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Medway hunger strikers among those calling for new voting system

By Chris Hunter

Medway hunger strikers will be among those gathering outside Parliament to back a campaign to overhaul the general election voting system.

Protesters will meet in Parliament Square tomorrow - 100 years to the day after women were allowed to vote for the first time - to back the Make Votes Matter campaign for Proportional Representation.

The hunger strike will last from 8pm on Monday night to 8pm on Tuesday February 6, and among those backing the campaign will be High Halstow resident Marilyn Stone and Stuart Jeffery , co chair of Kent Green party.

Green Party member Stuart Jeffrey
Green Party member Stuart Jeffrey

"While almost all adults can now vote, our current voting system means that 68% of us still do not have a vote that counts," he said. “The First Past The Post system gives us a huge democratic deficit where the will of the people is not reflected in the makeup of Parliament. Most western countries have ditched this system and it is time that the UK did so too.

“I will be joining hunger strikers in Parliament Square to send a clear message to Parliament that we will not allow this to continue. We cannot accept a system that sees governments elected by a small number of voters and that excludes people from being represented by a party of their choosing.”

Mrs Stone added: "I am 64 years of age and have voted whenever given the opportunity. I am aware that on the vast majority of occasions my vote has not resulted in my having a voice in parliament.

Marilyn Stone will be among hunger strikers backing the Make Votes Matter campaign for Proportional Representation
Marilyn Stone will be among hunger strikers backing the Make Votes Matter campaign for Proportional Representation

"The struggle for women’s equality is not yet fully realised. A particular issue for me currently is that as a 1950’s born women I expected to receive my pension at aged 60 and now will not receive it until I am 65. We did not receive personal and adequate notification of these change and consequently have been unable to make full arrangement to mitigate the changes.

"Women born in the 1950s have been treated unfairly by successive governments. I feel obligated to campaign to ensure that future generations of men and women are treated fairly."

Mrs Stone, a supporter of the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) campaign, will also be giving out leaflets outside Rochester Train station, and plans to dress up as a suffragette to honour the spirit of the day.

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