Letter: Vote counting is a theatrical event

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The Independent Online
Sir: H B Gould (letter, 10 May) is right: electronic voting is perfectly feasible and efficient. Its first use, though, should be in the long-overdue reform of the archaic voting system of the House of Commons.

Voting in the House of Commons is a long and elaborate business. The members actually divide by trooping into lobbies ... where they are counted like sheep by the clerks. This wastes a lot of time and ought to be altered, for sometimes an hour or more a day is wasted by this rather childish method of counting.

Thus the Children's Encyclopedia in 1921. Seventy-seven years later, with today's pressures, the practice is even more absurd. It is probably too much to hope for a sensible debating chamber, but the blowing away of a few cobwebs would help. Perhaps that wretched opera hat could go as well.

G LANGLEY

Bristol

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