Letter: A yes vote for electoral reform

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The Independent Online
Sir: In splendid style, Andrew Marr ('A degree of unfairness is good for democracy', 1 April) ridicules the political parties for backing the electoral system that serves them best. But Mr Marr appears blind to the democratic principle which follows: The method by which politicians are elected should be decided by the electors and not the politicians. It is by their loyalty to this unarguable principle that true electoral reformers can be distinguished from false.

New Zealand has shown the way. Last September the electors were asked two questions in a referendum: whether they wished to change the first-past-the-post system, and which alternative system they preferred.

Electoral reformers have a choice. They can campaign against each other for the system they prefer, pointing out the defects of the

others' systems. This will delight the Tory party and ensure the continuance of first-past-the-post. Or they can join forces in attacking first-past-the-post and demanding a referendum.

When a referendum has been conceded - and not before - they can campaign for their preferred system without helping their common enemy.

Yours faithfully,

CHRISTOPHER MAYHEW

House of Lords

London, SW1

1 April

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