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United States
I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help


Pledge “votingmatters”

"I will take part in a public consultation on voters’ experiences of elections but only if 250 other people will pledge to do the same."

— Malcolm Clark, Make Votes Count

Deadline to sign up by: 7th April 2008
297 people signed up (47 over target)

Country: United Kingdom

More details
Voting matters and so does the perception of whether votes count.

The Government has tried to review how elections work from the comfort of their Whitehall desks, without ever actually going out and asking voters about their opinions or experiences.

Democracy isn’t deskbound. The public deserve a real say in the evaluation of different voting systems, including for electing MPs.

We need a proper debate; some kind of meaningful public consultation process that enables voters to share their experiences of elections. To encourage the Ministry of Justice to start that process, we want to demonstrate that there are people out there willing to be take part and have their say on elections.

So, whatever your views on electoral reform, sign up to this pledge and together let’s the show the Ministry of Justice that beyond Westminster there is appetite for such a debate.

And don’t stop there. Go to www.makevotescount.org.uk to find out other ways you can get the message out that ‘democracy isn’t deskbound’.

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Comments on this pledge

  • With an ever smaller percentage bothering to vote the legitimacy of the democratic system is called into question.
    Clearly changes are required, what those should be is the purpose of the consultation.
    leslie dalton, 10 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I have spent a lifetime prssing for Proportional Representation.The present FPTP system is so profoundly unfair that I am seriously considering never voting again until this electoral system is changed. If enough agreed "they" would be bound to take notice.
    Peter Roberts, 10 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Why not have a similar system to that used to elect the scottish parliament, or better still that used to elect Scottish Local authorities?
    David B Reid, 10 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • The Turkeys need to be forced to vote for Christmas.
    Murk, 10 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • They sit there, opposite each other, bawling and jeering, making cheap political points as if in a game in an antiquated time warp. And it's in our names and at our expense.
    It has to be changed!
    Patrick Ratcliffe, 10 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I was "democratically" elected as a Councillor, but the FPTP system is intrinsically unfair, and negates the wishes of many. We MUST find a fairer way of representation. It's my duty to try as a representative of the electorate!
    Why don't YOU all get elected (school board/Governors/Local Council/MP etc.), and change the system from inside?
  • I was at the count in my local parliamentary election, we had observers from Albania, and they could not believe we "elected" governments on a FPTP system, they thought it so obviously unfair.
    leslie dalton, 10 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • fptp has has created a duopoloy on power between 2 near identical parties who have lost most of their members but none of their power.

    Parliament is now held in lower esteem than at any time since the era of the rotten boroughs

    People are crying out for more choice in who they vote for and more say in the way their country is run and PR is the most obvious step to achieve it
    James Rowland, 10 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Why should we trust people who have all been elected by the "first past the post" system to decide what the system should be? Every one of them has benefitted - at least to the extent of their parliamentary salary.
    To avoid the suspicion of self-interest, MPs should all support the proposition that the system should be chosen not by them, but by the electorate.
    This applies whether or not they personally want to see a change. It is a fundamental principle of democracy.
    Anthony Crackett, 10 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • PR must be established to produce democracy. Big business runs the present government and is totally ignoring peoples' views.
    International businesses are in charge of most governments, hence the poverty and the rise of terrorism. War against Iraq is typical of businesses needs.
    Dr. Peter Foreman, FIEE., 10 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Is it not absurd that with this impending threat of severe Climate Change no Green Party member can be elected to our Parliament; thanks of course to FPTP.
    Peter Roberts, 10 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Representative democracy is a delusion and has failed us. Citizens can only truly represent themselves, whereas elected "representatives" typically become the creatures of party machines and big business.
    Instead, we need a direct democracy. We citizens must demand the power to requisition binding referenda (to be held following a full debate in media which are legally bound to give equal space to supporters and opponents of any proposition) on any proposal which we have first persuaded a reasonable number of people to sign up to.
    Michael McCarthy, 10 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • The power requested by Michael McCarthy "to requisition binding referenda" is interesting, but I would argue that it is attacking the fundamental problem from the wrong direction.

