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The question Tactical voting

Singer Billy Bragg is co-ordinating tactical voting via the internet to help his Labour candidate oust the local Tory MP. What do think of the idea?

I cannot help thinking that orchestrated tactical voting is morally wrong and totally against the spirit of democracy.

If an individual decides to vote tactically in isolation then that is their democratic right but whole groups of strangers swopping votes over the internet is a manipulation, distortion and abuse of the democratic process.

Rob Kremis, 41, regional construction manager, Bucks

As a long standing Labour voter I would not be prepared to barter my vote with a stranger from another party. My current constituency started off as 'safe Tory' but became marginal because of the hard work of the local Labour Party.

I think Billy Bragg should close his website, knuckle down and work flat out for his Labour candidate in Dorset West.

Martin Sachs, 49, group leader highways, East London

With such an unfair and unrepresentative system as first past the post in place, there is a strong case for people making their vote count, if not to get their favorite party in then to keep out the worse party. I see nothing strange in the internet been used to educate people in tactical voting or encouraging people to campaign for a fair voting system in the UK.

Stephen Gibson, 26, project engineer, Abingdon The internet is already a warren of funny bunnies so I would be very wary of poking my head too far into that hole, thanks.

Anyway, my firewall tells me I already have enough attempts to get inside my Pentium III brain as it is. So to invite a storm of political well wishers to fill my in-box or claim to steer my tactical vote, well, I'm rather suspicious.

Dudley Swain, 53, manager, Exeter

It is very hard to buck technology; if someone wants to go to the effort of using the internet to foster tactical voting then, even if it were illegal, which it is not, it would be difficult to police. Let Billy dabble as he sees fit, it will keep him occupied.

Graeme Monteith, 54, sales director, Glasgow

I believe that proportional representation offers a more realistic representation in Parliament of the views of the voting public than our current first past the post system. I do not think that distorting the current system through the use of IT or any other means is a sensible or legitimate way for a democracy to operate.

Danny Bonnett, consultant, London

It is not surprising that something likes this has come about as, no doubt, a response to the great voter apathy. But a dangerous flipside is that if people believe their views are going unheard then the internet can act as a catalyst for the formation of more 'direct action' groups which have taken the place of unions.

Nicholas Elsworth, 24, highways engineer, Berks

There is an old saying 'my enemies enemy is my friend.'

So why not form a common alliance against a common 'enemy' in the interests of democracy - it is what you do when you vote!

Dave Morrish, 56, Stafford

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