Mr. Starmer – Please commit to Proportional Representation

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Keir Starmer Leader of HM Opposition – Source: Wikimedia Commons

I’m finally able to get out again and I can get back to what I love, campaigning for Volt. I received my second Covid jab a little while ago and, although it gives me my freedom, I still check that I have my face mask with me when I leave the house.

Fair voting will bring trust back into politics

The other weekend I joined Make Votes Matter for their national action day. On the streets of Manchester we protested loud and proud calling for a change to the voting system. As you’d expect, throughout the day I came across a lot of people asking me what proportional representation, or even what electoral reform was.

For me electoral reform is all about what democracy fundamentally is. I personally like to think about it as building back trust in politics. Over the last few years, our unfair electoral system has sown a lot of distrust in politics. It favours the populists and helps them stay in power.

I’m originally from Germany whose electoral system is a great example of democracy delivering a moderate government with parties working together. In Germany solutions are addressed with a broad consensus. This avoids solutions that are uncomfortably radical, whether from the extreme left or the extreme right. Instead, in Germany we take small steps forward to improve the lives of residents. They may appear small but they are always forward and never backwards, unlike many of the steps Britain has taken recently.

With a fair voting system, politicians are more thoughtful with what they say and with what they do. Fair voting will bring trust back into politics. This is why I was so excited to be back on the streets with Volt and Make Votes Matter.

We are in a crisis

Sadly, time is nearly up, we must change the way politics works because the current system does not deliver what the majority of the electorate want. They want solutions to the real problems like how we trade with our neighbours, protect our vulnerable people and act responsibly in a damaged, war-torn world. A fair voting system would change the makeup of government. We would have people there who truly represented us. They would help protect everyone, not only the well-off but also the disadvantaged like gig workers, carers, refugees and even our own lorry drivers. A fair system, a fair government would help us all.

Inspiration from art!

“Wanderer above the Sea Fog” – Casper David Friedrich – Source: Wikipedia

One of my favourite paintings is the Wanderer above the sea fog. I love it because it perfectly describes where we as campaigners for democracy are at present. We’ve been campaigning for five years, we’ve made it up to the top of one mountain, but it’s a small one and in front of us there are even bigger mountains to climb. We are realistic, we know the electoral system is rigged against us, however we know a fairer system is possible.

Pro-Europeans need to understand that Proportional Representation is essential in getting to the next level of a viable opposition and the opportunity to Reform to Rejoin. We all need to give a little bit of time to the cause. Electoral reform will tackle one of the many issues to build back trust in politics. This is why Volt exists.  It’s about dealing with the root causes of Brexit, to undo it, and make sure it never happens again.

And now my plea to Labour

On that Make Votes Matter action day, I stood together with many members of the Labour Party, so please excuse me if I speak on their behalf briefly:

Dear Mr Starmer,
If you want to tear down those blue walls, then you have to admit that with a commitment to proportional representation you will create a parliamentary force that is able to make you Prime Minister to implement reforms this country deserves. If you won’t do it, others will do it, Volt will do it eventually if you don’t.

On the action day the most passionate were the new faces, those who had recently realised that the existing parties are not responding to this crisis. Labour supporters have had enough of opposition. It’s time for a progressive government.

Government and politics can be fair and forward looking.
We can only do it together.

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