    I take the view that it is for Parliament to ask the public to grant it such powers as it considers it needs to function. When it makes this request of the public we can then have a debate about what checks and balances we require in return, including questions such as whether we require the ability to requisition binding referenda.

    Meanwhile I am still seeking anyone who can show me a definitive statement by Parliament of what powers / rights it considers it has, and why it considers it has them. Even if Parliament considers that it has absolute powers, it should be prepared to state this opinion, and give its reasons. If it cannot or will not produce a coherent argument in public, is it unreasonable to conclude that there is no coherent argument for Parliament having any powers?
    Anthony Crackett, 10 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • On Anthony Crackett's point about the powers of parliament, my understanding is that after the struggles between it and the monarchy in the 17th century, all the powers of the latter were transferred to the former. Consequently, as the historian Norman Davis has put it, we now live “under a legal parliamentary despotism”.

    That possibly oversimplifies to some extent, insofar as codes of human rights somewhat restrict governmental freedom of action. However we should never forget that such codes – and the loopholes they contain – were drawn up by the political class to suit its purposes. It’s worth recalling, for example, that the Human Rights Act, supposedly enshrining the right to life, was unable to prevent Blair from attacking Iraq, killing innocent people in the process, or even to ensure that he subsequently faced a criminal trial.

    So we certainly need a written constitution to limit the powers of the British state. Arriving at a clear public account of how state power stands at present would, I agree with Anthony, be a useful stage in that process. A new, written constitution and its related code of human rights need, in my opinion, to arise out of a series of public conventions, open to all and held country-wide, in which proposals can be put forward by any person or organisation. Competing sets of proposals, which I think would do well to include a facility for ordinary citizens to requisition referenda, could subsequently be put to a nationwide vote which, one hopes, would have the effect of decisively curtailing “legal parliamentary despotism”.
    Michael McCarthy, 10 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
This pledge is closed for new comments.

Current signatories (Green text = they've done it)

Malcolm Clark, the Pledge Creator, joined by:

