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Political system badly in need of reform

I doubt that I shall convince my friendly debating rival, Des Morgan, of the need for reform of our so-called parliamentary democracy (SA, January 4 ). However, I hope I may be able to convince others.

Democracy has been defined as “government of the people, by the people, for the people” with the implication that the “will of the people” is determined by the majority of those who vote (though the views of the minority should be respected). So, how can it be right for a majority of MPs to be elected by a minority of the votes cast?

And how can it be right for a political party to gain a majority of seats in Parliament whilst obtaining a minority of the votes cast? (As outlined in my previous letter on December 31)

That this is so is partly due to the present party system. The two major parties used to represent different factional interests; and were (and still are) largely funded by these groups. The Labour Party gets a large part of its funds from trade unions; whilst the Conservative Party relies, largely, on business.

Understandably, the parties and their MPs feel they must protect their own interests when making decisions in Parliament.

And MPs, who rely on party funding to get elected, likewise feel they must obey the whips and stick to the party line.

Yet, the majority of the public are neither in a trade union nor in business and their politics are middle of the road rather than being right or left wing. Hence the need for reform of funding of political parties. Preferably, they should be funded only by individuals with a maximum donation in any one year.

When MPs vote in Parliament, they should be doing so on behalf of all their constituents, rather than for their party – particularly on matters that have no relationship to party ideology. I hope at least some readers will accept my reasoning as logical.

Malcolm Morrison, Prospect Hill

Young people let down

As you get to my stage in the game at 76 not out yet, but obviously sooner than later, you tend to ponder on your youthful experiences compared to the youth of the present day.

Make no mistake about this firm declaration from personal experience.The same comparisons even on a sixty year difference time scale still apply. A natural desire to attract the opposite sex, or young love in many cases, a decent job and a nice house to bring up a family and continue your genes.

After reading in a national newspaper the amount of debt owed in Britain with young people with families, very sadly I have came to the conclusion that this society with all its modern cons has let them down badly. I refer to university fees and high house prices, to mention but a few. I dare say the readers of the Adver with grown up families could add a few more. However I firmly believe that with their ancestors bloodline, the youth of today will come good in the end. For all their early mistakes.The same mistakes their parents and grandparents made in the more frugal past.

Bill Williams, Merlin Way, Covingham

Knighthood is wrong

So its been reported that Tory MP, Ian Duncan Smith is being knighted. This is the man who is the architect of the hated Universal Credit Policy, a policy that has been blamed for many suicides, stress related deaths and lives being destroyed. How can a man who has wreaked such misery on families across the UK be rewarded with a knighthood?

Martin Webb, Swindon Road, Old Town

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