Demand a vote that actually counts

Date: Monday 8th July 2019

IT has been said that Rory Stewart made a big impression in the Conservative leadership election by actually pitching himself more towards the general public than the Tory faithful. There is no doubt that Rory is very personable, and very reasonable in his ideas. His approach towards low level offenders as prisons minister exemplifies this.

As someone who considers myself to be middle of the road, and who has not voted Conservative in more than 20 years, I welcome Rory’s aim to see the Tory Party move once again to occupy the centre ground of politics. But is he missing a trick?

The big game-changer we now need to fix our broken politics is the end of the outdated first past the post (FPTP) electoral system, as supported by Mr Farron and the Lib Dems.

The traditional British view that FPTP produces strong majority one-party government has been blown up in smoke. Proportional representation (PR) is more the norm in the OECD, including the Nordic countries, the Benelux countries, and Germany. I don’t consider it to be unreasonable to suggest they are doing all right.

Meanwhile, back in Rory’s constituency of Penrith and the Border, we have some of the UK’s least powerful voters, because it is a safe Tory seat. It must be stressed that people under FPTP are only really voting for their one MP on general election day.

I believe the people of Penrith and the Border should demand a vote that actually counts.

Rory himself accepted on BBC Question Time recently that politicians have not listened to people. His constituents need to get in touch with him to express a wish for the equal vote PR will bring, which in turn will bring the necessary change in political culture this country so desperately needs.