Electoral Reform

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:32 pm on 8th June 2020.

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Photo of Wendy Chamberlain Wendy Chamberlain Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Development), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Wales), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 10:32 pm, 8th June 2020

I thank my hon. Friend for her intervention and entirely agree with her. As I say, only one of our four nations seems to feel that its young people do not have that insight, and we should absolutely be giving them that opportunity.

Countries around the world are moving forward beyond fair votes, with democratic innovations such as citizens’ assemblies or participatory budgeting programmes. We need to look at participatory democracy better empowering local communities and groups. We have seen multiple marches and demonstrations in the past few years, including, most recently, this weekend. People protest when they feel they have no other option in terms of making their voices heard to demand change. It is tempting to be comfortable with the current system—after all, every Member here has benefited from first past the post—and I understand the reverence in which Members hold this place, but we best revere it when we acknowledge that its practices are letting down the very people who elected us to represent them. We should not let warm feelings get in the way of cold, hard reality.