Vote equality impossible without real electoral reform – Carmichael

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Political Reform, Alistair Carmichael MP, has criticised government claims that the recently passed Parliamentary Constituencies Act amounted to “equal weight” for all votes cast. Minister of State for the Constitution, Chloe Smith claimed that “every voter deserves to have confidence that their vote counts the same…this Act delivers exactly that”, by adjusting constituency boundaries to be more accurate to population. Highlighting the disproportionate nature of the First Past The Post voting system used in UK elections, Mr Carmichael called for “real reform”.

Mr Carmichael said:

“Saying that this law makes votes “equal” is laughable. Until we have meaningful electoral reform and a more proportional system, no amount of boundary tinkering will make every vote equal in value.

“Winner-take-all voting systems disenfranchise people living in safe seats and force people to vote tactically rather than having a free choice. There is a reason we are one of the only democracies left in the world that still uses First Past The Post.

“We can have real reform. My party has consistently campaigned for a change to a more proportional system but this should not be a partisan issue – it ought to be a matter of democratic principle. If we want people to feel they have a real stake in their government then it starts by voting for electoral reform.”

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