Wendy Chamberlain MP becomes LDER President.

NEWSLETTER SPECIAL

Wendy Chamberlain MP becomes LDER President

We are excited to announce that Liberal Democrats for Electoral Reform has a new President – Wendy Chamberlain, our MP for North East Fife.

Since entering Parliament in 2019, Wendy has made her mark as an articulate, vivid advocate of electoral reform. Through most of 2020, as our Political and Constitutional Reform front bench spokesperson, she led the campaign both inside and outside Parliament. Last June, she initiated an adjournment debate on the need for reform; and in August she urged party members to join a Make Votes Matter (MVM) nationwide ‘virtual’ Action Day, which saw hundreds of Liberal Democrats get involved.

A strong believer in linking reform to improving peoples’ everyday lives, also last June, Wendy spoke alongside Klina Jordan of  MVM at a Green Liberal Democrats’ conference session on Electoral Reform and the Environment. In September, she led our virtual fringe meeting, along with the Electoral Reform SocietyMake Votes Matter and Unite to Reform.

Now our Parliamentary Chief Whip and Work and Pensions spokesperson, Wendy has maintained her commitment to our cause. In February, she became a Vice Chair of the newly-formed All Party Parliamentary Group on Electoral Reform. (Alistair Carmichael, Wera Hobhouse and Lord Paul Tyler are also APPG members). Wendy is also a member of the APPG on Deliberative Democracy.

Wendy said: ‘In an era of increasing identity politics, place has increasing importance to many. With Covid-19, however, the straining of centralised decision making at Westminster, and better recognition of the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, could mean electoral reform’s time has come. It’s increasingly clear that the fundamental change required to ensure the future of the UK and a representative democracy starts with electoral reform.’

Wendy has already agreed to host a virtual meeting on Zoom for all LDER members and supporters, setting our the goals as she sees them and of course taking questions and comments. We’ll be in touch again shortly with details.
Don’t forget:

Make Votes Matter ‘Lobby Your MP’  Action Day – March 12; makevotesmatter.org.uk/lobby
You can also attend a pre-lobby briefing session with Wendy Chamberlain on March 11: click here for more.

LDER Fringe – March 21; 13.00- 14.15 with Alistair Carmichaellibdems.org.uk/conference
LDER Executive
Website:   http://lder.org/
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/LibDemsForElectoralReform/
Twitter:     @LibDem4ER
Email:       info@lder.org

Proportional representation explained (in easy language)

So you are thinking about Proportional representation and have discussed it amongst your friends, they all think its a great idea, “BUT”,  they all say,  “look at XXXX country it doesn’t work”. The truth is it DOES work, most of Europe’s governments have a form of PR.  The Liberal Democrats are advocates of Proportional Representation and in this regard the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system and we’ve included here a great little Presentation that pictorially shows how the STV system works to show why and how PR is so important.

However first let’s explain why PR (Proportional Representation) is so important to the UK. At the present time in the UK we have a myriad of different voting systems, the Welsh and Scottish assemblies have a form of PR, while our electoral system for the Westminster Parliament is the First Past the Post system. So England has a different system for its electorate than Wales and Scotland, yet we are all supposed to be one “United Kingdom”. Does this sound United to you? Surely if two of our countries have PR then England should as well?  We currently have majority governments yet voted in by a minority of the people who voted, that is not democracy.  Democracy is derived from two Greek words:-

Demo = The People + Kratia = The power of

We must never forget that.

If the majority of the people are being ignored in our voting system then we don’t have democracy and the majority of the people need to rise up and force a change.

In a later blog we will explain about how gerrymandering has damaged our electoral system to the point that it is impossible to get a fair General Election and your vote really is being stolen. Before that however have a look at this little Presentation that explains very simply how proportional representation is fairer for you as a voter.

Many Thanks to www.cgpgrey.com for this excellent presentation:- please watch and enjoy.

https://youtu.be/l8XOZJkozfI

You can help support the Single Transferable Vote (STV) in the UK by joining Liberal Democrats for Electoral Reform and the Electoral Reform Society.


Make Votes Matter Day of Action

On the 12th December 2020 one of our partners – Make Votes Matter – held another of their excellent “Day of Action” days. Due to Tier lockdowns it was difficult for people to meet in groups, so a lot of the work was held online, but it was no less effective.

This brilliantly simple zoom call by the @MVM_lewes group highlights just how important changing our voting system is. The theme is “silent” as the First Past The Post UK electoral system means that UK voters have no voice, and thus voters are disenfranchised. It has received over 180,000 views.

Have a look at Make Votes Matter Silent Voices. If you are on Twitter please retweet it, let’s get the message out there.

In addition Make Votes Matter are sending Christmas Cards to all their MPs and we encourage you to do the same letting them know about how important it is to change our voting system. You can find your MPs constituency address here, Who is My MP?