Westminster not a model parliament

 

Sir, – Dennis Kennedy describes Westminster as the “model for parliaments around the world” (“Referendum need not be the last word on Brexit”, Opinion & Analysis, January 3rd).

It is open to debate whether Westminster may have been the model at some stage in the distant past, but its many current imperfections have ensured that all other parliaments in the developed world have outclassed it as paragons of true political representation and democracy.

The unfairness of the “first past the post” voting system is evidence of this because of the manner in which it disenfranchises supporters of smaller parties.

In addition, the House of Lords is an affront to the principles of equality and fairness, with unelected hereditary peers, Church of England bishops and life peers.

In Ireland, life peers would simply be described as “political hacks”.

All of this is overseen by an unelected monarch who manages somehow to keep the show on the road without too much protest from the masses.

The notion that Westminster is the mother of parliaments is one that has been encouraged by no-one other than the UK establishment itself, along with support from the occasional misguided Irish Times columnist. – Yours, etc,

SEAN O’SULLIVAN,

Crossabeg,

Co Wexford.