Open Letter to Ben Howlett MP - Support the Representation of the People Bill

Dear Ben,

As you know, all elections face the problem of young people being disengaged from the political process. It is in the interests of all parties for younger voters to fully participate in our democratic system.

One problem is that the young are disenfranchised. One clear reason why the Scottish referendum had such a high level of engagement was the inclusion of 16 and 17 year olds. These people are old enough to work full time, marry and have children - isn’t it only fair that they have a say in how their taxes are spent and their children are cared for?

It is also clear that many people don’t vote because they consider that their choice won’t make a difference to the result. This is understandable when a majority government can be elected by just 24% percent of eligible voters. The case for using a form of proportional representation in general elections is very strong, and indeed we already use it in other elections. It is time to bring the election of our MPs in line.

I realise that you have personally benefited from the current system, but I would ask you to consider the future of our democracy, and falling engagement with it, and place tackling this above any party political interests. We all benefit if the public are more engaged with politics.

You have a chance to change all of this for the better. As your constituent and as someone I ask you to please consider supporting the Representation of the People (Proportional Representation and Reduction of Voting Age) Bill on Wednesday.

Best wishes,

Dominic Tristram