Building coalitions and working with other organisations
Working in coalition with fellow campaigners in the democracy sector is a key strategic aim for us. By teaming up with other organisations in the sector, we can bring different strengths and campaigning strategies ensuring that our impact is greater than the sum of our parts.
Some of the partnership work we have been involved in this year includes:
Working closely with Labour for a New Democracy on changing Labour’s policy on PR. We have been supporting the campaign, including holding joint events and stalls with the Politics for the Many campaign at party and trade union conferences. We have also been working with Labour for a New Democracy to get Labour support in Scotland, including chairing their excellent meeting at Scottish Labour spring party conference.
We have helped in the initiation of the new Democracy Network with ERS staff members taking roles as Chair of the steering group and on the reference group. The Democracy Network is a network for people and organisations working on issues of power and democracy across the UK and enables organisations to collaborate and connect to increase our campaign strength.
We teamed up with a range of organisations from the democracy sector and beyond who were campaigning on the Elections Bill to form the Democracy Defence Coalition. Organisations including Unlock Democracy, Fair Vote and Hands Off Our Vote joined together in raising concerns about the bill and lobbying for changes to the legislation.
We joined with Compass, Sortition Foundation, Unlock Democracy and Make Votes Matter at COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow for the Democratise to Decarbonise campaign.
In Wales we worked with Women’s Equality Network (WEN) Wales, Race Council Cymru and the Ethnic Minorities and Youth Support Team (EYST) Wales to establish the Diverse 50:50 campaign, which made the case for measures to increase diversity being a part of any deal to reform the Senedd. This campaign won Campaign of the Year at the Wales Online Diversity and Inclusion Awards.
We have also continued to run the Democracy Group Cymru, a coalition we established in light of the extension of the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds in Wales. This coalition now has over 60 organisational members, including big organisations like Welsh Government and the Electoral Commission, and key charities who work with under registered groups such as RNIB, Llamau and Diverse Cymru. We hold regular meetings and worked together to plan engagement activities around the local elections back in May, which included hustings and resources being sent out to young people.