Mr. Speaker, the winds of change are blowing strongly across Britain today.
For the first time in nearly 300 years, parliamentary elections are being held in Scotland and Wales. These legislatures will bring government closure to the people they serve. For centuries the Scottish, Welsh and Irish have felt alienated by the decision made in far off Westminster.
I commend Prime Minister Tony Blair for recognizing the need for institutional and governmental reform and acting upon it. Blair has recognized that the upper house must be accountable to the electorate and that decisions on health, education and social services are best made by local forms of government where the voices of the electors are heard most clearly.
Congratulations to Scotland, Wales and Great Britain. There are lessons for our Prime Minister to be learned from Mr. Blair. Our Prime Minister says we do not need change because our system is based on Britains. Well, Mr. Prime Minister, the times they are a changin'.