North West campaign group Make Votes Matter North Lancashire met local MPs Cat Smith and Tim Farron last week to hand over hundreds of postcards calling for proportional representation (PR).
The meetings were part of ‘Operation Postcard’ – a national campaign where people all over the UK have written postcards to tell their MP why they want a change to a proportional voting system to elect our Parliament.
Over recent months, the local campaign group have run street stalls in Morecambe, Lancaster, Kendal and Bowness, inviting members of the public to join Operation Postcard and fill in a postcard to their MP. Constituents of local MPs Cat Smith, Tim Farron and David Morris wrote the most cards, and the three MPs were all invited to receive the handwritten messages in person.
MVM supporter Jo Stocking said, “The number of postcards we’ve collected shows there’s increasing support for a change to our voting system. People can see from the current situation in Westminster – where one party rules based on a minority of votes – that the current system is letting them down. People are telling us we need a better voting system now, so that we can tackle urgent issues like the cost-of-living crisis and climate change.”
Cat Smith and Tim Farron, who support proportional representation, both agreed to receive their postcards in person and take the message to Westminster that people in the Northwest want change.
Tim Farron explained, “Our out-of-date and unfair voting system is part of the reason many people are disengaged with politics – they feel like their vote doesn’t matter. That’s why I’m proud to back the Make Votes Matter campaign and will continue to argue in Parliament in favour of the UK having a proportional representation. This week, in fact, I am putting down an amendment to the Government’s Levelling Up Bill to give local councils the power to adopt PR for local elections.”
Lancaster & Fleetwood MP Cat Smith agreed that “It is important we look at our democracy and improve it to make votes fairer”.