Zack Polanski writes in Left Foot Forward that ‘from mandatory ID to unjust changes to the voting system, the government is rolling back our rights’:
It’s almost three months since I was elected to serve on the London Assembly, yet in that same period of time the few freedoms we have left in our so-called democracy appear to be frittering away.
Voters could be left out in the cold by the Elections Bill, which will disenfranchise millions of people who don’t have a suitable form of photo ID to flash at a polling station clerk.
Not content with reducing our right to peaceful protest through the draconian policing bill, Home Secretary Priti Patel has also threatened to meddle with how mayors and police and crime commissioners are elected. She wants future elections to use First Past the Post (FPTP), which would leave communities governed by officials that most people simply didn’t vote for.
These attacks on our fragile democracy are only possible because of the way MPs are selected through First Past the Post (FPTP). This broken system, which is only used by a handful of countries around the world, afforded the current government a huge majority on a minority of the vote share.
At least with London Assembly elections voters are able to make their choice at the ballot box using a broadly proportional system, the Additional Members System. I was elected on a London-wide list to join my two other Green Party colleagues, Sian Berry and Caroline Russell, at City Hall. AMS ensures that the Assembly reflects the diverse values, beliefs and priorities of London’s multicultural population. But can people in constituencies across the UK make the same claim under FPTP? It’s hard to prop up that argument when the 2019 general election saw the Tories get 100 per cent of the power with less than 44 per cent of the vote share.