Eroding democracy

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The erosion of local democracy by successive governments will be completed by the introduction of elected mayors.

I watched a recent debate between the candidates for Mayor of London: it was a disgrace. People of any political persuasion vote in local elections for the local people they wish to represent them. The majority decision achieved in those elections is called democracy.

Elected mayoral elections will eliminate local decision making and hand over corporate responsibility to an elected demagogue who can ignore the importance of any local issues or situations.

The London Mayoral debate exposed all the seedier aspects of the process, a group of people prepared to insult and abuse each other to achieve the position with vague aspirational aims and promises as if the last general election didn’t teach us enough about this scenario. A narrow view of a political group elected to run the city is not a good enough reason to throw away our democratic rights as citizens.

Tony Burke, S11

When you vote on May 3, remember Doncaster where there is a referendum to scrap their elected mayor. After Donnygate and two terms of Mayor Martin Winter, voters registered a massive protest vote against him and Labour in 2009.

But they ended up electing English Democrat Peter Davies, an extreme right wing mayor lacking the skills and experience to turn around a dysfunctional council.

We are asked to decide without knowing what powers a mayor would have. We don’t know who will stand for the role and elections will be very expensive as will the team of unelected advisers who will support the mayor. Times are tough but the wrong person could make things a whole lot tougher. We suggest a no vote.

Eamonn Ward, Green Party

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