Molly is marking the 100-year anniversary of women winning the right to vote by ‘fasting for democracy’. She joins many other MEPs, MPs and leading political figures to demand that 100 years on, it’s time for democracy to ‘take the next essential step and make every vote count’ by reforming our voting system.
“Women didn’t win the vote easily: they had to fight for it. I am honoured to fast for 24 hours to recall the extraordinary sacrifices brave women made 100 years ago but also as a way to spotlight the need to reform our electoral system so that every vote counts – for both women and men.
“We need to take the next essential step to improve our democracy by introducing proportional representation so that the way we vote is reflected in the way power is shared in the House of Commons.
“The South West is dominated by Conservative politicians. In Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire there are only Conservative MPs, although only around half the people who live there vote Conservative. I have voted Green all my adult life but have never had anybody to represent me at Westminster. In 2015 despite a million votes for the Green Party we still had only one seat. The Greens, Lib Dems and UKIP between them got over 24% of the vote but won just 1.5% of the seats.
“I think people are all too aware that our democracy is failing us. The gap between politicians and the people they represent seems to have grown ever wider. A fair voting system will help revitalise our democracy and make sure that MPs really represent the people who vote for them.
“The fairer voting systems used in most other European countries mean people can vote for the party they believe in, not just the candidate who can win. I was elected under a system of proportional representation and witness daily in the European Parliament how such a system encourages politicians from a wide range of parties to work together, seeking compromise to achieve the best outcomes for everybody.”
“We need to honour the struggle of the suffragettes by continuing our own struggle to make all votes count.”
This video provides a fuller explanation of why Molly is joining the #Hungry4Democracy initiative.