Big 'hung parliament' voter initiative to push parties for real change

By staff writers
14 Apr 2010

As the latest Populus and ComRes opinion polls indicate a narrowing election lead for the Tories, campaigners for political reform are launching a bold "Hang 'Em - until they change" initiative.

The ground-up e-politics venture, officially launched tomorrow, "can play a genuine role in shaping the outcome on 6 May and beyond", say its initiators - both individuals and organisations.

The Hang 'Em website (http://hang-em.com/) went live this morning - 14 April 2010 - with more details and key supporters due to be revealed later tonight and tomorrow.

"The idea is simple," say the organisations behind the campaign - which include openDemocracy, the thinktank Ekklesia, Charter 2010 and Progressive Parliament. "Hang ‘Em is a way to join together across the country to vote for candidates who will hang parliament. We have got to renew democracy in Britain. They won‘t, so hang ‘em until they do."

A hung parliament is one in which no political party has an outright majority of seats. It is now being touted by many pundits and politicians as a highly likely outcome for 6 May - and voting for candidates whose victory makes it more likely could "tip the scales of change" say Hang 'Em advocates.

Political reformers say that a hung parliament is not just a distinct possibility for 6 May, but could provide a crucial lever to push the big parties for real change in the voting system, parliamentary arrangements and constitutional reform.

By voting to try to get a hung parliament, the public will be sending a clear "fix politics for good" message, say the groups involved in Hang 'Em.

So far the Conservatives have resisted deep political reform, Labour have made promises which many believe they will ditch - as they did last time - if they get a majority, and the Liberal Democrats and other smaller parties who want change will have little leverage under another majority administration.

The new website enables people to find their Hang'Em candidate by constituency, place name or postcode. It also encourages them to register support and spread the word - with Twitter and a Facebook group giving the initiative a strong starting surge.

Politicians as diverse as ex-Labour cabinet minister Clare Short, ex-Tory minister Michael Portillo and Scottish First Secretary and SNP leader Alex Salmond have either been backing or predicting a hung parliament recently.

The New Statesman, the Mail on Sunday and the Guardian newspapers are all promoting a hung parliament debate.

Hang 'Em website: http://hang-em.com/
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hang-em/109329709098600
Twitter: www.twitter.com/hang_em

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