On Saturday, as the campaign for proportional representation gathers strength in Britain, Richard House draws attention to a statement by his MP, David Drew (right):
I’ve long supported electoral reform, which is why I’m backing the Make Votes Matter campaign for proportional representation.
I’m one of 20 or so Labour parliamentary candidates, along with Polly Toynbee, Billy Bragg and others, who’ve signed this letter published in The Guardian today.
We must now commit to reviewing the voting system, especially as the Brexit crisis has tested our constitution to near destruction and left millions feeling unrepresented at Westminster.
We must lead the way to a democratic rebirth – transforming the current political paralysis and creating a democracy that works for the many, not the few. We call on Labour to pledge that the constitutional convention will review the voting system in the forthcoming manifesto.
The following day Reuters reported that about 20,000 people campaigning for proportional representation rallied in the centre of the Georgian capital Tbilisi
They are demanding an early general election because the parliament had failed to pass a planned electoral reform, an immediate move to full proportional representation, scheduled to happen in 2024.
The main opposition parties joined forces to demand an earlier vote to be held by proportional system, the resignation of the government and the creation of an interim government. Activists put locks on parliament’s gates in a symbolic gesture and pitched tents around the building.
A search reveals that of the 43 countries within Europe, 40 use some form of proportional representation to elect their MPs and according to the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network, some form of proportional representation is used for national lower house elections in 94 countries.
Why doesn’t ‘democratic’ Britain already have proportional representation?
Time for change
Corbyn’s conditions have been met: 28 EU member states give assurances that the No Deal option is off the table
Labour decided to agree to an election during an hour-long shadow cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning at the party’s headquarters in Westminster.
The Financial Times switched to tabloid mode:
“Labour bowed to the inevitable”
“Boxed in’ by the Liberal Democrat and Scottish National party move to trigger a snap poll Jeremy Corbyn supports December poll despite gloomy forecasts”
“Jeremy Corbyn has faced accusations of dithering in recent weeks over how to end the Brexit impasse”
“He felt compelled to jump off the fence”
Not so: Jeremy Corbyn was able to agree to an election because assurances had been given by all 28 EU member states that the No Deal option was off the table. This fact was stated in a video embedded in an article focussing on the reactions of Labour’s back-bench rebels.
In the video, Corbyn delivers his thoughtful and well-considered decision in a manner sharply contrasting with these media offerings.