Q&A - proportional representation

Q&A – Richard was asked about whether he supported proportional representation

Absolutely I support proportional representation.

As a Liberal Democrat I have been campaigning for fair votes since at least the 1997 general election. The Liberal Democrats have consistently supported the Single Transferable Vote (STV) also known as British Proportional Representation because it gives the voter the most power to decide their preferred candidates (unlike a list system where the order candidates are elected is chosen by the parties).

When Lib Dems were in government we made considerable efforts to introduce reforms to how we vote, and to introduce elections to the House of Lords. Sadly we were blocked by the two larger parties.

The Tory Party openly opposes fair votes. Their manifesto this election includes commitments to make mayoral and London Assembly elections less fair by making them First Past the Post. This is a deeply undemocratic party, led by a hugely autocratic Prime Minister, whose mounting list of mistakes show why we need a voting system that makes Parliament stronger. 

The Labour Party claims to support AV, which is not a proportional system, but on several occasions have blocked voting reform and many of their MPs campaigned against AV in the referendum, against their own policy and the manifesto they had been elected on. Tony Blair promised to make the voting system fair in 1997 but then abandoned the outcome of the Jenkins Commission. Jeremy Corbyn's efforts to manipulate the Labour Party's internal processes and elections suggest that alas he is no more of a democrat than his predecessor, Mr Blair.

Liberal Democrats are all about giving people the power to change their lives for the better. Voting reform goes to the heart of this. The reason that so many things in our system are broken comes back to the way that one or other of the Tory or Labour Parties can get elected with a minority of support in the country but a majority in parliament and 100% of the power of government. 

If you believe in this as passionately as I do, please please vote for the Liberal Democrats. If it takes one election or a hundred, it is the only way things are ever going to change for the better.

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