Write On: Letters to the editor

Issue 

Proportional, not preferential

The proposal by outgoing British PM Gordon Brown to have a referendum on the electoral system is fraught with danger for Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats.

Brown proposes a referendum on the British first-past-the post system and the Australian preferential vote system. A vote for the Australian system would be a death warrant for the Lib Dems.

The introduction of preferential voting in Australia (1919) has greatly strengthened the two party system. It has made it virtually impossible for minor parties and independents to be elected to the lower houses of parliament.

Only proportional representation, which is based on multi-member electorates, has the capacity to introduce party diversity into any parliament and produce democratic representation. It would also mean the end of pork-barrelling, by-elections, adversarialism and factional skulduggery. The UK Lib Dems gained 23% of the vote and ended up with 8.7% of the seats. If they want 23% of the seats, the referendum should be about proportional representation. If they look across the Channel they'll find that 21 out of 28 European countries use PR.

Klaas Woldring,
Pearl Beach, NSW

Scaremongering

The ABC is buying into refugee scaremongering by using the words “border protection” when it talks about asylum seekers, but without the inverted commas, and without a “so-called”. “Protection” is what you need when there is a threat. Is the ABC saying that refugees are a threat?

The ABC should also be reporting asylum seekers arriving by plane, if it reports refugee boats being intercepted by our “protectors”. Otherwise it is discriminatory reporting.

How many times did I phone up the ABC when it described East Timor as “part of Indonesia”. I think we need to get on the phones again.

Keep it up!

PS. The ABC's phone number is 139 994.

Stephen Langford
Sydney

Operation Cast Lead

The atrocities committed in Gaza by Israeli armed forces during Operation Cast Lead resulted in 1417 deaths and 5303 people wounded.

The use white phosphorus by the Israeli army resulted in Palestinian women giving birth to babies who were born defective and a Palestinian boy of 10 lost both eyes.

These crimes should arouse the indignation of all decent human beings to outlaw for all time such terrible means of destruction.

The Zionists’ excuse for Operation Cast Lead is that the Gazans have fired rockets into “dear little Israel”. Any person who thinks would ask the question: why?

The holocaust committed by the Nazis was one of the worst crimes in human history but that does not justify the Zionists carrying out a policy of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians who were not responsible for this catastrophe.

According to a survey conducted by Israeli Knessset Channel, 75% of Israelis want the Arab population of Israel expelled to the future Palestinian state. That is fascism.

Fortunately, 25% of Israelis do not agree with this. Let us hope that the humanitarian views contained in Israeli Professor Ilan Pappe’s book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, that was highly praised by John Pilger, will ultimately prevail.

Bernie Rosen
Strathfield NSW
[Edited for length]