Press Release

15 April 2011

Canterbury Christ Church University's 'Making Politics Matter' campaign is hosting an exclusive event ahead of the national referendum on the voting system to elect MPs to the House of Commons.

To help people make-up their mind before the historic vote on May 5, the University’s Politics and International Relations Department are hosting a debate that will aim to answer the important questions of just how democratic our political system is; which is the most democratic voting system between the ‘alternative vote’ (AV) or ‘first past the post’; and are there any alternatives, other than the two being offered by the referendum?

Dr David Bates, Director of Politics and International Relations at the Christ Church University, said: “The debate concerning electoral reform is perhaps the constitutional issue of our time. Yet the discussion concerning the alternatives proposed does not seem to have been so active. We are delighted, in a modest way to redress this through our Making Politics Matter campaign.

“This is a great opportunity to promote public debate on this key political issue, which goes to the heart of our representative democracy.”

The debate takes place on Wednesday, 27 April, 6.30pm, and will be chaired by Dr Mark Bennister, Lecturer in the Politics and International Relations Department at Christ Church.

Speaking against electoral reform and ‘No’ to AV is Daniel Hamilton, who grew up in east Kent and attended Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys. He is now Director of the civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch. Proposing electoral reform will be John Ault, North West Director of the ‘Yes to Fairer Votes’ campaign.

The debate is open to all and will be held in Old Sessions House, Canterbury Christ Church University, North Holmes Campus, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 1QU.

For further information, email:, or go to .


Notes to Editor

  • John Ault is North West Director of ‘Yes to Fairer Votes’. He has worked for the Liberal Democrats for 9 years, has a great deal of experience in fighting and winning elections. Having been agent in South East Cornwall in 1997, winning with a 12% swing, he went on to be Campaigns Officer for the North West, and then Campaigns Manager for the Welsh Assembly elections in 2003. He was co-author of The Liberal Democrat Campaign Manual, and was Director of Simon Hughes MP's successful Presidential campaign.
  • Daniel Hamilton is Director of the civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch.  He was previously the Head of European Insight at the leading opinion polling and political research firm ComRes, where he specialised in elections across the world.  He has worked in both the House of Commons and European Parliament and is a regular commentator on foreign affairs issues, particularly focussing on foreign conflict zones and the politics of Kosovo and Brazil. A graduate in Politics and International Relations from Royal Holloway University of London, he attended the Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys in Canterbury.

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 18,000 students, and five campuses across Kent, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional expertise.

  • In 2010 the Faculty of Education received top grades in its Ofsted report for primary, secondary and post-compulsory programmes, together with its employment-based routes into teaching. The University’s primary provision has the unique record of having been awarded the highest Ofsted grades in all inspections since 1996.
  • Over 90 per cent of our graduates gain employment or are in further study in the first six months after graduating.
  • Along with over a thousand undergraduate, postgraduate and professional training courses on offer, we are also home to world-leading and internationally recognised research in Education, History, Music and Sports Related Studies.
  • Canterbury Christ Church University was founded in 1962 by the Church of England as a teacher training college.






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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:14:00