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16 August 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre. To commemorate the massacre, Make Votes Matter is launching a new report, co-authored with the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform.
From the Peterloo Massacre, through the Chartist and suffrage campaigns, to the rise of the Labour Party, working people have always understood that political equality is the only way to reshape society in their own interests.
Peterloo 200: The path to Proportional Representation draws on evidence from academics to make the case that the democratic inequality caused by First Past the Post has created in the UK one of the most unequal societies anywhere in the developed world. It is increasingly clear that Proportional Representation is not only more democratic, but it is essential for creating an equal society that can rise to the challenges of the 21st century.
The report includes an introduction by leading academics who study electoral systems: Arend Lijphart, Research Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego; Salomon Orellana, Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Michigan, Dearborn; and David Soskice, Professor of Political Science and Economics at the London School of Economics and Fellow of the British Academy.
The report also includes a foreword by Labour MPs Jonathan Reynolds and Rupa Huq, calling on the Labour Party to support Proportional Representation. The report was launched in Manchester on Sunday 18 August at an event following the Peterloo Bicentenary March for Democracy.