KEITH MASSEY (“Three dropped” – July 16) goes some way to answering his own interesting questions.

“Democracy” is given a range of meanings in The Times English dictionary. Winston Churchill said, “democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”.

I have the privilege of being a democrat and in the Labour Party. I understand democracy to be: one person one vote, majority rule but respect and protection in law for the minority.

I associate democracy with active citizenship. Within society, if you do not act responsibly then you lose your rights. I joined Labour in the late 1950s, pressing for reforms beyond education and the NHS. Who remembers Hugh Gaitskell now?

All political parties would be “over the moon” if people were queueing to be active members. Engagement in society is not as strong as in the past.

Mr. Massey says politics is a brutal business and conjectures reasons for changes in Clifton Ward re-selection process. He recognises the effect of the Boundary Commission to reduce the number of councillors.

He adds that he does not know the people involved. Our meeting was well attended with independent scrutinisers present. The candidates were selected on the basis of their presentations and interviews. The wider electorate will rightly test the choice by “ordinary mortals” when the ballot is held.

I too am thankful that we can vote. I would encourage more electors to do so and participate in the whole process.

Jim Begley, Chair, Clifton Ward, York Labour Party, (c/o Holgate Road).