Extinction Rebellion protester: ‘We have an unfair voting system’

Friday, October 11, 2019

An Extinction Rebellion activist has called for a different voting system in general elections to improve green representation in politics.

Zack Polanski told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer that the organisation is “not being heard by democracy” because the UK has an “unfair voting system”.

“We’ve not had an unfair voting system for generations and certainly in our lifetime.

“That means, in that context, people think that the Green Party is a wasted vote.

“I think at European elections we’re now proving under a proportional representation system you can have green representation,” he said.

General elections use the first past the post system where the candidate with the most votes in a constituency gains a seat in Parliament and the party with the majority of seats in Parliament forms a government.

Proportional representation, used in European Parliament elections, means that a party’s seats are allocated depending on their proportion of the number of votes cast.

Extinction Rebellion has caused major disruption by blocking roads and bridges around Westminster and descending on London City airport.

Police have made more than 1,100 arrests over the first week – equalling the total amount made over the two-week demonstrations in April.

Asked whether the climate campaign group’s tactics could be putting people off the cause, Mr Polanski said it was a “massive risk”.

“It probably is putting some people off but I think that’s why it’s important I come on shows like talkRADIO where your listeners, on average, might not entirely agree with our tactics and make that I’m presenting a reasonable case."

He continued: “So if I’m presenting a reasonable case; we are facing an existential crisis and if we have to inconvenience some people to do that, including ourselves, that is something we have to apologise for and that’s something that also we have to do.”

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