fight for such a fundamental change to the way MPs in Westminster are elected is vital for democracy. The 2019 general election showed that our current voting system skews the results in every constituency, including in York, which is why we need local people to call on their MP and their communities to back Proportional Representation.”
Councillor Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat Leader of the City of York Council, commented:
“Our electoral system is in dire need of reform. It’s simply unacceptable that millions of voters are being left effectively voiceless as they live in safe seats where their vote is unlikely to have any influence on the outcome. We need to build a democracy that is fit for the 21st century and in which every vote really counts to replace the antiquated First Past the Post System.
“Whilst Proportional Representation for all elections in the UK has been a core proposal of the Liberal Democrat manifesto at every election the party has ever fought, this is a fight in which we must abandon all other political differences. The only way to deliver meaningful electoral reform is by building a cross-party consensus.
“I’m happy to see campaigners, councillors and activists come together to make the strong case for proportional representation that is so desperately needed in our politics.”
Sean Hagan, Acting Coordinator of York Make Votes Matter, added:
“It’s encouraging to see such broadly based support for a more representative and proportional voting system, from political leaders and ordinary voters alike, across York.
“In this city, many councillors, party members and activists desperately want to see significant electoral reform. York MVM will therefore actively work with local voters, supporters of all political parties and none, who share our commitment to help fix the UK’s warped and dysfunctional democracy and ensure that all votes really do matter.”