MPs join hunger strike for fair votes

Hungry for democracy Logo (CC)

The “Make Votes Matter” movement is campaigning for Proportional Representation. People are going on a hunger strike to change the voting system and demand a fair representation of the voters.

MPs from Labour party, Liberal Democrats and Green party are joining a campaign called “Make Votes Matter” to ask for proportional representation. The organisation will hold hunger strikes on Tuesday at Westminster in London, and Sheffield to raise interest in their cause.

Wales is joining the campaign for proportional representation. Aberavon Labour MP Stephen Kinnock and Arfon Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams will join the hunger strike.

MVM will hold its first meeting in Cardiff South and Penarth constituency on Wednesday February 7 at the Trinity Methodist Church in Penarth. Joe Sousek, the organisation’s responsible for the development of local groups, will be present at the meeting to explain more about the campaign and possibly develop a local group in Cardiff.

The date of the hunger strike is not a coincidence. On 6 February 1918 the Representation of the People Act passed into law, extending voting rights to some women and all men over 21 for the first time. Before that act, around 70% of the adult population were not allowed to express their vote.

The Make Votes Matter movement is now looking at the future. They want the actual voting system, the First Past the Post, where the candidate who receives the most votes wins to change into a Proportional Representation system. In fact, in 2017’s general election 68% of the votes had no impact on the result, either going to losing candidates or piling up in safe seats without influencing too much the final result, according to the organisation.

Klina Jordan, Co-founder of Make Votes Matter said:

“It’s 100 years since the first women won the vote, but the struggle for democracy in the UK is far from over. Our First Past the Post voting system denies representation to millions and all but guarantees divisive minority rule.

“Proportional Representation simply means that Parliament fairly reflects the voters – something most developed countries already take for granted. We call on everyone who wants real democracy in the UK to join the movement for Proportional Representation.”

 

Early in the day we spoke to Geraint Jones, the Cardiff and Penarth meeting organizer, that has explained why the system has to be changed. He also encouraged people, regardless of the political party they are voting for, to join the meeting and push for change their own political parties. You can listen to Mr. Jones below.

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