Demand for fair votes & a representative parliament
London – 5 February 2018
We are #Hungry4Democracy.
On Tuesday 6 February, 100 years to the day when the first women won the vote, hundreds of fair vote campaigners will stage a 24-hour hunger strike to protest against our dysfunctional electoral system and to urge Proportional Representation.
Public figures taking part include Brian Eno, Polly Toynbee, Peter Tatchell, Ben Bradshaw MP, Molly Scott Cato MEP and Baroness Sal Brinton.
Tuesday 6 February at 12 noon: photo call in Parliament Square, with some of the hunger strikers.
The hunger-strike is being organised by Make Votes Matter. MVM said:
“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. Until then, around 70% of the adult population were not allowed to vote.
“Today all adults are allowed to vote but – because of our First Past the Post voting system – most of us still don’t have a vote that counts. In the 2017 general election, 68% of votes had no impact on the result, either going to losing candidates or piling up in safe seats without influencing the makeup of Parliament.
“We’re hunger striking to draw attention to the injustice of a voting system that denies representation to millions, returns Parliaments that don’t reflect the voters and gives us governments that most of us didn’t vote for.
“We’re calling for Proportional Representation, so that seats match votes and everyone has a vote that matters equally. We’re calling on everyone who wants fair votes to join the movement and take action to win real democracy in the UK,” said MVM.
Peter Tatchell added:
“No party has won a majority of votes in any general election since 1931. In the last three decades, we’ve had governments formed by parties that have won only 35-43% of the popular vote. This is not democracy.
“To ensure a representative parliament, the proportion of seats won by a party should match the proportion of votes casts for that party. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London already have PR for their elections. Why can’t we also have it for UK general elections too?
“In the spirit of the Suffragettes, we demand a fair voting system and a representative Parliament,” he said.