Press release: Medway Greens join electoral reform campaign demo

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Medway Greens, Trish, John and Simon

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Peter Tatchell

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Owen Winter

Last Saturday, Medway Green Party members were among hundreds of voters who converged on Parliament to campaign for electoral reform.  While not a new issue, the campaign for electoral reform has become prominent due to this year’s general election being the most disproportionate ever.

The demo was jointly organised by Owen Winter, a 16 year old member of the UK Youth Parliament (whose petition for electoral reform s achieved over 200,000 supporters), together with campaign groups Unlock Democracy and The Electoral Reform Society. They invited a number of guest speakers including representatives from all the major electoral parties in England.

Speakers included Green Mayoral nominee Sian Berry, ex Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes, human rights activist Peter Tatchell and John Strafford from Conservatives for Electoral Reform. Guest speakers spoke about the unfairness of the current system, the history of suffrage and the fact that documented complaints about the current system go back to the early 20th century, including by a young Winston Churchill.

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Sian Berry

John Little, who attended with a number of other Medway Green Party members, expressed concern that the first past the post system is allowing government without a true mandate. Mr Little said:

“If voting reform doesn’t happen soon, the Mother of Parliaments will become a democratic joke. We have a majority government elected with only 24% of possible votes. The Tories are intent on privatising anything they can lay their hands on and are attacking the NHS and vulnerable people, essentially without a true mandate of support from British citizens.”

Nationally the Green Party attracted over 1.1 million votes and yet have only one MP in parliament; the Conservatives achieved just over 11 million votes and have 320 times the number of MPs. In Scotland, the SNP took 95% of parliamentary seats with 50% of the vote.

Trish Marchant, also at the demo, added:
“We believe that proportional representation is essential to allow a more diverse, democratic, range of views in parliament. The injustice of the first past the post system doesn’t just affect smaller parties, like our own, but means that millions of people are denied representation at Westminster”.

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