Will Podmore's riposte, "Hobson's choice" (Letters, 29 April), to my letter regarding the issue of non-voting academics ("Dubious vintage", 22 April), misses the point of the original argument.
He suggests that abstention is linked closely to upholding the moral high ground, implying that non-voting is a better option than voting for poor alternatives. My letter did not uphold democracies as perfect models of morality - "democracy" is often akin to choosing your own dictator. My main proposition concerns the right to withhold your vote and then bemoan what happens, particularly poignant in the context of the enduring feminist struggle to realise any voting rights for half the UK population.
Regarding the "why should turkeys vote for Christmas?" analogy: perhaps a collectivised landslide turkey vote could result in a vegetarian seasonal alternative rather than standing on the sidelines waiting to be slaughtered?
Stella Jones-Devitt, Centre for Learning and Quality Enhancement, Teesside University.