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Interesting Links for 2-6-2011
Illuminati
andrewducker

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comments there.

Ideally, I'd like to see a house of lords where the lords are picked from amongst the brightest and best in the country, excellent businessmen, philosophers, scientists, etc.

Exactly - and this is one of the major strengths of the current system. An elected House of Lords would sweep away all that expertise, replace it with a bunch of second-rate political cronies, and further consolidate the grip on power of the party-political elite.

One of the other major problems is that an elected second chamber would naturally claim (and rightly so) some sort of electoral mandate and challenge the primacy of the Commons. The current, shambolic reform proposals address this issue by effectively saying "No they won't, because we'll tell them not to, la la la, I can't hear you..."

There is certainly a case for some sort of Lords reform, but these proposals are stupid and extraordinarily poorly thought out.

I care not for the primacy of the Commons. I want a revising house that can tell the Commons to go stuff itself if it's doing something stupid. And I want it to have an electoral mandate for exactly that reason.

And the whole point of 15-year single terms is to avoid political cronyism - once a person is elected there is no hold over them.

I care not for the primacy of the Commons. I want a revising house that can tell the Commons to go stuff itself if it's doing something stupid.
I agree with both of these points, to be honest. I'm not particularly wedded to the primacy of the Commons (except that they currently have some thin and flimsy fig-leaf of electoral accountability, so in the event of a deadlock they should probably get their way).

I also want a revising house that can make the Commons rethink stupid legislation - and indeed this is what we have at the moment, as statistically about 50% of Lords amendments are subsequently accepted by the Commons.

And I want it to have an electoral mandate for exactly that reason.
This is all well and good, but there appears to be no obvious mechanism for getting this while at the same time ensuring that the members of that house have the required expertise and knowledge to do the revising job sufficiently well.

And the whole point of 15-year single terms is to avoid political cronyism - once a person is elected there is no hold over them.
Yes, but we have that now, by appointing them for life. Once they're in, not only do we have relatively little say in how they vote, neither does whoever happens to be in charge of their affiliated party.

I'd actually be happy with an election for life, personally. I know some people disagree with that, but it wouldn't bother me at all.

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