Proportional Representation - It’s Now or Never

by Make Votes Matter in Bristol, Bristol City, United Kingdom

We did it
On 11th January 2022 we successfully raised £73,013 with 2682 supporters in 55 days

Despite Boris Johnson’s best efforts, we’ve never been this close to winning PR. This festive season let’s power equal votes over the line!

by Make Votes Matter in Bristol, Bristol City, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Woah! Thank you everyone! We've not only hit our target, we've smashed it!

Together we have raised over £70,000 for Make Votes Matter's cross-party campaign to win Proportional Representation for the UK!

This crowdfunder is now closed, but if you want to donate, just go to our website on makevotesmatter.org.uk/donate


PR - It's now or never!

Make Votes Matter is the cross-party campaign for PR and we’ve made leaps and bounds towards our goal over the last few years.

Back in September, at the Labour Party conference, we learnt once and for all that the party’s membership not only overwhelmingly supports Proportional Representation, but views it as a top policy priority.

The final vote didn’t go our way due to the votes of the affiliated organisations. But with our allies in Labour for a New Democracy, we succeeded in winning the argument, the moral victory, and put the movement on a strong footing.

As you may know, motions on PR were submitted by a record 153 Constituency Labour Parties, was voted members’ second highest priority of 50 subjects, and was supported in the final vote by 80% of membership delegates. Four smaller unions voted with us and Unison (among the biggest) abstained.

Then (and here’s the exciting bit), a few weeks later Unite, one of the country's leading unions, voted to oppose First Past the Post for Westminster elections!

Whisper it: we’re winning

But…

We’re not there yet.

Thanks to the generosity of those who backed our last Crowdfunder the Make Votes Matter team wasted no time in scaling up our campaign once again.

This year we have:

  • Held several large, national, direct action days with significant cut-through
  • Massively expanded our speaker programme (50+ events this year - not to mention dozens of expert speakers sent to lead discussions in CLPs!)
  • Increased the number of local groups, including new start-ups in Yorkshire, Lancashire and the East Midlands among others

And we have:

  • Further expanded our awesome cross-party Alliance
  • Produced and directed a powerful Equal Votes video with our Allies
  • Co-ordinated constituent messages to over 400 MPs, all calling for PR
  • Added new members to our team in key roles
  • Increased our media impact and visibility around the country

But, crucially, we haven’t yet:

  • Secured PR for Westminster elections

This is why we’re asking for your support. Please think what winning real democracy is worth to you, and give what you can to our crowdfunder. Your generous donation - of any size - will play an important part in achieving our shared goal of equal votes.


Or, if you still need convincing…

Did you know that if you live in England or Wales, then Boris Johnson and Minister for Levelling Up Communities Kemi Badenoch have been working quietly behind the scenes to force MORE First Past the Post on you?

They’re trying to change the law so that you’ll have to use First Past the Post whenever you vote for mayors or Police and Crime Commissioners.

This law - part of the Elections Bill - is going through Westminster right now. We’ve pushed back against this since Priti Patel first proposed it.

In an attempt to avoid scrutiny, the Government even slipped in this change after the parliamentary committee had already taken evidence from experts - and then refused to allow extra evidence sessions to examine their new change!

People need to know that this is happening.

Make Votes Matter volunteers across the UK are ready to make sure that people know what the Government is doing. But they need leaflets to do this effectively.

£10 could print 950 leaflets. Can you chip in to print leaflets and fund other powerful campaigning?

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Rejected by the public. And about to get complete oversight of your city, your town, or your police?

At the moment, if you and your fellow voters aren’t happy with the performance of a mayor or a Police and Crime Commissioner, you can replace them at the next election with someone who a majority of you prefer. It’s not a perfect system, but most of the time it works.

If Boris Johnson gets his way, that’s going to change.

Under First Past the Post, we could clearly vote to reject a mayor or Police and Crime Commissioner, but they might take office anyway, just because the opposition was split among multiple candidates.

First Past the Post takes away our ability to remove those in power if we no longer want them. Just look at the last general election. 14 million of us voted for the Government, and 18 million of us voted against.

If we had a voting system that actually allowed us to kick out governments that we no longer wanted, then any party that lost the popular vote by four million votes would need to learn to work together with others, or step aside.

But in real life First Past the Post means that some voters count for more than others. The 14 million who voted for the Government are inflated in value, so that the Government was awarded a giant majority of seats in Parliament and 100% of the power.

Lots of people don’t know this. £20 could pay for a digital ad that would be seen 4,000 times. Can you donate now to show voters all across the UK the truth about First Past the Post?

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Here is a complete list of every single country in Europe that uses First Past the Post to elect its parliament:

  • Belarus (a brutal dictatorship)
  • The United Kingdom

That’s not great company.

Our campaign to scrap First Past the Post needs a professional Zoom account that can host large meetings, but it costs £60 per month. Can you ensure that our movement is able to meet and organise online next month?

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There are two powerful people watching you

Success isn’t just about stopping these plans. It’s about how strongly we protest against them. This is because, whether or not this Bill passes, there are two powerful people who will take notice of how loud you are on this issue.

There’s Boris Johnson, Prime Minister. He might like to imagine that First Past the Post is popular. He’s wrong. But without clear public demand for a good voting system, nothing will change.

