BRITAIN: Will Democracy Survive?

From No. 10 Downing Street last week came a long-expected announcement. Using the tradition-honed phrases, spokesmen for Prime Minister Harold Wilson declared that "Her Majesty has been graciously pleased to signify that she will comply" with his request to dissolve Parliament on Sept. 20 and hold elections on Oct. 10. The campaign machinery instantly shifted into high gear. Party leaders appeared on television, and more than 2,000 candidates headed for the hustings to begin three weeks of intensive politicking.

British voters greeted Wilson's announcement with about as much enthusiasm as they would show for a soccer game between two fourth-division...

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