Biden’s Inauguration Must Inspire Reform

20/01/2021 News

Fair Vote UK today again urged the UK Government to pursue immediate electoral reform as a new US President is sworn in amid insurrection and violence.

It has been exactly a year since we released our landmark report, Defending Democracy in the Digital Age, and yet there has been little progress in implementing its clear, evidence-based and urgent recommendations.

Today MPs warned that more accountability, more transparency and harsher repercussions are necessary to stave off a threat to UK democracy as was just witnessed in the United States, where shocking lies and violent anti-democratic protests have been amplified and organised on digital platforms.

Creating a secure digital environment for democracy has only become more of a top priority since this report was released one year ago today. The risks are multiplying, and the dire consequences of inaction are increasingly visible and damaging. The government’s failure to implement the comprehensive reforms outlined in this report is undermining the health of our democracy.”
↳ Stephen Kinnock MP, Chair of the APPG on Electoral Campaigning Transparency.

Based on testimony from academics, politicians, and representatives from businesses and civil society, the report highlighted aspects of the unregulated online world that pose grave risks, and proposed twenty significant reforms to create a digital environment conducive to a healthy democracy.

With the exception of a long overdue announcement from the Government to introduce digital imprints legislation, none of these have yet been implemented.

2020 showed us yet again the damage – from COVID-19 disinformation to anti-democratic conspiracy theories – that an unregulated digital sphere is reaping.

2021 must be the year we finally tackle this problem. Joe Biden’s inauguration can provide the impetus to tackle the digital rot at the heart of our democracy. Our report, published a year ago today, explains exactly what needs to be done.

Fair Vote UK, supported by The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, will continue to fight for the urgent reform we desperately need.