Letter: Electoral reform

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The Independent Online
Sir: If May's elections had been held under Alternative Vote, I would now be the Labour MP for Havant, but instead it is still David Willetts for the Conservative Party, with a much-reduced majority. Nevertheless I believe the Alternative Vote ("If Blair has a plan for electoral reform, he should let us know", 6 October) would simply entrench the worst features of first-past-the-post, dividing the country in most elections into a Labour North and a Tory South.

What the people need from electoral reform is access to Members of Parliament in their own constituency or region who they feel will actually represent them. Only a genuinely proportional electoral system can achieve this. And the Additional Member System, which Britain designed for Germany after the Second World War, is the only system with a chance of getting through the House of Commons after a "yes" result in the referendum. This is because it can combine proportionality through regional list "top-up" with the constituency link MPs are so attached to.

Alternative Vote should, however, be applied to the constituency section of the system. Perhaps that is what Tony Blair and Jack Straw are thinking of?

LYNNE ARMSTRONG

Women's Officer

Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform

Portsmouth, Hampshire

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