Is the local election system fair?

Today the Surrey Mirror is publishing opinions on the voting system. Here’s mine:

Our first-past-the-post electoral system still favours the main parties.

But so many people I talk with on the doorstep say they are fed up with the main parties. They want their voices to be heard at all levels of politics.

Proportional representation – an electoral system where every vote counts – could transform our politics.

On a national level, in 2015 more than a million people voted for the Green Party, but only one Green MP was elected. Under a proportional system, there would be another 24 Green MPs, challenging Conservative austerity and pushing for urgent action on climate change.

There would no longer be safe seats, which allow huge swathes of the country to be ignored and neglected. If politicians were fighting for every vote in every area of the UK, they might take more notice of the entrenched inequalities. Politics should be about listening to people.

No single party has a monopoly on wisdom, and a proportional system would force politicians to achieve broad support for their policies and work together to implement them.

In Surrey, we would have more chance of pushing through positive measures, with more consensus and the possibility of greater progress. There is too much political point scoring, which is not about benefiting the community or the environment.

Many Councils are dominated by one party. This doesn’t work. More voices bring different ideas, without which real change isn’t possible.

Despite the voting system being stacked against us, the Green Party has won elections here in Surrey. This year, as well as fighting to increase our presence in Redhill and Earlswood, we hope to break through in other places across the county. With your help, we can change politics for the better.

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