Voting for better representation

(Letter to the South Wales Evening Post)

At the Council Meeting on Thursday evening it was very disappointing to see a motion supporting the introduction of Single Transferable Vote (STV) for Council elections narrowly defeated because the Labour Group decided to vote against it.  This despite the fact that one of their own members signed the original Notice of Motion.

The lack of a fair votes system is holding back the development of democracy in society.  People no longer support the “Punch and Judy” style politics that arises from our “first past the post” system.  The dwindling turnout at elections to all levels of government is ample evidence that this antiquated system is turning people away from politics.

What modern electors want is representative government made up of people who work together for the good of the community; replacing competition with co-operation and consensus.

But we don’t need to wait for the turkeys to vote for Christmas to get more representative government, at least at local level.  There is a solution that lies in our hands.

Many local council wards in Swansea are multi-member, with voters having two, three, four or even five votes.  In these wards electors have the opportunity to make a real difference to the make-up of Swansea Council if they can resist the temptation to vote along party lines.

Very few of us agree with everything in any single party’s manifesto.  The majority of people will like some policies from one party, some from another, and maybe even a few from a third.  So why not reflect that by spreading our votes around on election day?

If the voters begin to decide who they want to represent them, rather than leaving it to the party blocs, that would be a real step forward for democracy.

Yours,

Keith M Ross, Green Party Candidate, Uplands & Brynmill Ward

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