Scotland on Sunday readers' letters: Now is not the time for another general election

Your call for a general election now is misconceived (Leader, October 30). No matter what the public think, general elections are not held to elect a prime minister, they elect a party via local candidates.

In any case, holding a general election now would paralyse government for a month. They are also expensive: the 2015 election cost nearly £115 million. Holding one now would probably cost about £126m, money that is urgently needed to help solve the economic crisis.

The new PM put it well by declaring that the mandate the party earned in 2019 is “a mandate that belongs to and unites all of us”. He is right. Changing a PM is for a party to decide, not the public. PMs do not require a mandate from the electorate because it's their party’s policies that matter.

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Rishi Sunak must be left to work out how to solve our various crises; he and his party will face the ultimate judgement when he has to call the next general election within the next two years. I am not a member of any political party.

Should Prime Minister Rishi Sunak call a genreal election?

Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh

Last post?

We are now on our third Tory Prime Minister in almost as many months. Boris Johnson, who at least had a mandate, was forced out of office by his fellow MPs. Liz Truss was defenestrated by her own party after only six inglorious weeks.

Neither Truss nor Rishi Sunak was elected PM by the wider electorate. This is what passes for democracy in the UK. It is one of the consequences of a first past the post voting system which guarantees that either Labour or the Tories are elected to power usually on a minority of the votes cast. Proportional Representation ensures that the views of most citizens are reflected in the composition of their parliament. That is what happens in Holyrood elections. In contrast the Westminster system means that the views of a majority of voters are of no consequence.

Why should Scotland be deprived of Westminster representation because the system allows our votes to be ignored by the party in power? Surely it’s time for change!

David Howdle, Dumfries

No sympathy

John Swinney as acting Finance Minister has ruthlessly slashed budgets in Scotland, with worse to come as mental health in Scotland and primary care services take a big budget hit.

The irony is that if the SNP had not wasted taxpayers’ money on the ferries and Prestwick Airport and many other doomed projects there would have been enough money to avoid applying these savage cuts. The people of Scotland would have had more sympathy for the government if they had put their own house in order.

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Dennis Forbes Grattan, Bucksburn, Aberdeen

Language matters

Emma Grae's experience of Scottish schooling was very different from mine in the 70s/80s. There was no suppression of the Scots language as none of us spoke it. We were taught English so we could get a qualification and a job. We spoke in our local dialect and it was those who spoke “posh” or with an actual English accent that were more likely to face bullying.

I assume her version of “Scots” is that made up by Billy Kay from mixed dialect and phonetic spellings. If anyone wants to speak, write or sing in “Kayspeak” they are free to. They should not, however, foist it on teachers and children who have useful subjects to teach and learn.

Dr SJ Clark, Edinburgh

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