READING Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans' comments (LET, April 20), I did not know whether to laugh or be astonished at his nerve and audacity in questioning what was wrong with the present voting system used at elections.

Correct me if I'm wrong, Nigel, but didn't the first-past-the-post anomalies produce right-wing Tory governments whose abuse of power under this system led to their massacre on May 1 last year?

I understand that, as a former follower of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, Mr Evans understands, like his teachers, the exercise of power and how to capitalise on it, but I doubt very much that he understands the value of democracy and that a person's vote should count for something.

"Government of the people, by the people and for the people" is not just a soundbite or rhetoric, but, as this present government has proved, it is about a person's ideas and rights as well as their obligations being valued and considered important.

The Tory party at the moment is making noises about reinventing itself. I would suggest that one innovation they could try is to trust the electorate. After all, the recommendations of the Commission on Voting Reform are not the end of the agenda, but just the beginning.

DUNCAN McVEE, Robin Bank Road, Darwen.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.