IN seeking an early General Election, Boris Johnson, and all others who make similar calls, are gambling with the country’s future using our deeply-flawed first-past-the-post electoral system.

Leaving aside the fact that voters in a General Election would be voting on a wide range of issues set out in party manifestos and not just on Brexit, our corrupt electoral system usually provides a party with a majority in the House of Commons which falls well short of winning a majority of the popular vote. So such a winning party could not, with any honesty, claim that their victory gave them a mandate either to takes us out, or keep us in, the EU.

And the voting system also forces people to vote tactically and not necessarily for the party of their first choice. Pity the poor voter who lives in an SNP/Tory marginal, but who wants Scotland to remain in the UK and the UK to remain in the EU. If they vote for either of the frontrunners their vote will be used by that party as a sign of support for its particular variety of nationalism. But if they vote for another party with no chance in that seat, they would be denied any effective voice on the critical Brexit issue.

The only genuinely democratic way out of this mess is a referendum putting the actual deal the UK has been offered up against remaining in the EU. Once that is out of the way a General Election could follow with parties offering manifestos relevant to the future the voters have chosen.

Alistair Easton, Edinburgh EH1.

BORIS Johnson has made great play over his solitary electoral victory in the House of Commons ("Johnson’s ‘do or die’ Halloween Brexit vow in tatters", The Herald, October 23). Strangely he seems unaware that this was no more than a Pyrrhic victory.

Yes, he tabled the bill and it was passed by a majority. However, his bill puts him in the position of the hospital which puts a patient on the table for surgery to remove the flawed material which has rendered the patient unfit and so in need of surgery.

Clearly there would have been amendments to, and suggestions for, excision of various clauses and phrases from his Withdrawal Agreement, which would have left his bill fitter for public approval but less satisfactory for himself and his hedge fund cronies, if there had been sufficient time apportioned for adequate discussion of a bill which would affect this country for generations on completing its passage through the two houses.

He is a consummate sophist, able to spin rhetorical gild out of straw, and that is why the electorate should study more closely and remember every contradictory statement he has ever made in his chequered career, both public and private.

Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.

IT was interesting watching the live Brexit debate from Parliament yesterday (October 22). A variety of views were vociferously expressed from nearly all sides of the House with a number of the MPs even proferring different opinions from some within their own party.

Strangely SNP members contributed little, that was until the Speaker gave party leaders the opportunity to make summing-up comments.

Whilst the other Opposition leaders made comments about the Brexit bill and/or the programme of the bill Ian Blackford used the opportunity to have another rant about independence.

He and his leaders should appreciate that engaging in constructive politics would gain a lot more than making repetitive tribal chants.

After all, more than one million of the Scottish electorate voted for Brexit and the SNP continually professes to represent Scotland.

W MacIntyre, East Kilbride.

LAST night (October 22) in the House of Commons, Boris Johnson won one, lost one.

If the EU does not grant us an extension before Halloween, does that mean that it gets settled by dooking for apples?

Robert McCaw, Renfrew.

WILLIAM Scott (Letters, October 21) claims that the "faith of millions of people in the superiority of this country over all others has been dashed and damaged by” Speaker John Bercow and MPs Sir Oliver Letwin and Hilary Benn.

Quite frankly, I find it terrifying that anyone would want their country to aspire to be "superior" to "all other countries". Have we learnt nothing from two World Wars? Those sort of attitudes form the bedrock of exceptionalism and xenophobia. I thought we had moved on from such arrogant imperialism some time ago.

On the other hand, I would very much like my country, Scotland, to have equal status with other small countries in Europe, an aspiration which it is denied at present as a member of an England-dominated United Kingdom.

Dave Stewart, Glasgow G11.