Want your vote to count? Here’s how protesters did it using East End’s iconic landmarks
PUBLISHED: 18:00 25 August 2020 | UPDATED: 18:49 25 August 2020
Make Votes Matter
Protesters have been waving banners against iconic East End landmarks with “social distance” from each other to change Britain’s voting system.
They demonstrated with placards and banners around the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, the Limehouse Marina, Mudchute farm on the Isle of Dogs and even by the mural in Shadwell marking the 1936 Battle of Cable Street.
The Tower Hamlets Make Votes Matter group pressing for proportional representation in general elections took part in a nationwide day of action at the weekend over growing local concerns about the “first past the post” system that gave Boris Johnson his overwhelming 80 majority in Parliament in December, despite falling short of half the votes.
The cross-party campaign calls for “equal votes for all”, pressing for proportional representation at general elections.
Mark Broadmore, the campaign’s Tower Hamlets co-ordinator, also joined a banner drop at Westminster Bridge.
“Good government and good politics needs a proportional voting system,” he said.
“People need to know that ‘first past the post’ forces politicians and voters to focus on what divides them and what’s wrong with ‘the other lot’. But there’s is better way.”
Proportional representation, say campaigners, would reward those who can unite the country “on our common interests” rather than what local constituency they live in.
Emma Knaggs, grassroots leader of Make Votes Matter, said: “Our ‘first past the post’ system means Parliament doesn’t reflect how the UK voted.
“The government has a landslide Commons majority, despite Conservatives receiving less than 44 per cent of the votes.
“We need to change to proportional representation for every vote counting equally, so governments represent the diversity and views in communities and for people’s faith in democracy.”
The response to the campaign included people overcoming the current Covid-19 restrictions by picking up placards and taking pictures and selfies at their local landmarks such as Limehouse marina, Mudchute Farm and Westferry Circus with the iconic Canary Wharf skyline, all to show “the growing appetite for change” in the voting population.
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