Brexit: Right to vote belongs to all
I am grateful to Mr Staples for his views (letter May 24) on my letter (May 17) but would ask him to look at my letter again because I feel he may have misread it.
Nowhere did I seek to delegitmise the results of the referendum.
Leavers insist we deliver the democratic vote but this is effectively no deal and the Government/Parliament are not able to deliver this so we have stalemate.
David Davis (remember him?) said if democracy cannot change its mind it ceases to be a democracy and although he has now changed his mind could it be the time to give this more thought after three years of fudge?
Mr Staples refers to dodgy statistics but as far as I can see my statements are simply factual or is he disputing my figures?
I certainly did not suggest that the result of general elections is a better way of deciding issues than a single issue referendum. My comment referred only to turnout levels.
He suggests that remainers feel that the issues are too difficult for ordinary people to understand but I can only say that as a remainer I don’t agree. Parties put forward their views and the people decide what to vote for. If the parties consider that after the election the voters did not understand what they were voting for, that is the fault of the parties not the voter.
He commented on my ideas for some electoral reforms which was interesting but did not refer to my suggestion that these matters should be debated.
Lastly, and this is the main reason for my reply, I must take issue with him about his last paragraph which read “to force people to vote introduces even more uninformed voters”. Earlier in his letter he implied that voters are able to understand complex matters but now we have uninformed voters who should not be included. Who are these uninformed voters? Who decides they are uninformed? I am afraid I find this very confusing. Is he saying he doesn’t think uninformed voters should vote?
Tom Paine is reported to have said near the end of his life “to vote is a moral duty and not to vote is a neglect of that duty”. Everyone should vote and I want to hear the views of everyone, criminals, bigots, racists included. I accept that society should deprive people of their liberty if they commit crimes but never their vote. This is my view of democracy and the idea of voting being limited to the elite and intellectuals fills me with horror.