Letter: Why I didn't vote

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The Independent Online
Sir: My choice not to vote in the London referendum had nothing whatever to do with either apathy or complacency, but was based on the fact that, whichever answer I gave, it would convey a meaning I did not intend.

I firmly believe that London needs an overall strategy and that the present system is failing the citizens miserably. On this basis you might say I should have voted "Yes".

But I could get no satisfactory answers to questions about the proposed Mayor's accountability. The Government's documentation is deliberately vague. The White Paper summary states: "The Assembly would question the Mayor on his or her activities [and] would agree or suggest changes to the Mayor's plans". But what will happen if they don't agree or endorse the Mayor's plans? Will the Assembly be so powerless that they are just the Mayor's puppets?

The Mayor is likely to be elected on personality and charisma rather than on party political lines, whereas in the present political climate the Assembly will probably incline towards New Labour. If the Mayor's ideas do not reflect those of the Assembly there is potential for conflict and even stalemate.

Most people who voted "No" did so because they would end up paying out more money for bureaucracy. If I had voted "No", this would have been interpreted as meaning either that I don't want to contribute towards improving London, or that I am satisfied with the way things are now - both of which are untrue.

SUSAN ESTERMANN

London NW6

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