January 14 Letters: It’s not ‘apathy’ but real disgust at Westminster’s failings

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From: C Featherstone, Waltham Court, Beverley, East Yorkshire.

DO we have a duty to vote at elections? Your correspondent JP Thompson (The Yorkshire Post, January 8) and no doubt many others, believe so: we should “remember those who fought to vote”. His examples of those who did just that, deserve our deep gratitude but this sentiment has to be viewed in the context of who we have a choice of voting for.

The article in the same edition by Tom Richmond – “MPs ensuring apathy will be the winner at next election” – says it all. I believe that voter “apathy” is, in most cases, not apathy at all, but instead a considered decision not to vote for people unworthy of office and thereby not encouraging them.

The self-centred, greedy and mostly inept lot we have as MPs, with PMQs and interviews ruined by cheap political points and childish personal insults, do not deserve our votes. They insult our intelligence, exploiting us for what we are – voting fodder. So-called apathy is highest among the young and I suggest that this is because they have more sense than to slavishly turn out at elections, perpetuating the Westminster farce.

Once general elections are over, it is business as usual. I suggest that no-one votes on May 7 and so shock the politicians into taking notice. Another election will then have to be called, hopefully ensuring a proper and intelligent discourse with the voters.

If this “apathy” (disgust) increases, then no doubt voting will be made compulsory. Then the politicians who cannot through their merit persuade us to vote will force us to keep the “Westminster bubble” (trough) topped up.

From: John Fisher, Menwith Hill, Harrogate.

the Prime Minister’s decision to increase the percentage of trade union members required to vote for strike action to 40 per cent will no doubt receive support from the public, who have been inconvenienced by some industrial disputes.

Will he now get rid of our undemocratic first past the post election system, which allows him the opportunity to govern the country with some 30 per cent of the total votes cast?

The electorate would no doubt consider the tried and tested proportional election version that his party were pleased to give to the Scottish Parliament and not the incomprehensible alternative vote version that the Liberal Democrats and the public were fobbed off with.