I agree with David Lipsey (Letters, 26 June) that Bruce Grocott’s bill calling for an end to the automatic replacement of hereditary peers when they die or retire is a good one. However, his suggestion that an upper chamber elected by proportional representation would force the lower house to go over to a more proportional system too has not been the experience in Australia.
A democracy that truly reflects the people must start not in the Lords but in the Commons. The current first past the post system means seats in our primary chamber don’t match how people vote, leaving many without a voice. The alternative vote, on which we had a referendum in 2011, would have done nothing to change this.
Some of the most stable and successful societies in the world, such as Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, use PR so that seats match votes. So why can’t we? On Saturday (30 June), I’ll be taking part in Demand Democracy Day – a day of action organised by Make Votes Matter to call for PR in the House of Commons. From Scotland to Cornwall, people will be out in force in over 60 locations to push forward the campaign for PR. Lord Lipsey is welcome to join in too.
Sarah is Communications, Campaigns and Engagement Leader at MVM. This letter was published in the Guardian to coincide with Demand Democracy Day and help make the case for PR!