Author Archives: Keith Sharp

Wendy Chamberlain MP becomes LDER President

Liberal Democrats for Electoral Reform have a new President – Wendy Chamberlain, our MP for North East Fife.

Since entering Parliament in 2019, Wendy has made her mark as an articulate, vivid advocate of electoral reform. Through most of 2020, as our Political and Constitutional Reform front bench spokesperson, she led the campaign both inside and outside Parliament. Last June, she initiated an adjournment debate on the need for reform. In August, she urged party members to join a Make Votes Matter (MVM) nationwide ‘virtual’ Action Day, which saw hundreds of Liberal Democrats get involved.

A strong believer in linking reform to improving peoples’ everyday lives, also last June, Wendy spoke alongside Klina Jordan of MVM at a Green Liberal Democrats’ conference session on Electoral Reform and the Environment. In September, she led LDER’s virtual fringe meeting, along with the Electoral Reform Society, Make Votes Matter and Unite to Reform.

Our Parliamentary Chief Whip and Work and Pensions spokesperson, Wendy, has maintained her commitment to electoral reform. In February, she became a Vice-Chair of the newly-formed All-Party Parliamentary Group on Electoral Reform. (Alistair Carmichael, Wera Hobhouse and Lord Paul Tyler are also APPG members). Wendy is also a member of the APPG on Deliberative Democracy.

Wendy said:

In an era of increasing identity politics, the place has increasing importance to many. With Covid-19, however, the straining of centralised decision making at Westminster, and better recognition of the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, could mean electoral reform’s time has come. It’s increasingly clear that the fundamental change required to ensure the future of the UK and a representative democracy starts with electoral reform.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 14 Comments

Introducing Liberal Democrats for Electoral Reform

New members have been asking about Lib Dem organisations that they can join.  You are welcome to submit similar items on behalf of other organisations.

Giving the individual voter greater choice and voice – devolving democratic power to the individual and away from institutions – is integral to making the UK a truly liberal and democratic country.

So I’m urging new – and existing – party members to join Liberal Democrats for Electoral Reform (LDER) and help us campaign to make this essential change a reality.

Take a look at our historic Parliament, supposedly the model for others to follow. Of its two houses, the Lords is totally appointed and expressly undemocratic.

The Commons is elected in a way, which distorts the democratic will of the people; and freezes millions out of any say in the result. For many people in ‘safe’ seats, voting is an exercise in futility.

Posted in Lib Dem organisations | Tagged and | 8 Comments

Opinion: Getting the AV and Lib Dem message right

The ‘No to AV’ campaign is beginning to take shape, and alongside the familiar figures of John Prescott to name but one, some arguments of theirs are also emerging and we have to be firm in rebutting them — especially those which take aim at the Lib Dems. So here we go:

AV will lead to more hung parliaments and coalition governments

Not so. Let’s remember that AV is NOT a proportional system and there is therefore nothing intrinsic to it that spells out more likelihood of minority parliaments. Pundits and experts have assessed likely General Election results under AV and there …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 59 Comments
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