Friday 3 November 2017, 7.30PM9pm
Speaker(s): Darren Hughes, CEO, the Electoral Reform Society
The Electoral Reform Society is the UK’s leading voice for democratic reform. Working with everyone – from political parties, civil society groups and academics to the wider public - the society campaigns for lasting political reform to ensure 'every voice is heard, every vote is valued equally, and every citizen is empowered to take part'.
First known as the Proportional Representation Society, the Society was established in 1884 by the Victorian naturalist and archaeologist Sir John Lubbock, who brought together founding members drawn from academia, the legal profession and Parliament - with 180 MPs drawn in equal numbers from the Liberal and Conservative parties.
It was one of the Society's early members Thomas Hare who invented the Single Transferable Vote system which was subsequently exported around the British Empire - becoming known as 'British Proportional Representation'. This system remains in use across the Commonwealth and in all assembly, European and local government elections in Northern Ireland, and thanks to a campaign from The ERS, local elections in Scotland.
Currently, the Society campaigns to introduce Proportional Representation; an elected House of Lords; votes at sixteen; and more accountable local democracy.
Originally from New Zealand, Darren Hughes is the Society's Chief Executive. Before joining the Society in 2012 he was elected to the House of Representatives in 2002, aged just twenty-four, sitting across three parliaments. During that time Darren served as a government minister, taking on portfolio responsibilities such as social development; employment; and education; later becoming Deputy Leader of the House.
New Zealand has had proportional representation for around twenty years and Darren is a firm believer that the UK should follow suit and create a system where seats equal votes, in order to represent people more fairly and foster a culture of political positivity and inclusivity.
In his address, Darren will not only argue that Proportional Representation will benefit the UK as a whole, but contrary to predominant internal and external opinions, the electoral fortunes of the Conservative Party.
Location: Room AEW/104, Alcuin College
Admission: is by free ticket only. Please book below.