The cause of parliamentary reform was inspired by the hope of strengthening Parliament. But since it had to proceed within an institutional framework evolved through generations, it had perforce to draw extensively on prevailing practices and values. Most of the reformers too remained relatively conservative in their working assumptions, a position that has not changed much in recent years. There was little inclination in the reform movement to undertake radical reappraisal of basic political relationships in Parliament. Yet the very moderation shown by reformers may help to explain why parliamentary reform has failed to capture the popular imagination and thus help sustain confidence in parliamentary government itself.
KeywordsReform Movement Opposition Parti Select Committee Popular Imagination Prevailing Practice
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- 1.See Bernard Crick, co-founder of the Study of Parliament Group, in The Reform of Parliament. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1964.Google Scholar
- 4.For an early review of the post-1979 select committees see G. Drewry (ed.), The New Select Committees: A Study of the 1979 Reforms. OUP for the Study of Parliament Group, 1985.Google Scholar