FOR THE MANY NOT THE FEW
Labour’s manifesto is released today, FOR THE MANY NOT THE FEW.
As expected Labour is offering a constitutional convention. This is the process by which, should there be a Labour victory or a non Conservative one, we all achieve a change in our voting system, as happened in New Zealand and for the Scottish Parliament.
What we have witnessed since the last general election in 2015 is a progressive change in Labour’s position on electoral reform at overflowing fringe meetings, in submissions to the National Policy Forum, constituency discussion, the number of people who put a PR voting system in the exercise to create our Manifesto and our Labour candidates up and down the country. Ask them their positions and let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re IN for electoral reform and will try to make this a reality at Labour’s Conference this year. If the General Election had been in 2020 the Manifesto would have made Labour’s position explicit.
EXTENDING DEMOCRACY we see that:
A Labour government will establish a Constitutional Convention to examine and advise on reforming of the way Britain works at a fundamental level.
The Convention will look at extending democracy locally, regionally and nationally, considering the option of a more federalised country.
We will consult on its form and terms of reference and invite recommendations on extending democracy.
This is about where power and sovereignty lies – in politics, the economy, the justice system, and in our communities.
So now, what next?
Labour needs to win as many Labour voters as possible but also to deprive Theresa May of a majority. Instead of gearing our policy to the floating voter in marginal constituencies as in the past, we need to organise in certain seats to win over third party supporters who in Conservative-Labour and Labour-Conservative seats will decide. We can win these voters on our policies or simply because they do not want a Conservative Government. Their view is that if it is not broke why fix it. We disagree. We want to change the whole way politics works, the adversarial culture and now clearly how big money can buy votes.
Absolutely hurtling us back to the 19th century, care of our 19th century voting system, see here. Whatever you position, and most electoral reformers were REMAIN, it is not right that Labour Remain MPs should be targeted in a general election which is not a rerun of the 23 June 2016.
Our manifesto pledge to have votes at 16 is symbolic of our faith in younger people and the way politics needs to change. Together we can fix our broken first past the post voting system. But remember registration ends at midnight next Monday and applications for postal votes need to be into your local council by 5 pm on Tuesday.
FOR THE MANY NOT THE FEW
Not really by coincidence, LCER has launched its own Labour arguments for electoral reform put together with Make Votes Matter. You can find it here.
Read it, tell us what you think and show it to your Labour candidate. They are, particularly in marginals, but often now in what used to be called safe Labour seats, declaring their support for PR.
We have been asking for the positions for Labour Candidates via our twitter account, #labour4pr. We have received some interesting responses. Former MP for Derby North, Chris Williamson, is now in favour of PR. So is our Shadow Brexit Secretary, Keir Starmer, Cat Smith and Clive Lewis. LCER Chair (2008-2010), John Grogan is even more convinced. We are tweeting our PR Stars on twitter, Labour4PR. Help us complete the list of Labour candidate positions our social media group are putting together.
We will put the quotes in favour of electoral reform on our website: https://www.labourcampaignforelectoralreform.org.uk.
We liked this one from Luke Charters-Reid, standing in York Outer:
“There are lots of different PR Systems available, but I think it is important that we retain the constituency link and also ensure we have a fair and proportional voting system.”
We could together make votes matter and people count.