Model Resolution for Trade unions
[This union] notes that many trade unionists have traditionally supported First Past the Post, the voting system used for UK general elections since the 18th Century.
We believe that many of the arguments historically advanced in support of FPTP are no longer valid in a modern multi-party political system.
- FPTP has been said to deliver "strong" government. In fact it has delivered Conservative-led coalitions in two of the last three elections.
- FPTP is said to be simple. In fact FPTP is anything but simple for the millions of people who have to decide between voting for the party they support, and voting tactically for a party they do not support but may have a chance of winning a seat.
- FPTP has been said to provide a shortcut opportunity for the Labour Party to implement a radical programme on a minority of votes. In fact, in the UK FPTP delivers Conservative goverments about twice as often as Labour governments - and many of these Conservative governments would not have been returned to power under a proportional voting system.
We note further that the vast majority of democratic countries use proportional voting systems, and research shows that left-leaning governments with redistributive programmes are elected more often under proportional systems than under FPTP.
We note that the Labour Party has pledged to set up a constitutional convention to examine and bring forward democratic reform.
We support the establishment of this constitutional convention, and believe that it should include in its remit an investigation into alternative voting systems to FPTP.
We call upon the Labour Party to include a commitment to introducing a more proportional voting system in its next manifesto.