Democracy is being undermined by this government. We need to make votes matter

Caroline Voaden, former MEP, Anthea SImmons (WCV) and Emily Price, Mayor of Totnes. Photo courtesy Rick Gael

Democracy is under threat like never before and our reliance on the antiquated first past the post system, which in Europe is shared only by Belarus, that bastion of democracy, is a key factor in the mass disenfranchisement of voters, the sense of powerlessness and disengagement with politics. This is the most fertile ground for despots and dictators. 

229 MPs were elected in 2019 with less than 50 per cent of the votes cast.

192 seats have been held by the same party since 1945…Totnes is one

316 safe seats. SAFE SEATS? Why? Why on earth should there be ‘safe’ seats in a true democracy? Safe seats are abused by parties…rewards for service to the party. Hiding places for unpopular politicians…safe havens for power-crazed PMs? Safe seats make the electorate give up and stay at home. shrug and say there’s no point voting.

We simply must have electoral reform. We must be able to vote for candidates whose values we share and whose policies we endorse and see those choices reflected in seats in parliament so that we all have a voice.

The system is broken. The country is breaking. Democracy is breaking.

The next election may be our last shot at getting the system we so urgently need and it will need us to park our tribal loyalties just once to ensure we secure that change. We have to be clever. We have to be focused. We have to be disciplined. We have to keep our eyes on the prize – a system in which our votes count and our votes matter. If democracy is to be saved in the UK it is all that matters.

If you are a member of the Labour Party, please keep up the pressure to make a manifesto commitment to electoral reform.

And join the campaign! Make Votes Matter!