Letters: How to improve Egypt’s democracy

The current troubles in Egypt (Letters, 8 July) are the result of the mistaken belief that presidential rule by a first-by-the-post electoral system is a democratic system. In fact it is likely to be an elected tyranny over as much as half the electorate. A truer democratic system would be by a parliament elected by proportional representation and with laws requiring two-thirds majority voting for their enactment.

In addition, the prime minister must be just that – a prime minister among a cabinet of ministers so that, for example, it would be the foreign minister who would travel to other countries in order to negotiate foreign affairs and not the prime minister. Furthermore, a prime minister does not (or should not) release to the news media laws that he/she is about to enact without having first presented the proposals to the cabinet and to parliament for discussion and possible approval (please take note, Mr Cameron).
Professor Eric Salzen

• The last fortnight in Egypt and the continuing struggle in Syria demonstrate exactly what many regional experts and Arabists have warned would happen. But there is something really rather sinister about an interfering west determined to impose, one way or another, its version of democracy on a region that is historically, culturally and spiritually unready, not to mention largely unwilling, to accept it.

History testifies overwhelmingly to our having made the wrong calls on too many occasions and as a result we have much blood on our hands.
Rev R C Paget
Brenchley, Kent

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