Repairing our broken democracy

On Saturday 27 April more than 70 delegates gathered at the South Molton Assembly Rooms to discuss how to mend our broken democracy. A wide range of political views were share ideas on issues such as voting reform, citizens assemblies, tactical voting and the need for a written constitution.

The conference also heard from two speakers with inside knowledge of Westminster. Times columnist Alice Thomson talked about the relationship between politics and the press, and gave her insights from meeting and interviewing prime ministers from John Major to Rishi Sunak. Former North Devon Lib Dem MP Sir Nick Harvey, now chief executive of the European Movement UK, warned of the risks from the government's recent raising of limits on election spending, which has increased the potential for countries such as Russia to buy political influence in Britain.

Follow the link below to read a full report of

Working in Torridge and North Devon to build a fair voting system and society in the UK

Compass Northern Devon is a branch of the national Compass organisation which comprises members of the Liberal Democrats, Greens, Labour and non-aligned people who think we need to make some fundamental changes to how we do politics in the UK. We are not a political party, we are a part of a campaign to make political parties better and our politics more transparent and representative of society as a whole.

We think our voting system is broken. Governments are regularly elected, sometime with huge majorities, but with only a minority of the vote (for instance, in 2019, the Conservatives received only 43.6% of the vote but now govern with a majority of 80 seats).

In fact, for those of us who live in so called “safe seats” our votes don’t contribute to the final result. The outcome of general elections is decided in a small number of so called “marginal” or “swing” constituencies.

Because of our First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) voting system, many people's views are not represented in Parliament. Our political system is dominated by two large party machines which reduces choice and the representation of a huge a swathe of the population. People are often forced to vote tactically against the party they don’t like rather than for a party they do like. Let’s end the political postcode lottery.

Most other countries (including Scotland and Wales) use Proportional Representation for their parliaments which means that every vote counts.

We want to see Proportional Representation (PR) rather than our current First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) voting system which is unfair and unrepresentative.

We want to strengthen our democracy, to make it more open and transparent so that all voices are heard and nobody feels left out of the system.

We are working to get the parties to work together at the next election to return an MP who will support Proportional Representation and the introduction of a fair voting system in the next parliament.

Why not join us?

We need people like you – ordinary decent people who think we deserve a better politics and politicians who listen to their constituents, not just their party machine. Contact us or sign up today

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