Orkney and Shetland MP and Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Political Reform, Alistair Carmichael, has joined the launch of a fresh effort to reform 'undemocratic' voting laws in the UK, with a new all-party group including members from all major parties pushing for change. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Electoral Reform, chaired by Alex Sobel MP (Labour) and backed by the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) and Make Votes Matter (MVM), will work towards a more proportional voting system for all UK elections, while pushing for other reforms to boost democracy at Westminster.
Campaigners have long challenged the ‘warped one-party takes all results’ of Westminster, which are looking increasingly out of place in the rest of the UK. Proportional representation - which ensures seats more closely match how people vote - is already used for the Welsh Senedd, Scottish Parliament, Northern Ireland Assembly, London Assembly and local elections in both Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Mr Carmichael said:
“The Liberal Democrats are proud to support political reform but this cannot be viewed from a party-political lens. All parties should have an interest in discussing ways we can make a more representative democracy that works for everyone and so the formation of the All-Party group is a positive step in that direction. I hope that we can build on this momentum in the coming months and years.”
Willie Sullivan, Senior Director (Campaigns) at the Electoral Reform Society, said:
“The health of our democracy is an issue that goes far beyond party politics. It’s fundamental to people’s stake in society, and it’s vital people feel empowered to speak up and be heard.
“We’re delighted to be working with the new APPG for Electoral Reform, bringing together MPs and peers from across the political spectrum to work towards our shared goal of building a better democracy.
Klina Jordan, Co-Founder & Chief Executive of Makes Votes Matter, said:
“We are really excited by the level of cross-party support to change our voting system for a good form of proportional representation, and look forward to working with all these parliamentarians and other stakeholders to bring about this much-needed change. With the path to equal votes now clearly lit, we hope to soon join the majority of democracies that already use PR, and consequently enjoy better social, environmental and economic outcomes - like taking faster action on the climate crisis.”