Now is the time

Sincere congratulations to Darren Hughes on his appointment as the Electoral Reform Society’s new Chief Executive. He was its Deputy CE. We wish him well and, of course, every success.

We very much hope his appointment will lead to the Society becoming more active again and, in particular, concentrating on its primary object of Single Transferable Vote (STV) for all elections.

Whether votes at 16, higher voter registration, reform of the House of Lords etc are good or bad causes is not very relevant at least until the primary object has been achieved. Indeed, they are not even mentioned as such in the Society’s constitution and they can be divisive, because not necessarily every member will agree with them all whereas every member should agree with STV, which is written into the constitution, to which they signed up when they joined.

The most divisive and important issue in British politics now is exit from the EU. First Past The Post has failed the nation on this issue and no PR system except STV would help. STV would help by enabling voters to elect pro- and anti- EU Conservative and pro- and anti-EU Labour MPs. It would also enable voters to elect MPs of in-between opinions; e.g. leaving the EU but remaining in the Single Market and/or Customs Union, so debate in the Commons could truly reflect a wide range of public opinions. A House, elected by STV, could be a start to healing divisions.

This is a unique opportunity for the ERS to promote its primary object.

With the ERS’s resources and accumulated knowledge and Make Votes Matter’s enthusiasm and innovative campaigning, we could succeed unexpectedly soon.

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