2015 the 800th Anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta

Guest blog post by John Volleamere, Co-ordinator of Merseyside and West Cheshire

2015 was the 800 th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta and in May we held a meeting on "What would a 21st Century Magna Carta look like?" Frances Foley, National Magna Carta Officer for Unlock Democracy, and Stephen Twigg - Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby and chair of the International Development Parliamentary Select Committee -spoke at the meeting. The meeting looked back at the history of the Magna Carta, the first challenge to a king's power from his subjects and forward to a new codified constitution for Britain. 800 years on, we discussed what can we learn from the story of the barons and King John, and examined how relevant is the Great Charter to modern democracy?

In November 2015 we held a meeting on the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Devolution Agreement between the Liverpool City Region, HM Treasury and the Department of Communities and Local Government. As a result, we have been monitoring the agreement as well as attending LCR Combined Authority Cabinet and Scrutiny Panel meetings in the public gallery. We have written press statements which can be read on this website

At the 2015 General Election, 37% of votes were cast for Conservative candidates.  Yet again, we have a government with a majority of MPs that has been elected by a minority of voters. Democracy has been defined as "government, of the people, for the people and by the people". Clearly, the current first past the post electoral system is not delivering democracy. If the system is not working, then it should be changed.

Some political parties have argued to retain First Past the Post purely to further their own interests even though this goes against the wishes of the majority.The reform of our electoral system would reduce the right left swings of governments and thus give a more stable government with consequent benefits to all sectors of society.