Yesterday, Monday June 6th, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Grasmere and Ambleside, Will Clark, started the 'Make Votes Matter' walk from Grasmere to campaign for voting reform. The campaign aims to raise attention to the inadequacy of the First Past the Post system and campaigns for electoral reform to proportional representation.
The group are walking from Grasmere to Preston in six days inspired by the Suffragist campaigners of 1913 who marched from Carlisle to London to demand votes for Women. The group aim to highlight their desire for a fairer voting system.
Speaking before the march set off Will said: "Elections are essential for democracy. Politics should give the people a voice.
"Today in a more polarised world fuelled by the echo chambers of social media we need to be more progressive".
"Whilst we feel we are up to date with the modern world, we are one of only three major developed countries not using Proportional Representation. Votes having the same value is the true meaning of representation and this is not currently the case in the UK".
"Of course, ditching first past the post would pose a threat to the establishment but surely that is what is needed in a world where diversity should be celebrated and encouraged."
Will has recently been re-elected to the new unitary Westmorland and Furness Council for the ward of Windermere and Ambleside, which will begin sitting in 2023, and intends to continue campaigning on voting reform. Speaking afterwards, Will said: "I am proud to represent this area as County Councillor despite having a visible disability".
"Proportional Representation would enable a wider range of minority groups to represent the masses".
"Why do we stick to first past the post? Only because of habit and the fact that it preserves the presence of the two main parties".
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