It is very clear that those of us who are keen to adopt Proportional Representation will need to challenge some of the Conservative Party and indeed to raise our views in challenge to them through options such as petitions. There is currently one that was recently set out so it would be good to sign it. The details and link are below. I was delighted to see the twitter this morning from Cecilia Taylor who is clearly a strong supporter of Proportional Representation. Her piece is shown here. After I read it I was inspired to see what comments there might have been in the Houses of Parliaments and the most recent one comes from Natalie Bennett who is one of the Green Party House of Lord representatives who was speaking on the 13th July. An earlier one came from Richard Ralfe in February who is a Conservative member of the House of Lords. As it happens there was a call back on the 20th January from Owen Thompson who was the SNP Chief Whip and his response came from Kemi Badenoch who was at that time the Minister for Equalities and for State. The response from Kemi focused on their Manifesto which was published in 2019 in preparation for the General Election which is shown here. This is the question and answer from Owen and Kemi.
Owen: To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential benefits of introducing a proportional representation voting system as part of the Elections Bill.
Kemi: This Government was elected on a manifesto commitment to continue to support the First Past the Post voting system. The Government believes the First Past the Post system is a robust and well-understood way of electing representatives that provides for strong and clear local accountability.
So here are the words from Natalie Bennett on 13th July
I must commend the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, on bravely—in the “Yes Minister” sense—highlighting the importance of stability in government policy, using the example of Norway, which is known for such stability in its policy-making. It has a modern, functional constitution and a Parliament that reflects the view of the people, elected by proportional representation, producing what is generally agreed to be a fine quality of governance.
And these words from Richard Balfe on 23rd February. Clearly he was not in the same position of either the Manifesto or his colleague in the House of Commons.
Finally, the move to abolish the alternate vote is a severe backwards step. Personally, I believe in proportional representation; I think it gives us better government. I have worked in Europe for 40 years. People who tell me that strong government comes from our system need to look at places such as Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and the Scandinavian countries—countries that have run very good Governments for a very long time on the basis of proportional representation. It is an idea whose time has most certainly come. It deserves close looking at, and I do not mean look at it as Tony Blair did, when you think you might need it to get into government and then say to Paddy Ashdown, “I’ll give it to you for Europe, but I can’t go any further”.
And here is the https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/619684 Petition from William Tavernor which currently has merely 171 signatures but there is plenty of time for us to raise it to 10,000 and in due course 100,000
Hold a referendum on changing the voting system to proportional representation
Hold a referendum on implementing proportional representation for General Elections. The current First Past The Post system is no longer fit for purpose, governments should be more accountable. A more balanced electoral system is needed to restore the integrity and accountability of Parliament.
Governments have run this country on party lines and have failed to uphold standards in public life. Major parties are able to use technology, the media and the current First Past The Post system to retain power and quash alternative opposition. The electorate needs Members in Parliament that represent them and their needs and wishes, to restore integrity and accountability. The only way to achieve this is a proportional representation electoral system.