Local residents in Totnes will join hundreds of people across the UK on Saturday 31st July to make noise for Proportional Representation (PR). PR is about the seats in Parliament being proportionate to the number of votes.
From singing to banging drums or pots and pans, people will be out in force to break the silence on the urgent need for equal votes. The Make Noise for PR action day is organised by national campaign group Make Votes Matter. It comes amid growing concern over recent attacks on democracy, including plans by the Home Secretary Priti Patel to use First Past the Post for future mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill currently before Parliament could also curtail the right to peaceful protest.
The street stall in Totnes High Street is one of several being held across the UK in what is set to be one of the largest and noisiest mobilisations for Proportional Representation in recent history.
According to Make Votes Matter, the current voting system denies millions of people a voice in Parliament, forces millions more to vote tactically, and distorts the will of the British people.
Laurie Taylor, who is taking part in the action, said:
“It’s time our voices were heard. Totnes has been a safe Conservative seat for over 100 years like so many seats around the country; both Tory and Labour. Wasted votes and tactical voting, together with our ancient voting system (FPTP…First Past The Post) that allows these travesties of democracy, have to be consigned to the dustbin of history.”
Emma Knaggs, Grassroots Director at Make Votes Matter, added:
“First Past the Post means 7 out of 10 of us are muted at the ballot box, effectively with no voice. The Make Votes Matter campaign for equal votes has always been about making our voices heard. That’s why, on Saturday 31st July, I’m joining people across the UK to unmute myself and Make Noise for PR!
“We are asking people in Totnes and across the UK to sign our online petition ‘Less First Past the Post, not more’, and send a clear message to the Government not to impose this archaic system on future mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. This would be a backward step for our democracy and leave millions more voters without a voice in politics, being governed by officials they simply didn’t vote for.”
If you want to help campaign for a fair voting system, join us at outside St. Mary’s Church, High Street, Totnes, TQ9 5NN on Saturday 31st July at any time between 11am and 3pm and #MakeNoiseForPR.