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The whole idea of Lord's "reform" is madness.

There was nothing wrong with the system before Blair came to power - and so the Conservative Party should simply promise to revert back to the position that existed then.

For what it's worth, I am a 29 year old living in Islington, and I hardly think that my views are so out of touch with the people around me. At least, I think my proposal is not too a difficult proposition to sell...

Well they've voted that way but can anyone tell us any other detail eg what period of office etc?


will English votes English laws apply to an elected lords should they not have sorted out that first?. cart before the horse again

It is simply change for the sake of change. None of the details have been worked out, and will probably be another constitutional disaster. I have no issue with reforming the Lords, per se, but it strikes me that they should probably have thought what this elected chamber will do, how it will be elected, and what the relationship with the commons will be before voting for it.

I will repeat my comments on the Teresa May thread.

This is a sad for traditional Conservatism. The "modernising" Jacobins have won and our Parliament will be the poorer for it. The House of Lords is the one place where honesty and integrity can be relied upon.

"The House of Lords is the one place where honesty and integrity can be relied upon."

One thinks immediately of murderer Lord Lucan, perjurer Lord Archer, fraudster Lord Kagan and the much-maligned Lord Levy. Let us not dwell on such vanities as Lord Bragg, or on pantomime peers such as Lord Olivier and Lord Attenborough.

One hopes the debate can move on from such Panglossian tripe.

Utter waste of time! We shall end up with a weak pathetic second house that will rubber stamp anything and everything that the House of Commons churns up. The Lords has in the past ten years been doing a good job of keeping the government to account over silly legislation that they have been producing. This will create a second chamber that won't question anything. Name any piece of bad legislation, hunting ban, detention without charge for 90 days; the Lords have made attempts to revise or prevent unnecessary legislation. A sad day for our democracy.

Either revert to the old pre-Blair system, or, since that is probably politically unfeasible, retain the current set up.

As Sasha says: A sad day for democracy.

"There was nothing wrong with the system before Blair came to power - and so the Conservative Party should simply promise to revert back to the position that existed then."

Agreed. The system worked, no matter how old-fashioned it might have been.

I think this is fascinating stuff and could change British politics far more than any other Labour constitutional change.

Won't there be pressure to elect members of a second chamber under a PR system and they could then claim to be more 'representative' than members of the Commons? What would that mean for the supremacy of the Commons? And could that mean that PR would have to be introduced for the Commons?

Personally I believe that people think there are already too many politicians and that a properly reformed Commons that can really scrutinise the Executive with no second chamber would be better. And giving greater power to local government.

The Parliament Acts should also be repealed as implied by Earl Grey's preface to the 1911 Act

Fantastic News! I feel proud to be British today, and proud of our lawmakers for once. It really is a historic day. I'm close to tears...

If the number of members of the reformed chamber was reduced to 100 then it would cost less than now even if cost per elected member rose to HoC levels. Realisticaly if we want the House to continue to undertake its current role then probably 250 would be a good size. Yes it probably needs to be elected in some proportional fashion - the Aussie methd seems to work well.

The single 15 year term proposal has some advantages if it carries with it, as also proposed, a ban on then seeking election to the HoC - more likely to appeal to those with experience as it doesn't offer a great career path but also offers freedom from party discipline.

The if it ain't broke don't fix it rule doesn't apply here. Blair has created more life peers than any other PM (not sure but maybe more than all the rest added together). That's not sustainable. The hereditaries have done a good job but we've moved on.

100% elected is the way to go if the prime minister was still allowed to appoint any members WHEN we are in government then there will be questions about y that person was appointed no matter how hard we try to make if fair and transparent.

But ofcourse no system is going to be perfect.

The Commons have got this the wrong way round. Wouldn't it have been more sensible to have discussed first the role and power of the Lords and once that was settled look at how Peers should be elected/chosen.
I found myself agreeing with everything Gillian Shepherd said and do not believe that an elected Lords is the panacea to anything. Whatever happens I hope the role of party whips is kept to an absolute minimum in the Lords.
Yes 'Jacobins R Us' the Lords is a better and far more honourable place in general than the commons, the only person talking tripe is you.

I am not so sure that the second chamber will be the push over that many in the Commons appear to think it will be. A lot of legislation has been pushed through the Lords because the Commons has always been able to call upon the popular mandate card (i.e. we are elected and you are not). That disappears with a fully elected chamber. Factor in what I assume are likley to be lower allowances (or even salary) then you have an element of tension between the two houses and the possibility of legislative gridlock (which strikes me as not a bad thing in the current climate). Of course I could be entirely wrong and it may indeed be a lapdog that rubberstamps anything going through it, but it will be interesting to watch it determine the limits of its authority.

£1bn to be wasted on friends of Tony and David and Ming. Schluuuuuuuuuuuuuurp.

We do not know the election or selection method but why not a Party list to maximise the possibilities for corruption.

A Senate will require equal power with the Commons and stifle any hope of radical reform in this country in a series of back-room, pork-barrelling deals a la the USA.

A Senate is a deliberate attempt to scupper the concept of a federal UK parliament and effectively ends any hope of a proper English parliament.

This is a very black day for rightwing politics in this Country

"This is a very black day for rightwing politics in this Country"

But it's a good day for 'progressive politics'...

In terms of democracy this will be largely irrelevant anyway. We don't need more elected politicians who are only vaguely accountable, we need more decisions taken by referenda. That's the only real way of increasing democracy.

