LETTER: Blair's constitutional reform: devolution, mayors, people power

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The Independent Online
From Mr Paul Wilder

Sir: Electoral reform is probably the most difficult of constitutional issues. It is understandable that Tony Blair approaches the issue with extreme caution. However, all the other constitutional reforms he advocates are subsidiary to it.

A ruthless political party with a majority of one in the House of Commons, aided by the druidic concept of parliamentary sovereignty, and drawing on all the authority that 40 per cent of the vote can give it, can legislate that black is white and white is black; that we have a bill of rights today and an abolished Scottish parliament tomorrow.

Electoral reform is the keystone to wider constitutional reform and a modern, representative democracy - not an optional extra.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Wilder

Executive Secretary

The Arthur McDougall Fund

London, SE1

8 February

The writer is managing editor of 'Representation: Journal of Representative Democracy'.