U.K. Voting Reform to Back Burner (FWD)

DEMOREP1 at aol.com DEMOREP1 at aol.com
Fri Oct 30 15:51:32 PST 1998

U.K. Government Appears to Move Voting Reform to Back Burner

London, Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair appears to have
put reform of the country's parliamentary voting system down the political

In the ruling Labour Party's manifesto for the May 1997 general election they
won, Blair said he would hold a referendum on whether to change the British
winner-takes-all voting system for parliament.   

In reaction to the release of a government-appointed commission report on how
to change it, though, Blair's spokesman said the referendum would be held
during the current parliament, which could last until the summer of 2002 and
that holding the referendum as late as that ``remains an option.''      

This phrase was taken by supporters of change to mean it had been put on the
back burner.   

As expected, the report by the commission, led by minority Liberal party
member Lord Roy Jenkins, said the system should be changed to make up to 15
percent of the members of the 659-seat House of Commons elected under a list
system nominated by political parties. Jenkins said in his report that any
change couldn't be implemented for at least eight years.   

09:25:04 10/29/1998

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