Open letter calling for Proportional Representation
- signed by the Greens, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, UKIP, many other politicians and organisations (see below).
"Thousands are now calling for equal votes in all our democratic processes. Will the Tory leaders live up to their referendum rhetoric?
David Cameron has announced that he will resign as Prime Minister by October, meaning a leader chosen by the Conservative Party will become our new PM - with the public unable to give or withhold its consent.
Following the EU Referendum the most important questions still have to be answered, including decisions about trade and immigration, foreign policy and sovereignty. The 2015 General Election manifestos did not include plans for a Britain out of Europe and the people have endorsed no particular exit plan.
The fundamental choices we make in the next two years will shape the United Kingdom for decades to come. For these choices to be democratically legitimate, we need a parliament elected under a system of Proportional Representation; one in which all votes matter equally.
Throughout the Referendum campaign, senior Conservatives – from David Cameron, to Liam Fox and Iain Duncan Smith – were filled with enthusiasm that this was a democratic process in which every vote matters. Yet under our antiquated First Past the Post voting system, votes are anything but equal. In last year's election, 24.4% of votes went to the Greens, the Liberal Democrats, or UKIP – parties which now share just 1.5% of seats in Parliament. On the other hand, the Conservatives won a majority of seats with only 36.9% of the votes cast.
We note that “Leavers”, “Remainers” and abstainers from all sides of the political divide have signed the Make Votes Matter petition demanding that Parliament calls an early election using a system of Proportional Representation, so that every vote counts.
Mr Duncan Smith said of the Referendum, “every vote counts in this election [sic] - and that’s what’s so fundamentally different from our normal election pattern”. If he and his fellow MPs are sincere in their support for democracy, they will be emphatic in demanding that the future of the UK is determined by a Parliament that fairly represents the people.
For a Parliament to genuinely represent the people, it must be elected using a system of Proportional Representation that ensures;
That those who are entitled to vote have a vote that counts, and counts equally - no matter who they vote for, or where they live;
That the share of seats a party gets should closely reflect the share of votes the people give them.
We, the undersigned, call for the Tory leadership to live up to the democratic values they endorsed during the Referendum campaign by acknowledging this."
Jack, Joe, Klina, Owen, Tim and everyone at Make Votes Matter
Political parties and figures:
Natalie Bennett, Leader, Green Party
Nigel Farage, Leader, UKIP
Tim Farron MP, Leader, Liberal Democrats
Hywel Williams, Westminster Leader, Plaid Cymru
Caroline Lucas MP, Green Party
George Ferguson, 1st Mayor of Bristol
Mark Serwotka, General Secretary, Public and Commercial Services Union
Ian Lawrence, General Secretary, Napo
Lord Paul Tyler, Constitutional & Political Reform Spokesperson, Liberal Democrats
Siân Berry, Leader of the Green Party in the London Assembly
Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader, Green Party
Molly Scott Cato, MEP for South West England and Gibraltar, Green Party
Jonathan Bartley, Co-director, Ekklesia and Work and Pensions Spokesperson, Green Party
Cllr David A Elston, Pirate Party
Colin Bex, President, Wessex Regionalist Party
Jonathan Brown, Chair, Chichester Liberal Democrats
Pro-PR organisations and individuals:
Alexandra Runswick, Director, Unlock Democracy
Anthony Tuffin, Editor, STV Action
Cliff Grout, Founder, ProPR
Corinna Lotz, Assemblies for Democracy
Dr Crispin Allard, Liberal Democrats for Electoral Reform
Jonathan Heawood, Chief Executive Officer, Impress
Jonathon Porritt CBE, Founder Director & Trustee, Forum for the Future
Mariam Cook, Founder, PositionDial
Neal Lawson, Chair, Compass
Olly Huitson, Head of Communications, Labour Leave Campaign
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner
Richard Wilson, Director, OSCA
Robin McAlpine, Director, Common Weal
Local democracy groups:
Alan Butcher, Make Votes Count In West Sussex
David Gould, Bristol for Democracy
David Smith, Make Votes Matter in Dorset
Eve Steadman, Cambridge Electoral Reform Group
Joe Taylor, Greater Manchester Unlock Democracy
Martin Childs, South East London Electoral Reform
Rene Bach, Make Votes Matter South West London
Shauna Parker, Make Votes Matter Brighton & Hove
Surrinder Chera, Make Votes Matter North London
Tom Pratt, Unlock Democracy Birmingham