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Parliamentary Democracy

August 25, 1992

It has been said that the states are laboratories for political experimentation. If a parliamentary system is a possible answer to the federal government's deadlock (editorial), why can't one of the states give it a try? California, for instance, where the budget deadlock is a mix of farce, travesty and tragedy. Let's scrap the existing Constitution and start afresh--with a parliament.

There is a working model close by, in British Columbia. We could send a study group up there to report on how it operates and how it can be applied here.

An important factor is that under parliamentary practice only the executive can propose spending and taxes. And if an impasse develops, either an opposing coalition takes over or a new election is called.

In 1972 an effort was made to introduce parliamentary government in Montana, but was voted down. Not, perhaps, because its proponent also advocated libertarian social policies.

STANLEY S. WHITHAM, Garden Grove

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