Join us in standing up to the Government's Elections Bill and fighting for proportional representation
By LDER executive
Monday January 17 is a crucial day for our democracy with the Government's Elections Bill returning to the House of Commons for its Report Stage and Third Reading.
The bill is a shameless and blatant attempt to rig our elections in favour of the Conservative Party. It is also a regressive step towards the wider adoption of First Past the Post - a voting system that is not fit for purpose.
The Liberal Democrats are attacking the root cause of all this - the First Past The Post voting system.
We urge all our members and supporters to email their MP - urgently, in time for Monday's debate - asking them to -
- vote for our proposed - tabled by Alistair Carmichael MP (our Spokesperson for Home Affairs, Political and Constitutional Reform) - New Clause (NC13) amendment. This would -
abolish first past the post for UK general elections and require the Government to take all reasonable steps to introduce proportional representation.
We need cross-party support on Monday for this amendment to be selected for a vote. Ask your local MP to support amendment NC13.
[I WILL ASK MY MP TO BACK ALISTAIR'S AMENDMENT - NC13]
Key measures of the Elections Bill include-
Extending the use of First Past The Post voting to mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections
Giving a Government Minister (Michael Gove) the power to set the strategy and priorities of the Electoral Commission - the UK's independent election watchdog
The introduction of mandatory photo ID at polling stations - potentially disenfranchising millions of eligible voters
Changing donation rules to allow UK citizens who have lived abroad for decades to donate to political parties - unleashing a fresh wave of big money donations
New requirements that will restrict non-party political campaigning by charities
The bill is being opposed by a wide range of campaigning organisations along with the Liberal Democrats, Labour Party, SNP, Plaid Cymru and Green parties.
Liberal Democrats for Electoral Reform strongly support the campaign to stop this bill.
Monday's votes on the Report Stage of the third reading of the bill will be the first time MPs have debated the issue since the Government's attempt to sideline the Independent Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards over the Owen Paterson affair.
A move that has strong parallels with its plans for the Electoral Commission.
If you've written to your MP supporting Alistair's NC 13 amendment and want to do more to oppose this bill, take a look at the Elections Bill Action Centre set up by our friends at Unlock Democracy. There you can take a range of actions in support of the campaign.
Finally, mark your diary. Make Votes Matter, Unlock Democracy and other ally organisations have organised a March for Democracy. This will be held on 5th February at 12 noon - more details to come.
Together we can beat this pernicious bill.
Thank you for your support.