Letter: Listen to the Lords

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Sir: It is hard to know how the Liberal Democrat Party can retain that name after supporting the Government in the divisions, in both Houses, on the closed list voting system for Europe. It is about the most illiberal and undemocratic choice possible.

Never mind the euphemism "control freakery", Stalinism is the established term for selection processes to ensure that all candidates will toe the party line for fear of elimination if they express a dissident opinion, and we see it in all New Labour's election proposals.

As a campaigner for electoral reform of 20 years and more I do understand the party's dilemma - if they oppose it they will be lumbered with the present system for at least one more Euro-election which, of course, is exactly what the Tories seek to achieve. But that is no reason to betray the basic concepts of personal responsibility and democracy, on which their very existence is supposedly based.

It is disappointing to find we have no political party in England which will put principle before party advantage. No wonder we are all so disillusioned with the lot of them.


Ramsgate, Kent