"New Chartist Movement" To Demand Democratic Reform
Minority party wins majority of seats - lack of democracy "intolerable".
London - 6 May 2005
"Britain needs a New Chartist Movement to challenge the unjust election system and results," said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
"Only just over a fifth of eligible electors voted Labour, but Labour won well over half the seats.
"I plan to canvass support for a nationwide campaign of Chartist-style people power protests to demand a genuinely democratic electoral and parliamentary system.
"How dare Tony Blair lecture President Mugabe about unfair elections, when our own election has produced such patently unfair and unrepresentative results.
"This is not democracy. It is a form of political corruption that echoes the rotten boroughs of nineteenth century England.
"The undemocratic electoral and parliamentary system has become intolerable and must be reformed.
"Labour cannot claim a genuine victory - let alone a mandate for its policies. It won only 36 percent of votes cast, which is the lowest ever share of the vote for a wining party.
"The first-past-the-post electoral system is rigged in favour of the two main parties. Millions are denied political representation. Their votes don't count.
"It cannot be right that a minority party like Labour can win a substantial majority of seats.
"With this result, Britain's voting system looks increasing like that of a tin-pot tyranny.
"The time has come for a New Chartist Movement to secure a democratic and representative parliamentary and electoral system.
"If the government will not grant us genuine democracy, people power and non-violent civil disobedience will be necessary.
"The methods of the Chartists and Suffragettes are ethically and politically justified," said Mr Tatchell.
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