Sir: The saga of Ken Livingstone's thwarted attempts to stand as mayor of London clearly illustrates a fundamental point: elections are only one obvious element of a functioning democracy. The system by which parties select candidates is at least as important, since it determines how much of a meaningful choice the electorate is given.
The Labour leadership has accelerated a trend of removing selection powers from publicly accessible bodies and centralizing them within the private executive. This should be of grave concern to all those concerned about the quality of British democracy.
Seattle, Washington, USA