Newcastle – Could proportional representation be a catalyst for greater political engagement?

Tuesday, 16th July 2024 , categories: Democracy, Electoral Reform, Meetings, Newcastle

With turnout at elections dwindling, and a growing divide between the public and our leaders, what solutions do we need?

You are warmly invited to join us at The Telegraph, Orchard Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 3NY (behind the Central Station), for our next meeting on Tuesday 16th July 2024 at 7:00pm. See here for location.

In a democratic government the right of decision belongs to the majority, but the right of representation belongs to all.

Ernest Naville

Have we failed to treasure democracy? With turnout at elections dwindling, and a growing divide between the public and those who seek to lead us, what solutions do we need?

On the 5th of May 2011, the UK held a referendum to change our majoritarian First Past The Post system to one of Alternate Votes. The move was defeated, with 67.9% of votes cast against the change.

Advocates of FPTP hold this up to suggest that there is no demand for PR within the UK voting public, but AV is not a system of proportional representation.

Would a different offer have received a different response and is it possible that the political turmoil of the last decade has changed minds? And if the solution is PR, in the interests of democracy, is a referendum required to implement it?

PR could give small parties a chance to build, but could it also be an opportunity for extremism?

Given the concerns many have over changing our system, perhaps local government elections would be a better place to start.

Join us to pick through the carcass of the 2024 election and ask if First Past the Post belongs in our past.

This timely topic will be introduced by Newcastle PiPs member Paula Watson.

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