Proportional Representation: House of Commons — [Mr Nigel Evans in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:33 pm on 23rd April 2019.

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Photo of Tommy Sheppard Tommy Sheppard Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (House of Lords) 5:33 pm, 23rd April 2019

The hon. Gentleman makes the point well, and I agree with him.

First past the post does not allow for political dialogue and discussion, but keeps it under wraps and prevents it. Compromises are made behind closed doors within major parties and are not expressed in public debate. That seems very unhealthy for our democracy. It is also unsustainable, given the 24-hour news cycle; people need only pick up their phone to find out what is happening in every aspect of their life, in great detail. Those arrangements might have been satisfactory for the 19th century, but they certainly are not for the 21st century. I think they have to change.

Let us get the political debate out in the open; that is what a proportional system would allow. There would be more parties, and they would have to form alliances in order to govern, but it would be transparent. People would see what deals were being made and what policies were being jettisoned in order to allow others to come through.