And then there’s Keir Starmer, Leader of the Opposition. He’s said warm words about electoral reform in the past. But that was before he became leader of his party. Since then he’s mainly been silent on the issue.

As the Government moves their Elections Bill through Parliament, Starmer will be watching and judging whether he thinks the public cares about this.

If there is no outcry, will he conclude that the public don’t care?

We need to make noise where the politicians can see and hear us - Parliament Square. And we need to organise rallies around the country in support.

But organising these protests won’t be free. They could cost anything from £50 to £500 depending on size and location. Can you chip in to fund one demonstration?

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Most of us want more compassionate and collaborative politics

But First Past the Post creates combative, polarised politics. First Past the Post is designed to make politicians think that you can only ever be with me or against me.

It’s an imperial system, designed for a Parliament where the two largest parties sit two swords’ length apart. Do you think that expanding this system to mayoral elections is going to help bring us together or drive us further apart?

Democrats from the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems, SNP, Greens, Reform UK, Plaid Cymru and many other parties have been speaking up and calling for electoral reform.

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Every autumn, political parties hold their annual conferences. It’s a golden opportunity to engage with elected representatives and grassroots party activists.

This year, Make Votes Matter didn’t have the resources to attend them all.

A presence at a party conference can cost us anywhere between £150 and £8,000. Could you donate to make sure that public support for equal votes can be heard loud and clear by members of all parties?


Let’s end unequal votes

First Past the Post would be a disaster for mayoral elections. It already is a disaster in general elections.

Make Votes Matter works night and day to make the simple demand of millions of us clear - let’s make all votes matter equally. Proportional Representation for UK elections!

If you donate to this crowdfunder, your generous gift will be put to work in many ways. You’ll print leaflets, buy digital ads, and help fund protests around the country. You’ll cover Zoom subscriptions, party conference fees, and do so much more - including paying hardworking staff a living wage.

Donations to this crowdfunder will be spent on all strands of Make Votes Matter’s campaign to oppose First Past the Post and win Proportional Representation for the UK.

Together, we can deliver a clear message to Boris Johnson and Kemi Badenoch:

Don’t level down our democracy. Let’s level UP instead.


Be part of the campaign that will end unequal votes - chip in today!

Update: Doubled donations complete!

We can now confirm that the entire matching pledge has been met. This means that no further donations will be doubled.

Thank you so much to everyone who donated between 8 and 15 December.

A generous group of MVM supporters offered to match up to £13,823 in your donations.

You’ve been amazing – you’ve raised that much in barely a week! And the crowdfunder isn’t over yet – let’s keep going and help end unequal votes!

Promoted by Make Votes Matter, 33 Corsham St, London N1 6DR. Make Votes Matter is a non-party campaigner registered with the Electoral Commission. If you would like to donate more than £500, you must be registered to vote in the UK. If you donate over £7,500, the Electoral Commission may publish your name (but not your address) and the amount that you donated.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£50 or more

New! Green or purple T-shirts

MVM campaigns in purple, white, and green - the colours of democracy campaigners through the centuries. For years we’ve printed white T-shirts with the MVM logo. Now it’s time for green and purple ones too! Donate to be among the first to wear one, in your choice of green or purple.

£7 or more

Donate the cost of your pints or cinema tickets!

Cheers! This reward comes with a warm feeling inside. Every penny will be put hard to work on winning real democracy for the UK.

£12 or more

A big MVM sticker

Want to tell the world that you support equal votes? Add this large MVM sticker to your car, your bike, your window, or anywhere that will spark up a conversation!

£17 or more

The MVM metallic badge

These eye-catching badges are strong and stable - everything First Past the Post is not!

£22 or more

MVM tote bag

An organic cotton tote bag, to help you carry both your belongings and your passion for equal votes.

£28 or more

Travel coffee cup

Our portable mugs are emblazoned with the disproportionate results of the last general election. Lots of wasted votes, but no wasted single-use plastics!

£33 or more

MVM face covering

Want to spread the word without even opening your mouth? Wear one of our reusable face coverings and together we’ll help protect each other from coronavirus - and build back better with real democracy. Please note that these are for general public use in crowded settings, not medical-grade PPE.

£75 or more

MVM Umbrella

Britain being rainy is about as safe a bet as voters in safe seats being ignored. Protect against both with our new branded umbrellas!

£100 or more

Both a green and a purple T-shirt!

Can’t decide which of our stylish new T-shirt colours to get? Why not get both!

£250 or more

The 2021 goodie bag

Want a MVM sticker, metallic badge, tote bag, travel coffee cup, face covering, umbrella, and two T-shirts? And to make a big difference in the campaign for equal votes? Get your hands on this year’s bumper goodie bag!

£500 or more

A special invitation

Here’s your special invitation to join the MVM team for a chat over coffee, lunch, or dinner. We can meet in Westminster or agree somewhere else in the UK that suits you! We’ll include a goodie bag - and give it to you in person!

£765 or more

Sponsor a day

All right, if you want to make a giant impact, this one’s for you. Choose a date in 2022 that means something to you, and a donation of this size will sponsor the entire nationwide Make Votes Matter campaign for that day! We’ll give you a special briefing on all the campaigning and progress that you made possible on your day, along with an exclusive meeting with the staff team. Oh, and we’ll throw in a goodie bag too if you’d like one!

Got an idea like this?

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