I think I might just break down and cry...

Revert back to pre-Blair. And if Cameron supports axing the hereditaries when the reforms finally come to proper talks and a bill, I shall never vote for the party under his leadership.

@ Seb
If you suppose that the reform of the HofL into an elected Senate is likely to promote progressive politics other than in the tribalistic sense of a victory over the remaining hereditaries then you are a fool

All my comments that the political gridlock of an elected second chamber will stymie any hope of radical reform apply just a smuch to progressive politics as to right wing politics.

Except that its the right wingers with all the ideas and the Liberals who are the real conservatives.

Changes of such long-lasting consequence, such as Lords and pensions matters (i.e. far beyond the tenure in government of any particular party) should be examined by a Royal Commission, not just left to be kicked around as a political football.

With the Lords, we have something that was broken by the current regime and they were looking for a quick fix.

It's very sad.

It has happened because;

(1) We (Conservatives) wanted to look more 'democratic' than Labour - and for party political advantage (this should never happen when dealing with matters as serious as our nations constitution)
(2) Cash for peerages has so totally destroyed any confidence in an appointed house, no-one trusts even an independent commission
(3)Labour backbenchers are now so bloody minded they want to screw Blair over anything they can - a free vote on this white paper was an ideal opportunity to do so
(4)Minor Parties and Liberals voted for it, because of their misplaced feeling of "moral superiority" over the main parties
(5)Listening to the speeches in the Commons hardly anyone articulated a convincing moral - as well as logical -case for an appointed Upper House (Sir Patrick McCormack's speech was disappointing)

It is worth bearing in mind that *if* our MPs hadn't voted for the 100% elected house, the maximum majority achieved for this option(113) would have been wiped out by the 57 Conservative MPs voting the other way (114).

We would then not be in this situation.

It is therefore not unreasonable to blame our MPs for this result.

All we can hope for now is that our front-bench does some very, very serious thinking on how to make an elected chamber match as closely as possible the roles, skills and responsibilities our current one has.

And for heavens sake, don't call it the Senate - it makes me choke.

Whilst is true that the Lords are not salaried it is not true to say that they all members of the Upper Chamber are unpaid. Many of them, especially Labour Peers are handsomely rewarded by patronage – the allocation of well paid QUANGO positions and other sinecures. These can then be used to threaten wayward Peers should they stray too far from the Government line. It was the use of such threats that have repeatedly succeeded in bringing Labour Peers to heel on matters as the destruction of civil liberties.

Please DO call it a Senate. It should have been so called from the moment that hereditary Peers were expelled. If the element of snobbery had been removed simultaneously it is quite possible that the unscrupulous business of selling places in the Upper Chamber by the Blair government would not have occurred.

I don't think the title "Senator" would have affected the cash for peerages scandal one iota.

It still carries status and power, therefore it is desirable.

Would you abolish Knighthoods and the NY Honours too?

You are not a true Conservative if you do not value maintaining the traditional names. I see no reason to rename a chamber with an 800-year history and legacy to a wholly un-British "Senate". It implies a wholly different role - and a rather republican one - styled as it is after the original Roman republic.

Also what will the House of Commons be renamed - would look a bit odd on it's own wouldn't it?

The old saw about if it ain't broke don't fix it comes to mind on Lords reform.
The idea of reform is the usual class dogma of the left attacking so-called perceived privilege. What is ignored, is that the Lords has been flooded with Labour peers over the last 10 years and this has not stopped the upper chamber from stamping down excessive legislation from the Commons. Clearly quite a few Labour Peers develop a backbone once they are cut adrift from the Commons and the whips and are no longer subservient to the constituency fascists for re-election.
Reform for NuLab is just another means in their attempt to perpetuate rule, by removing what they see as the roadblocks to total control and total power. Like any socialist entity, they are unable to accept or understand the democratic principle, preferring the option of rule by fiat, by an elite grouping, in the spirit of Stalinism and that of North Korea's Kim.
We all recognise that democracy does not come cheap, but is it necessary to spend all that money. One cannot help thinking that whatever the change, it will not be for the better, and that NuLab will attempt to subvert what is achieved in their drive for total control. I fancy that a referendum is needed, as the changes will have far reaching impact on the way we conduct business and are a major reform of our political structures and the lectorate should have a say.

As with the first past the post system you get alot of non voters, making parties and MPs unrepresentative. So the HoL should be made into a fully electable, anything lest is undemocratic. Now the interesting point is that there are people who dont vote, or who would like a non of the above. Why not make it that the people who dont vote elect an independant to the HoL, or even better a non of the above on the vote. This would effectively stop any party no matter how popular with the first past the post system having power in the HoL and an effectice dictatorship. But this would be even better because it wouldnt have the main opposition party opposing in the HoL but independants, so you dont get the usual compaints from the Government about "the democratically elected commons". The only problem would be how you get the independants without the policical establishment.

If this Cavalier cannot be a true Conservative according to the appropriately named Mr Hatchet then who can. What an impertinent fellow. How can he know what I think, value or believe?

The system is broken, and has been broken for a long time. It's only that recently it's been falling to pieces in a much more obvious way, which has attracted public attention and provoked widespread disquiet.

Hereditary titles can stay as far as I am concerned. As long as all privileges attached to them are abolished. I don't see how someone should be in a house of parliament just because they inherited a title at birth.

Inheriting a title is not an accomplishment.

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