Over the summer, Daniel Johnson worked at MVM HQ in Bristol as our resident intern.
Here, Daniel reflects on the experience and highlights some of his favourite projects he worked on. And as Daniel returns to university in Manchester, we have welcomed our latest intern to the team. Barthélemy Desprairies, aka Barth, travelled from Strasbourg in France to join us.
It has been fascinating, especially being at the heart of a campaign working to radically transform British politics.
During my time at Make Votes Matter I have had the opportunity to work in almost all aspects of the campaign. My internship began with the launch of the Good Systems Agreement in the Houses of Parliament. It was an incredible evening, being surrounded by key members of virtually every political party in the UK, coming together to agree on the qualities a good voting system should have. Seeing individuals who disagreed with each other on so much sharing a single platform to speak up for electoral reform was inspiring and I know marked a crucial step in the journey towards achieving Proportional Representation.
Only four days later I had moved from the Houses of Parliament to the streets of Bristol for Demand Democracy Day 2019, Make Votes Matter’s national day of action. Though a lot of hard work, it was equally uplifting to be able to talk to members of the public about PR, especially knowing that the same thing was happening in over 90 locations across the UK. I helped Sarah Hudspith, Communications, Campaigns and Engagement Leader with some publicity for Demand Democracy Day with this article for Shout Out UK.
Other aspects of the campaign I had the opportunity to work on included the Schools Engagement project with the Grassroots Leader Emma Knaggs. I helped manage the MVM Facebook page, and worked with the Alliance team on various administrative tasks, particularly in relation to the new crop of British MEPs.
I have learned so much in my time with Make Votes Matter. Through my involvement in the day-to-day activities of political campaigning I have been able to improve my understanding of the often confusing ins and outs of British politics. I have also learned a lot about using various tools like social media and editing the website, and I have been heartened to learn just how dedicated the many grassroots activists and the team at Make Votes Matter HQ are to achieving Proportional Representation in years, not decades.
I shall always remember the time I have spent working in Bristol with Make Votes Matter, and will continue fighting for PR from the grassroots.
My first day at Make Votes Matter was not at HQ. It was in the upstairs room of a Bristol pub where the whole team had gathered for a big planning day for the movement for PR. It was a really interesting day to join because I got to learn a lot about each aspect of the campaign. And it was really great to meet all of the team because not everyone is based in Bristol.
I am an undergraduate student at the Institute of Political Studies, Strasbourg. I have joined the campaign as a part of my year studying abroad. I wanted to get an insight into Make Votes Matter because I am convinced that a fairer and more representative electoral system is what is needed for a well-functioning democracy!
I have been here for almost a month, and I can say it is a really exciting time to be working for a pro-democracy campaign like Make Votes Matter. I am still learning about the campaign but I have daily tasks which I am responsible for, including posting and monitoring social media, some administrative tasks, and providing overall support to the movement.
I am here until December and then I head to China to continue my year studying abroad. So, as well as working for the campaign, in my free time I am learning how to speak Chinese.
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