Letter: Turkeys against PR

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The Independent Culture
Sir: It is not surprising that many Labour and Tory politicians are opposed to proportional representation (Lord Parkinson, Right of Reply, 26 August). Any form of PR would see a substantial reduction in the number of seats occupied by Tories and New Labour (or whatever they might be calling themselves during election week). We have yet to see turkeys voting for Christmas.

If democracy means anything it means that each person's vote counts equally. Whether or not that produces results which conflict with simplistic and authoritarian views about "strong government" is irrelevant, but such views should remind us that most professional politicians regard their job as to tell us what is good for us rather than represent the electorate's balance of views. The current electoral system works against the formation of the new political parties that are needed. That means more and more people feel marginalised and ignored and will eventually result in the electoral apathy we see in the US.

And, who knows, with a freer system we might see more honest parties? Instead of the wolves having to adopt the clothing of existing parties with which they disagree, they could come out. We would then, perhaps, have two honest parties - Labour and New Labour - among others, and know that there was a slight chance that their stances before an election would bear a reasonable relationship to those afterwards.


Sudbury, Suffolk