Plaid Cymru: ‘The political system is broken – and we need to reform it’

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The Westminster first-past-the-post electoral system is broken and urgently needs reform, according to Plaid Cymru.

Many voters are having to consider voting tactically in Thursday’s general election as a way of securing their preferred outcome, or avoiding the outcome they least desire.

Plaid Cymru has said that it is a “scandal” that the electoral system forces voters to vote for parties or candidates that aren’t their first choice in order to avoid someone else winning.

No British Government in modern times has been formed in which the largest party of government has won more than 50% of the popular vote.

Plaid Cymru’s Jonathan Edwards, who is standing for re-election as the MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, said:

“Ultimately, politics should be about our hope for what we want to happen, not what we don’t want to happen. It should be about voting for something, not against something.

“And yet, the way the UK’s political system works, Labour and the Tories get away with using the bankrupt FPTP system to polarise the election, and voters are forced to vote tactically in order to avoid a particular outcome. They have to hold their noses, and that is plainly wrong.

“Of course in Wales, our electoral system has an element of proportionality which means that people can vote for who they want to represent them, not who they don’t want. But in general elections to the British parliament, voters are effectively forced into a corner because there is absolutely no proportionality whatsoever. That is a complete scandal.

“As with so much else in Westminster, the electoral system is broken, unfit for purpose, and in need of urgent reform. Labour has thus far failed to do anything about this. They show their usual hypocrisy in calling for tactical voting, but failing to do anything to fix the system – and Plaid Cymru’s supporters will well remember Labour politicians rubbing their noses in it at 22:01 the day of the last snap election.

“If Labour wants to be taken seriously, it should commit before Thursday’s election to bringing in proportional representation if it wins power. While Mr Corbyn can’t bring himself to take a firm position on Brexit, I hope he can at least agree with Plaid Cymru and take a view on this.”

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