“Most notoriously, it discriminates viciously against minor parties with modest but nationwide support. So, in May’s election, the 5 million votes for UKIP and the Greens earned them one MP each, while the Scottish Nationalists’ 1.5 million got them 56 . . .
“Jeremy Corbyn has been largely responsible in three months for increasing Labour’s membership by more than Blair managed in three heyday years, quite apart from his 100,000+ Corbynite ‘registered supporters’ “.
Chris Game adds: “Win or lose, Corbyn and his team need to mount a voter registration drive’ – and this 2013 fable recounts the process:
Ben had offered to help a Green Party friend to deliver leaflets and, arriving at a block of flats, listened to her speaking into the intercoms to gain entrance to these buildings, secured against unauthorised entrants. Many were not at home, but the elderly readily – and rather unwisely – pressed the button to give her access.
The Green Party canvasser explained to him that many people living there and on the council estate were not registered to vote, some through apathy, some though incorrectly filling in their form and some because of the fear of being tracked down by creditors, social services or the police.
Later his websearch found in an Electoral Commission report: that the April 2011 parliamentary registers revealed 6 million – 17.7% of the eligible electorate – were not registered at this time.
As Russell Brand said: “Apathy is a rational reaction to a system that no longer represents, hears or addresses the vast majority of people. A system that is apathetic, in fact, to the needs of the people it was designed to serve”.
Ben and his friends set out stalls in front of the flats and on the many sprawling council estates in the city.
Attracting attention by judicious use of megaphones, those less articulate than Ben borrowed or adapted Brand’s words with a significant difference – they URGED the unregistered to act and vote to change their lives.
They agreed with Brand that the two mainstream parties were viewed with indifference and weariness by a continually ignored, exploited, underserved underclass in a society where, as Brand said, “welfare is slashed while Cameron and Osborne go to court to continue the right of bankers receiving bonuses”.
The enlarged and invigorated 2020 electorate swept away the two main parties and a coalition of smaller parties built systems that served people and planet.