North Yorks electoral reform campaigners endorse three parliamentary candidates

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Cross-party campaign group Compass York and North Yorkshire aims to help three PR-supporting progressives get elected this July

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Campaigners have formally lent their support to three parliamentary candidates from different parties as part of a campaign to elect progressives committed to democratic renewal.

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Crucial to these endorsements is that all the candidates are advocates for proportional representation (PR), a voting system where Parliament reflects how we vote because everyone’s vote counts equally, making political representation fairer.

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Compass York and North Yorkshire, a local group affiliated to the national cross-party campaign group Compass, have endorsed Tom Gordon, Liberal Democrat in Harrogate and Knaresborough, Luke Charters, Labour in York Outer and Arnold Warneken, Green Party in the new seat of Wetherby and Easingwold.

The group's action is based on their close analysis of all three seats, which shows that these PR-supporting candidates could win with the help of cross-party understandings, strategic campaigning and coordinated tactical voting.

Other Compass local groups are looking to secure similar endorsements across the country.

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Through its election-focused campaign, Win As One, Compass aims to facilitate collaboration between Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens in key seats to help PR-supporting MPs win power in order to change the voting system, allowing more diverse voices to be heard and making progressive policy outcomes more likely.

Compass believes that electoral reform is necessary to revitalise our democracy - starting with replacing our First Past The Post (FPTP) voting system with PR.

FPTP stifles productive debate and cross-party sharing of ideas, experiences and expertise. It promotes toxic tribalism and short-termism, and blocks engagement with the bold and transformative evidence-based solutions that our age of permacrisis demands.

That’s why Compass York and North Yorkshires urges voters in Harrogate and Knaresborough to lend their votes to Tom Gordon, Liberal Democrat; in York Outer to Luke Charters, Labour and in Wetherby and Easingwold to Arnold Warneken, Green.

What Tom Gordon, Liberal Democrat, says about PR:

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"I fully support the introduction of a proportional voting system for House of Commons elections. The current First Past the Post system often does not reflect the diverse political views of our electorate and hinders the representation of progressive voices. I am proud that the Liberal Democrats have long advocated for Proportional Representation, and I am personally committed to this essential democratic reform. A proportional system would not only ensure fairer representation but also foster the pluralist politics and progressive policy outcomes we all strive for. Together, we can set the stage for transformational change in UK politics."

What Luke Charters, Labour, says about PR:

“I am personally in favour of Proportional Representation in the House of Commons. However, I also believe that because of the mess the Conservative Government has created, we would need to carefully consider what our legislative priorities are in the event that we are privileged enough to win the General Election”.

What Arnold Warneken, Green Party, says about PR:

“I am fully committed to supporting a change to Proportional Representation at all levels of government. Our antiquated First Past The Post system repeatedly rewards the two major parties at the expense of the smaller parties. This has severely reduced numbers of Green Party elected representatives despite popular support, particularly at General Elections. Westminster cannot fix all the social and environmental issues plaguing our society until we adopt a fairer, democratic voting system which makes everyone's votes count.”

To further this campaign Compass York and North Yorkshire are inviting pro-PR progressives to a special Compass York and North Yorkshire General Election ‘Barnstorm’ on Saturday 15th June, at Friends Meeting House, Harrogate, 12a Queen Parade, HG1 5PP 2 – 4pm.

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This will be a fun, engaging, and different kind of political event: part rally, part workshop, and part networking, where people can meet the Compass National Team as well as the Local Group and find out how to support the election of Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green progressive candidates in these three key constituencies.

Over the days and weeks following the ‘Barnstorm’, right up to polling day, Compass York and North Yorkshire will be taking its message of cooperation and pluralism to the streets of Harrogate and Knaresborough, Wetherby and Easingwold, and York Outer.

If you want to be part of this historic election and support the campaigns of cross-party progressives committed to PR, sign up here.

Celine Barry a spokesperson for Compass York and North Yorkshire said:

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“On July 4th, the people of Harrogate and Knaresborough, York Outer and Wetherby and Easingwold have an opportunity to prove that progressive politics built on co-operation, collaboration, pluralism and respect can deliver progressive gains.

“If we can elect these three new MPs in York and North Yorkshire we will have taken an important step towards ultimately changing the dysfunctional First Past The Post system because they all support PR as the necessary foundation of wider democratic reform.

“However, this will only happen if we can all come together and unite behind the best-placed progressive candidates in these constituencies.”

Christine Gledhill another spokesperson from Compass York and North Yorkshire, said:

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“With progressive MPs representing Harrogate and Knaresborough, York Outer, and Wetherby and Easingwold, we can begin to build towards a new democratic politics where tactical voting is no longer necessary, where every vote carries equal value, and where the whole electorate’s needs, not just those of a few swing voters in marginal seats, finally come first.”