Letter: Too coy on constitutional reform

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The Independent Online
Sir: Andrew Marr is right ("Voters try to smoke out New Labour", 10 April). Labour's lack of excitement about its own radical proposals for political reform is extraordinary. Yet Labour and the Liberal Democrats have reached agreement on how reform will be implemented (should Labour form the next government).

This agreement, together with a mandate for change from the voters, could enable a reform-minded government to put constitutional Bills through the House of Commons in the same way as other Bills - in committee, avoiding any danger of a legislative log-jam. But if the parties don't campaign for democratic reform during the election period, can they legitimately argue that they have such a mandate and break this parliamentary tradition?

Charter 88 wants to open up the election agenda and give voters an opportunity to question their would-be MPs about our system of government. On 22 April we will hold Democracy Day meetings in around 200 constituencies.

ANDREW PUDDEPHATT

Charter 88

London EC1

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