Fix the system

Politicians vying with each other over rival policies seem unaware that our parliamentary system itself needs changing.

There is no authority to form any coalition of parties, there being no candidates seeking votes under such a banner; therefore, neither does the arrangement receive an electoral mandate.

Democratic parliament is properly defined as representation of the wishes of the public as expressed in voting preference; any combined government should thus comprise those parties with the highest numbers of votes received.

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It is manifest arrogance for major parties to decide – on behalf of the electorate, but without its approval – with which minor others to form an alliance.

Proportional representation (PR) is favoured by many, but that can apply only if votes are cast for identified parties, which is not the case in the UK: our MPs are returned as individual, independent members.

PR cannot be applied without MPs being tied to their sponsoring parties while they remain in office.

Reform of the system, then, should be top priority, and a suitable start would be the immediate abolition of that unelected, over-manned bastion of privilege, the House of Lords.

Even in the present inter-election limbo, the assorted Lords and Baronesses continue to use House of Lords facilities, while our elected underlings are barred even from referring to themselves as MPs.

Without revolutionary systemic restructuring, there is no hope of developing the two factors capable of countering Britain’s inbred political hostility and extremism: co-operation and mutual respect.

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road