Letters to the Editor - 15/07 - New democracy, Donation cap, Best of Twitter

New democracy

[Re: Open primaries would break the closed shop of cynical politics, Wednesday]
Open primaries would certainly help voters feel more connected with MPs and perhaps less cynical towards the political system. But we could open up politics even further by removing the whip system in parliament. Why should MPs have to toe the party line when the issue in question may be detrimental to their constituents? Parliamentarians are elected to represent those constituents, not just the party they belong to. Unless the electorate begins to feel that MPs are on their side, the erosion of respect for politicians will continue.

Tony Butcher

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Donation cap

[Re: Political parties should not be financed with taxpayers’ money, Friday]
Political parties do not need controls on fundraising and donations. To impose them would be to tackle the symptoms, not the cause. Our political parties spend too much money, so the answer is simple: put a cap on election spending. It would remove the need for large contributions, as they wouldn’t then even need the donation money. A positive by-product might be that parties themselves have a smaller influence on the political system. We need more diverse politics, and a spending cap could provide that.

Philip Birch

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BEST OF TWITTER

Re plain packaging: we all disapprove of things. But why does that always have to mean banning it?
@DouglasCarswell

UK construction data disappoints. Has recovery petered out already? Certainly looks fragile.
@D_Blanchflower

UK should focus on shale gas not offshore wind. Would dramatically reduce emissions and benefit economy.
@BjornLomborg

Forward guidance isn’t forward guidance if it’s reviewed every month.
@michaelhewson