Electoral reform supporters gather at famous Wigan site

Electoral reform supporters gathered to campaign at a famous site near Wigan.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 1:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 1:02 pm
Campaigners gathered at the Parbold Bottle

West Lancs Make Votes Matter members came together at the Parbold Bottle, which is a symbol of the path to democracy, after being built to commemorate the 1932 Great Reform Act.

The campaigners are part of a national group from across the entire political spectrum who want to see proportional representation introduced for UK elections.

Ken Lamden, from West Lancs Make Votes Matter, said: “It’s awesome to think that we are continuing the tradition, going back nearly 200 years, of democratic campaigning in West Lancashire.

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The campaigners want to see a new voting system introduced

“Unlike in 1832, everyone who is 18 has a vote nowadays, but our first past the post system, which hails back to those times, is far from perfect. We want a proportional voting system where seats match votes and all votes count equally, with no such thing as a wasted vote.

“A proportional voting system would do away with the lottery of tactical voting and remove the unfair influence of marginal seats.”

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They chose to meet at the Parbold Bottle due to its historical significance.

Originally the monument, which was previously named Parbold Beacon, stood on higher ground, but the decision was made in the 1950s to rebuild it in its current location beyond the quarry perimeter.

Group member and West Lancs resident Mel Tarplee said: “We are proud to recognise the struggle of our forebears in West Lancashire. It’s hard to imagine how hard people had to fight 200 years ago for the right to vote.

“We are continuing their tradition of campaigning for democratic power to be fairly distributed in this county. Irrespective of party, 25% of the poll should mean 25% of the seats in the Parliament.”

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