For all the divisions on display in this election campaign, there’s one point nearly all voters agree on: the desperate need for reform in Westminster.
Yet despite many parties commenting on the need for change in their manifestos, the issue of political reform has been dangerously absent from the campaign trail.
This radio silence is indefensible when polling for the Electoral Reform Society shows 85% of people feel that politics isn’t working, and 80% feel they have little or no influence on decision-making today. With public faith this low our politicians cannot afford to stay silent.
The signs of democratic decay are all around us – from an electoral system that wastes votes on an industrial scale, to the private members’ club that is the unelected House of Lords. This year we’ve seen our parliament lunge from crisis to crisis.
This election is a watershed moment for our democracy – inaction is not an option. Today we are calling for leaders to make the issue of updating and transforming Westminster front and centre, as part of #DemocracyDay.
We are asking them all to commit to a constitutional convention involving citizens, to set out how to reform Westminster after the election.
There is a high degree of cross-party unity around issues like updating Britain’s analogue-age campaign rules, spreading power outside of London and reining in our crumbling constitution.
With trust in politics at record lows, voters want to see parties open up about how to overhaul Westminster. Today is an opportunity to do just that. It is time for all parties to present their proposals with pride and passion.
This Democracy Day, let’s start to build a better politics.
Willie Sullivan Electoral Reform Society
Ruth Lister Compass
Klina Jordan and Joe Sousek Make Votes Matter
Frances Foley Constitutional Convention UK
Alexandra Runswick Unlock Democracy
Neal Lawson Up To Us
Anthony Barnett OpenDemocracy
Jennifer Nadel Compassion In Politics
Matteo Bergamini Shout Out UK
Tabitha Morton More United
Richard Murphy Professor of International Political Economy, City, University of London
Heidi Allen and Peter Dunphy Unite to Remain
Ed Dowker Represent.me
Mark Cridge mySociety
Richard Tunnicliffe and Sue Ellar Represent Us
Dimitri Scarlato the 3million
Paul Thistlethwaite XR Future Democracy Hub
Indra Adnan The Alternative
Andrew Pendleton New Economics Foundation
John Doolan and Paul Blomfield Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform
Keith Sharp Liberal Democrats for Electoral Reform
Frances Scott 50:50 Parliament
Jon Christensen Tax Justice Network
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