Robert Key was the former Conservative MP for the City of Salisbury. He served under Margret Thatcher and John Major and continued to serve the city when the party was in opposition in the noughties. Just as West England Bylines asked the opposition parties to support Proportional Representation, Robert asks his Conservative Party to share power too.
In 2010, he decided to step down for health reasons, taking up posts in organisations devoted to teaching and preserve the values of the Magna Carta.
Since his retirement, I think it’s fair to say, the Conservative Party has changed and not, in his view, for the better.
He has seen the Conservative Party become something that stands for everything he disagrees with, even trying to criminalise the RNLI because they try to save lives at sea.
Not helping matters is a weak opposition, trying to find an identity, while the smaller parties are too small to affect any change.
Politics needs to change, he told me, and change into something that gives a greater voice to the smaller parties, so they can bring about real change to a nation that’s currently falling behind many modern democracies.
One of the ways he says we can change and become a proper 21st Century democracy, is adopting a new electoral system, like Proportional Representation that’s used in countries such as Germany, New Zealand and South Africa.
I sat down with him to get more of his opinions on modern politics.
“We have to turn democracy on its head in this country, we really do. So we’re going to have to change it, and we’re going to have to say: “if we’re going to be a 21st century democracy then we have to be like other 21st century democracies and share power not hoard it’”.