Ten Church of England bishops came out in favour of the Alternative Vote last week, to demonstrate that a change to the voting system is both ethically and morally right, giving more people a voice and making politicians more accountable.
The 10 Bishops are:
The Rt Rev Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans
The Rt Rev John Packer, Bishop of Ripon and Leeds
The Rt Rev Michael Langrish, Bishop of Exeter
The Rt Rev Martyn Jarrett, Bishop of Beverley
The Rt Rev Nigel Stock, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich
The Rt Rev Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham
The Rt Rev Michael Perham, Bishop of Gloucester.
The Rt Rev Colin Buchanan, former Bishop of Woolwich,
The Rt Rev Peter Dawes, former Bishop of Derby
The Rt Rev David Atkinson, former Bishop of Thetford
Bishop Langrish said: “Voting systems are not value free. I am supporting a change on the grounds of justice and accountability.
“AV will increase the likelihood that the general preference of a majority rather than a plurality will shape the choice of MPs, and so Parliament.
“It will also increase the accountability of MPs, particularly in ‘safe seats’ who will have to have a greater regard for electors, not of their own party.”
Bishop Wilson said: “As the power of party whips and managers has grown, it has become plainer that they are really the only people first-past-the-post really serves.
“It enables them to switch off in most constituencies and concentrate all their efforts on a minority.
“As boundaries are drawn and redrawn, all kinds of inter-party horse-trading places the lines. The system provides a nicely contoured career path for professional politicians.
“AV marks considerable progress from where we are now, as an evolutionary step that is entirely consistent with our traditions, and workable. Now is the time to move on.”