Devolution debate that reveals flaws in our democracy

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From: Jack Brown, Lamb Lane, Monk Bretton, Barnsley.

THE debate about an English Parliament becomes more focused if one thinks about what powers should remain with the UK Parliament. Defence, foreign policy and national grant settlements are obvious ones.

Either the promises of the three main parties on the Barnett Formula will be broken or Ukip has a powerful election weapon. If an English Parliament fails to deliver equitable and efficient local government grant settlements, NHS, transport etc, thereafter, pressure for regional government will grow. It must remain an option of last resort because it is an EU divide and rule strategy drawn up decades ago.

From: Don Burslam, Elm Road, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury.

MR Blundell (The Yorkshire Post, September 25) admirably describes the German government with its mixture of first past the post and proportional representation.

This is important because it would enable us to move to a fairer arrangement. At present we have the absurdity of all parties concentrating on about 100 seats, with the overall result being determined by a few thousand voters and the vagaries of local issues and circumstances. The vast majority of votes are effectively wasted.

There is a rich irony in the situation in that first past the post is supposed to guarantee strong government yet appears to have landed us with permanent coalitions!

Unfortunately, Mr Blundell’s eminently sensible suggestions for devolution of government run up against the vested interests of time-serving MPs and civil servants. The present set up is a mockery of true democracy.

From: John Riseley, Harcourt Drive, Harrogate.

VOTE Ukip, get Labour; vote for the Conservatives and get hypocrites. The alternative vote system would have allowed right-of-centre voters to put Conservative and Ukip as their first and second choices without giving Labour a look in. Yet the same Tory Ministers who insisted it wasn’t worth changing an inadequate system to prevent vote splitting are now saying we should vote for a party we are dissatisfied with.

From: Sam Doyle, Richmond.

HOW on earth can the Government honour commitments to Scotland made by Gordon Brown, apparently without the knowledge of Downing Street?