MP is right to campaign against any AV system

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MAY I congratulate Mary Glindon, MP, on her decision to campaign against the proposed AV system (News Guardian, January 6) and urge many more of her colleagues across the political spectrum to do likewise.

As she herself admits, she was chosen as Labour candidate for her constituency under such a system, which suggests that she did not gain 50 per cent of the vote on the first ballot, though she may well have been the front runner.

Implicit in her decision is the notion that such a system can lead to a choice, not of the most popular, but the least unpopular candidate.

It is interesting to observe (if I have read the figures correctly) that had the mayoral elections for North Tyneside been under the first-past-the-post system, then Linda Arkley would have won the 2005 election, however, she was beaten into second place by Labour’s John Harrison.

On the same subject, Mrs Glindon might also like to declare against the proposal for fixed parliamentary terms.

This removes from the prime minister – of whatever political colour – the right to seek a mandate from the electorate at a time of their choosing in support of what they believe to be in the best interests of the country (not to mention their own party) as well as depriving the Sovereign of his/her constitutional right to dissolve Parliament on their advice and can only tend towards bad government rather than good.

Both proposals are unnecessary, forced upon a constrained prime minister to placate coalition partners, and I hope they both receive a resounding no from the electorate, come the referendum.

MICHAEL HAMPTON

Marine Avenue

Whitley Bay