Topic

voting

11 petitions

Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Theresa May MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Tim Farron MP, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Caroline Lucas MP and Jonathan Bartley, Leanne Wood AM

Make votes matter in general elections - we want proportional representation

This General Election must be the last one to use our archaic First Past the Post voting system. I was 16 years old at the 2015 general election. I couldn’t vote but I was frustrated that the election results didn’t reflect how people voted, so I started this petition for a fairer voting system. Two years on and I voted for the first time - but my vote didn’t matter. I want to be able to vote for whichever party I believe in. I don’t want to be scared of ‘wasting’ my vote or ‘letting the other side in’. I want a vote that counts. The only fair and democratic system of electing MPs is one that matches seats in Parliament to how people voted - Proportional Representation. Our weak and wobbly voting system has given us a coalition of chaos - the DUP and Conservatives - formed without the support of most voters. Strong and stable majority coalitions are the norm in most developed democracies. Coalitions can mean collaboration and cooperation, working together to solve problems. But they only work if they are based on majority support from the population. At this general election, the Green Party, Liberal Democrats and UKIP won 11% of the votes but now make up just 2% of MPs. A vote for the Scottish National Party was worth 18 times as much as a vote for the Green Party. UKIP won half a million votes but no MPs. The First Past the Post voting system is undemocratic and dramatically distorts the results of our elections. First Past the Post is clearly broken. Labour is on the verge of committing to reform. All the other opposition parties are already in favour. And yet some in the Conservative Party are intent on blocking any attempts to change the system. Worse still, their manifesto even committed to extending First Past the Post to the London Assembly. This is a cynical attempt to rig the system in their favour. We have to act now to save our democracy. Please sign and share this petition to send a message to the new government - we want proportional representation. Together we can keep this issue at the top of the agenda. If you’d like to join thousands of us all over the country who are taking action to make votes matter, sign up at www.makevotesmatter.org.uk

Owen Winter
289,233 supporters
Started 1 month ago

Petition to UK Government, Department for Communities and Local Government

Retain the voting age at 18

We, the undersigned believe that the vote should NOT be extended to 16-17 year-olds because people legally become adults at 18 and that people in 16-17 age group may not have sufficient maturity and life experience to make political judgements and may still be under the influence of parents, teachers or college lecturers and may also be easily influenced by popular trends. We therefore believe that: 1. Before Parliament discusses lowering the voting age, we need to start offering young citizens more opportunities to acquire political knowledge, skills and experience, especially given that citizenship education is a statutory subject only in England and Northern Ireland and provision across the UK is patchy and inconsistent. For instance, in Scotland, where the voting age has been lowered, only a third of young Scots take a modern studies course covering history, politics and current affairs. 2. Young people rarely get sufficient experience of representative politics before they vote and that the voting age should match the age at which citizens get other adult rights. 3. Although 16-17 year-olds can join the armed forces, get married and pay tax, these rights are not universally realised at the age of 16 and we could start to see young people being able to vote before they can legally do other things such as buy alcohol, tobacco products and gamble. This would essentially introduce a two-tier citizenship, making young voters feel even more excluded. 4. Lowering the age of enfranchisement to those aged below 18 without discussing its wide-ranging implications could prove a dangerous rather than radical step, and that lowering the voting age would, proportionally, decrease overall turnout, contrary to popular belief that broadening the vote would boost it. In terms of numbers, more people would indeed vote but it must be noted that in the most recent General Election just over 40% in the 18-24 age group voted, and we can only assume this figure would be similar, if not significantly lower, for the 16-17 year old age bracket. Therefore, and noting that the majority of voters in opinion polls, including half of those in the 16-18 year old group, felt that the voting age should stay at 18, we call upon the government to resist the idea of lowering the voting age below 18.

David Reardon
22 supporters