Gary for Lincoln Lib Dems

A blog following my political ramblings, for Lincoln and beyond

  • Lib Dem candidate for Glebe Ward. Involved in Mental Health Activism, Computing, Environmentalism and Gaming

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Archive for the ‘Parliamentary Reform’ Category

A New House of Lords?

Posted by Gazbook on April 26, 2010

House of Lords chamber, looking toward throne

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday I made some attempts to talk about the parliamentary reform the Liberal Democrats would like to make, and how this reform might look like. Today I’d like to suggest how a new House of Lords might look like, fully elected by the public.

The first part is this house would do exactly what it says on the tin; the public would vote for the party they want in the house, rather than a candidate. When all the votes are counted, seats would then be allocated based on the percentage of votes; for is Labour fielded 30% of the votes, they would gain 30% of the seats; if the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition gained 4% of the votes they would get 4% of the seats, and so on. At this point I would probably rename the house to something more accurate, like the House of Senators… although if for historical reasons the public wanted to keep it as the House of Lords, then that is fine with me. As long as it has no affect on democracy in this country then I am not too fussed.

As an extension, what I find interesting with an elected upper house like this is that there would not necessarily be a need for political parties in the lower house anymore. Political parties could be banned from the lower house, or allowed providing they do not overstep the power of their constituents to have a say on laws, or agree or disagree with them.

It would also provide a separation of powers, with the House of Lords acting as the executive and the House of Commons acting as the legislature. Although just because the executive would be based in the Lords, it would not mean that the Lords should be given anymore power. It should be left as it is, with most of the power lying in the Commons. It would then be the duty of political parties, not only to appeal to the United Kingdom as a whole, but to appeal to the representatives of the constituencies of the United Kingdom who will make laws on a daily basis.

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Lib Dem members to decide coalition?

Posted by Gazbook on April 25, 2010

House of Lords

Image via Wikipedia

I should probably avoid speculation as to what happens after the election and focus my energies on getting as much support for the party. However, I would hope that, rather than make a decision on their own, the leaders of the Liberal Democrat party will hold a referendum to it’s members as to which party to side with and form a coalition government.

Building up from that, I would also like to see the party encourage/enforce debate between Labour, The Conservatives, The Lib Dems and the smaller parties. The priority should of course be electoral reform. However, I would like to see an element based on hand-picking the best people for the job in terms of ministerial appointments, and explicitly encouraging a politics based on consensus rather than competition.

How would we achieve this? I think the first part would be putting in place the single transferable vote and/or proportional representation, as well as making the House of Lords entirely elected. The second part would be to change the focus of this coalition term to cleaning up politics. Make explicit requirements for MPs to publish expenses, and to be accountable to constituents first if a certain number vote (either online or through petitions) against the putting in place of certain laws in Parliament. MPs should be accountable to constituents before their party whips.

In my opinion, the final part would be a complete overhaul of the House of Lords into a House entirely elected by the public through proportional representation; I will detail in my next blog post tomorrow how such a system might work.

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