Caroline Lucas is backing a new campaign by Digital Democracy to modernise Parliament by
introducing a system of electronic voting for MPs.

The MP for Brighton Pavilion, who called for a more efficient, cost-effective and user-friendly
Parliament in her ‘The Case for Parliamentary Reform‘ report in
November, supports the organisation’s proposal for secure electronic voting to
replace the current process.

Caroline said: "I
welcome this campaign from Digital Democracy, which recognises that the voting
system in the UK Parliament is outdated and inefficient.

"If we
are to help more people to engage with the work of their elected
representatives in Parliament, we need to shake off the image of the "old
boys’ club" and drag Westminster into the 21st century.

"An
electronic voting system, for example, would make far better use of MPs’ time;
just queuing up to vote accounts for around £30,000 a week in MPs’ salary
costs.

"In the
last Parliament there were over 1200 votes. Since it takes about 15 minutes per
vote, that means an MP with an 85 per cent voting record would have spent over
250 hours queuing to vote during the course of that Parliament – a huge waste
of time and money."

Addressing
concerns that electronic voting would reduce the amount of time which MPs have
to meet with Ministers during the voting process, Caroline said:

"The
important benefits of backbenchers meeting Members of the Government in the
voting lobbies does not have to be lost if an e-voting system were adopted.

"My
suggestion is that MPs would still have to go to the Chamber, but they would do
this at a specified time and vote on a number of amendments in sequence with a
handheld electronic device, instead of trooping through the Lobbies for every
single amendment.

"Making
the process of casting votes less time-consuming would make it possible for MPs
to vote on more aspects of a Bill. This means the public would have a clearer
record upon which to hold MPs to account.

 

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Notes:

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2. Read the report on Caroline’s website: