Letter: The vote in Italy

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The Independent Online
Sir: The two crucial weaknesses of the Italian voting system since 1945 have been the excessive power that it gave to the party machines and the proliferation of small parties (leading article, 9 August). The merit of the single transferable vote that has been consistently advocated by the Electoral Reform Society since its inception is that it overcomes both these abuses.

The single transferable vote puts power where it rightly belongs - in the hands of the ordinary voter and not the party gerrymander. Every member of parliament is accountable to the voters who elected him.

And by virtue of the quota - the number of votes a candidate needs to be elected - the very small parties and fringe groups are not successful.

As for the new system, you head your article 'A vote towards better government'; in reality it could result in Italy divided into three rigid geographical voting blocks.

Yours faithfully,

DAVID MASON

Chairman

Electoral Reform Society

London, SE1

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