Wednesday, March 07, 2007

An all-elected House of Lords

The Lords like being appointed, because we're wonderful and the current way of choosing us must therefore be best. The Commons goes for all-elected for the same reason.

Now that the current composition of the Lords has been declared totally illegitimate, will we be accorded a real voice in deciding how the future Senate is to be elected? I suspect not.

Personally, I think all elected will be a very good thing - if we get the method of selection/election of candidates right. Not that I have a clue as to how to do that. Nor, I suspect, do the Commons.


Anonymous Peter Melia said...

Watching Adam Boulton on Sky News, he said that the all elected Second Chamber would still be secondary to the Commons. He was quite complacent about this, as if it was part of the natural order of things. But wait a minute, why should an elected Second Chamberee, who, by reason of being elected, was equal to a Commoner, be secondary to the Commoner? If they are elected for, as Boulton said, 15 years, then after a few years, compared with 4 or 5 year Commoners, the Seconders must surely have earned a higher level of respect than the Commoners. Eventually a power struggle is inevitably going to take place, it has in the past, it will again, and this time the Commoners might not necessarily win. We have seen all of this pre-enacted in English History, in fact it is part and parcel of the early evolution of the English Parliament (and thus democracy, worldwide). So now, thanks to the infinite wisdom of Parliament, the Hobbitlike complacency of British life has been turned upside down and will never be the same. Perhaps it might have been better at the end to have voted to keep the "tail" of inherited Lords, with the rest being 100% elected, in the hope that these few survivors, might serve to season the mix. Our children will certainly live in exciting times.

8:54 pm  
Blogger Peter Melia said...

Adam Boulton, on Sky News, when the vote was only against 60%, opined that the new Second Chamber or whatever it would be called, would be secondary to the Commons.
But now the new Second Chamber will be not 60% but 100% voted. Voted for how and by whom? And for what period, 15 years (a la Boulton?). In the circumstances, it seems inevitable that very soon, after any longish Parliament, of 4 year Commoners, all clearly seen by the electorate to be only interested in the next election, the standing of the "Seconders" will be higher than that of the "Commoners". Even after an election, a new Government of inexperienced people will still command less respect than the Experienced Seconders. How long then, before the Seconders are going to continue to accept being subservient to the Commons? And why should they?
The events of tonight would seem to have built-in elements of constitutional stress, uncannily similar to the early years of the history of the English Parliament (which also happens to be the history of present day world democracies). Will history repeat itself, with eventual bloody strife for supremacy? If not, why not? What will intervene to avert this outcome, which could be some centuries from now, except if tv and internet speeds up people's perceptions of, and reactions to the issues involved? How exciting will the times be, that our grandchildren will live in?

9:17 pm  

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