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Electoral Reform Debate in Hebden Bridge

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Kate SweenyCraig WhittakerNader FekriSusan Press

Local politicians Cllr. Nader Fekri, Craig Whittaker MP, Cllr Susan Press and Kate Sweeny of the Green Party are to lead a public debate on the alternative vote referendum.

Hebden Bridge Town Hall, Friday 15 October, 7.30pm.

Organised by Upper Calder Valley Liberal Democrats, the debate will take place in the community-owned Town Hall at 7.30pm. The coalition partners will be arguing against one another as Nick Clegg's Lib Dems are strongly in favour of a yes vote, while David Cameron's Conservatives want to stick with the current system. Labour will be represented by Hebden Royd Town councillor, Susan Press and the Green Party by Kate Sweeny, 2010 parliamentary candidate.

Chris Sawer, chair of Upper Calder Valley Liberal Democrats, will chair the debate. He says: “It is great that all four parties will be taking part in the debate on this important issue. I'm sure it will be an interesting and lively evening, and a great opportunity for local people to find out more about the proposed electoral reform that will be voted on in the referendum.”

The alternative vote referendum, secured as part of the coalition government negotiations, will be held next May. The public will decide whether we should continue to elect MPs by the current “first past the post” system, or change to the alternative vote. The alternative vote system allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference rather than just marking one single cross. This is designed to reduce split votes and negative campaigning. Preferential votes of this kind are used in various countries throughout the world.

Local Lib Dem councillor Nader Fekri says: “This is the most exciting chance we have to change British politics in a generation. Voters are interested in Fairer Votes, harder working MPs, cleaning up politics, and MPs who have to listen to people.”


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