  • Justin McKeating
  • Mike Buzzard
  • Nick Murza
  • Annie Ostapenko
  • Daniel Wadsworth
  • Diana Jeuda
  • Falcon Guthert
  • wheels5894
  • Tom Holden
  • Max Hogg
  • Martin Dixon
  • Alison Clarke
  • John Wood
  • mike lawrence
  • Gordon McDougall
  • Sim-O
  • Adam DeGiorgio
  • Nicholas James
  • Andy Condliffe
  • Roy H Thomson
  • Mr. David Bradshaw
  • Si Bunting
  • Dave Hitchman
  • Martin Foley
  • Peter Roberts
  • RICHARD GOOD
  • James Mortleman
  • Richard Norman
  • Simon McGrath
  • Gavin Whenman
  • Steven Jewell
  • Susan Murray
  • Richard Burnham
  • Sophie Lafayette
  • Chris Harrison
  • Cllr Fraser Macpherson
  • Anthony Pattison
  • RICHARD STURCH
  • Leesa Jones
  • John Ellis
  • AMYAN MAFADEN
  • David Lewis
  • Pippa Lane
  • Alasdair Thompson
  • Nigel Ramsden
  • Lee Griffin
  • Lee Harte
  • Nathan Evans
  • Paul McLaughlin
  • Antony Mark Winspear
  • Brian Lawton
  • Susan Lawrence
  • Stephen Gordon
  • Branislav Gomilanovich
  • Edward Mason
  • Kate Kelly
  • Rob Pickering
  • Jonathan Stevenson
  • Chris Lee
  • Iqbal Mohammad
  • David Peacock
  • Kevin Simmons
  • John Hale
  • doug livesey
  • Edward Albert Kuness
  • Tom Beaton
  • Kevin Daws
  • Dr John May
  • Andrew D Burns
  • David A R Martin
  • Imogen Pennell
  • Joan O' Doherty
  • LEE MACKEY
  • Blair Cowan
  • Martin Burns
  • Alex Parsons
  • robert stephenson
  • Sandra Beeson
  • Dave Cross
  • Mark Bennett
  • A J Knight
  • Chris Harris
  • Daz Saunders
  • Ken Grayling
  • Patrick Ratcliffe
  • Brian Glaister
  • Donald H Bartholomew
  • Ian Storey
  • David Mainwaring
  • Chris Jenkinson
  • Tony Hoadley
  • Stuart Charlesworth
  • John Cross
  • William Simon Taylor
  • Patrick Sudlow
  • Alan Matthews
  • Peter Clark
  • Paul Sturrock
  • Paul James
  • g davies
  • Ben Braithwaite
  • James Rowland
  • Neil Harding
  • Peter Goddard
  • Anthony Tuffin
  • Mark Oliver
  • Tim Yates
  • Chris Britton
  • Mark Child
  • Chris Millman
  • Rosemary Bland
  • Harry Hayfield
  • Francis S Hedges
  • Martin Lavelle
  • Fred Pollard
  • Emily Clarke
  • Andrew Patrick
  • Phil Peter
  • Janet Richards
  • Iwan Brooks-Jones
  • James Richardson
  • Crispin Allard
  • Cllr Ricky Knight
  • Daniel Ashton
  • Andrew Gilbert
  • Vicky Hall
  • Peter Davidson
  • Helen Heenan
  • Katie Kiely
  • Steve Arnold
  • John Strafford
  • Paul Codd MacDonald
  • Christine Cunningham
  • Jonathan Hewer
  • Pete Shipp
  • Linda Guest
  • Jasmijn de Boo
  • Malcolm John Fincken
  • Bruce Elliott
  • Martin Clee
  • Stephen Goldthorp
  • Robin Anderson
  • joginder singh foley
  • Ken Milward
  • mjharper
  • Richard Madge
  • Colin Hawksworth
  • jospeh smith
  • David Freedman
  • Roger Inkpen
  • Guy Freeman
  • Alan Bailey
  • Randy Banks
  • caroline leneghan
  • Rebecca Wickens
  • Kieron Rees
  • Nick Giles
  • Matt Platts
  • Karl White
  • Benedict Allen
  • Steve Coles
  • Alex Carter
  • Keith Wilson
  • Sarah Bogle
  • Brevan Miles
  • Andy Holland
  • Roy Benford
  • Brian Fewster
  • Nick Standen
  • Jonathan Tyler
  • Jane Summers
  • Johnnie Shannon
  • David Wilson
  • Sam Wilkin
  • Jeremy Wire
  • Antony Frost
  • Steve Hallam
  • Kenneth Johnston
  • Matt Carlson
  • Chris Reeve
  • Darren Preedy
  • Sebastian Kraemer
  • James Hardy
  • Andrew Roberts
  • Moira Govan
  • Keith underhill
  • Robin MacCormick
  • Roy Davies
  • John Lipetz
  • Mathew Hoskins
  • J Heselwood
  • Roger Willott
  • MICHAEL ELLMAN
  • Councillor Stan Pajak
  • David R V Murray
  • james wishart
  • Richard Page
  • kelvin green
  • Tim Root
  • Andy Bowles
  • Val Halsey
  • Charlie Woods
  • Mark Thompson
  • Glyn Galbraith
  • Audrey Rowland
  • Ann Metcalfe
  • Oliver McWilliams
  • Philip Bisatt
  • Susan Fox
  • Paul Sinnett
  • Donald Cook
  • Jo Dungey
  • Richard Daniels
  • John Goss
  • Peter Borrow
  • Peter Hore
  • Robert C. Howes
  • Darren Hopkinson
  • Peter Valentine
  • Chris Eason
  • Michael McCarthy
  • David Barnard
  • Steve Lambert
  • James Grindrod
  • robert stephenson
  • Dr James Walsh
  • Terry Peers
  • Mike Lewis
  • James Patterson
  • Patricia Owen
  • Sarah Raleigh
  • James Bovington
  • alexandra tatton-brown
  • joe tatton-brown
  • Robert Toft
  • Susan McCormack
  • Bob Bunting
  • 60 people who did not want to give their names, 11 of whom have done the pledge

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