How to bring about a new and improved style of politics | Letters

Readers respond to an article by Suzanne Moore in which she questioned the value of voting at all in the forthcoming general election

I could not agree more with Suzanne Moore (Everyone says vote, but our broken system needs dismantling, G2, 19 November). The choices on offer in this election are utterly dispiriting. At a time when the country needs to heal and come together, the main players – Tories, Labour, Lib Dems and nationalists – are simply offering more of the same: tribalism, conflict and division. Neither of the two main parties can say that they speak for our diverse nation. Both are controlled by small cliques that have conspired to give us two of the most uninspiring and unsuited candidates for prime minister ever.

Every now and then it is necessary for the old decayed ways to crumble and for something new and better to emerge. We need new leaders, new players dedicated to changing the political culture and bringing us back together. Leadership that fosters tolerance, respect, engagement and consensus building. Leadership dedicated to reforming the voting system so that every voice is heard. Leadership willing to devolve and decentralise powers and resources to the nations, regions, cities and shires of the UK. Leadership prepared to be honest and to think outside the box to give us policies fit to meet the needs of our time in healthcare, social care and infrastructure renewal, growing the economy in a sustainable and fair way so all benefit and the environment can be conserved and renewed.

No one has a monopoly on wisdom – remainers/leavers, left/right, unionists/nationalists. All of us – politicians, media and the public – need to be open-minded and engage more with each other to find a way forward that all can embrace. May new leaders come forward. Let this be the last election that offers such a pitiful choice.
Stewart Luck
Cork, Ireland

• Suzanne Moore makes some excellent points in her article. Voters are given a false binary when the spectrum of opinion is a vast space, not a line going from right to left. Your vote only affects the election result if you live in a marginal seat.

First past the post is the root cause of the divided Britain we see. A voting system that favours concentration of support regionally will inevitably lead to favouring of those regions supporting the party in power, and marginalising those regions that don’t.

As Moore points out, all the issues that matter require cooperation, and this is why a fairer voting system, which will force parties to deal with each other and compromise as a matter of course, and which fairly reflects people’s opinions, is the only thing that will start to heal the country’s divisions.

But she comes to the worst possible conclusion. A non-vote will be taken by those in power as acquiescing to the current system; if not quite behaviour of contentment, then not of sufficient discontent to care. Registering your disapproval by voting for a smaller party gives that party money – so-called “Short Money” – and lends weight to the argument that minor parties should get more representation – so is not, as is often stated, a wasted vote.

Spoiling your ballot paper, or voting for smaller parties, are acts of resistance. Not voting is an act of acceptance. The system will never change while so many accept it.
Tom Walker

• Thank you, Suzanne Moore, for articulating what so many of us are feeling – “leave, remain, left or right doesn’t fit into these claustrophobic political boxes … Do the right thing. But what if the right thing doesn’t fit the fake binaries on offer?”

More of the same is not viable. A book, The Alternative, by a number of MPs from across the parties including Caroline Lucas and the columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown also makes a strong case for “progressive cooperation” – as does the online campaign More United. These are voices we need to hear more from.
Martha Patrick
Carbis Bay, Cornwall

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