Letter: Bottom of the list

Max Beran
Tuesday 01 December 1998 01:02 GMT
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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Sir: Michael Cooper (letter, 28 November) rightly points out that the closed list system precludes independents like Martin Bell ever being elected. But this is only the half of it.

In our parliamentary system it is candidates who stand for election, and there is a list of requirements and exclusions that control who can and cannot stand. In this respect, parties are not registered or formally recognised in law, so since when have they become an electable entity? If the constitution is to be opened up like this, we must know what organisations can and cannot take part.

Another key point arises from the fact that we, the electorate, will learn who will represent us only after the election. Will this new type of representative be governed by the same rules as apply currently to candidates? At what stage are they to be screened and by whom?

MAX BERAN

Didcot, Oxfordshire

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