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The World

Britain’s House of Commons decided by a 12-vote margin not to allow telecasts of its freewheeling debates. Arguments for and against crossed party lines, and party whips relaxed the usually strong party discipline, giving members permission to vote their conscience. Some critics said members would “play up” to the cameras. Proponents argued that newspaper coverage is distorted and television would give constituents a more accurate idea of what their representatives do. The non-elected House of Lords opened itself to television coverage in January.


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