...a blog by Richard Flowers

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Day 2753: Surely it can't be THAT difficult to elect the House of Lords Club?


So, the Sinister Minister has laid out his plans for the Upper Chamber. It's going to be DEATHTRAPS isn't it…

Well, no, it is (once again!) a decision to put off making a decision.

The announcement that there WILL be an elected House of Lords Club… IF the Labour wins the next General Election is actually only to say that there MIGHT be, not to say that they are going to include some weird trigger clause in current legislation.

And why NOT leave it until 2011? After all, 100 years of waiting for reform is a good round number.

I hardly need to explain to Liberals what is OUGHT to be: elections by single transferable vote with large multi-member constituencies, perhaps approximating to counties, elected by thirds, once only for a single term equivalent to three (fixed term) Parliaments.


Single transferable vote: because it's the fairest way to put people not politicians in charge of who they choose to represent them. Anything involving lists (and that includes alternative votes and tops ups) is a recipe for Party Fixers.

Large multi-member constituencies: to ensure a spread of representation, so that the most possible people can feel that they have succeeded in getting THEIR representative elected.

Elected by thirds: ironically to weaken the mandate of the upper chamber – two thirds of the members will always be "out of date" compared to the House of Commons, but equally to slow the way that power is shifted from one party to another to improve the quality of reflection that the Upper Chamber is supposed to bring.

Once only: so that there is no question of their Lordships being beholden to vested interests and party machinery, no reason for them to pander to populism just to retain their seat, 'cos they know from the start that they ain't gonna.

Of course, this may be obvious to US, but the other Parties are too interested in maintaining their COSY CONSENSUS to do it.

Governments come in full of fire with a strong mandate, just when they COULD deliver real earn-your-place-in-history changes. And then MYSTERIOUSLY they DON'T! Of course they'll SAY that they have "more important" things to do like changing the headed notepaper or banning something, but the truth is that at the moment of being elected, that's when the STATUS QUO has just delivered them everything they want, so if it ain't broke why fix it? And so what if the House of Lords Club is a bit of a pain from time to time. They can always clobber them with a Parliament Act to get stuff through. By the time they reach the DYING DAYS of their administration, when they realise that BUGGINS TURN is inevitably going to be the other fella, they are too weak and dithering to do anything anyway.

One or other of them, the Tweedle-Tories, may talk about "the loss of community" or "a broken society" but the heart of our community is a BROKEN POLITICS, one that is built on foundations of patronage and unearned privilege.

That is why you need a LIBERAL DEMOCRAT Government, because unlike the other Parties we TRUST PEOPLE, so we don't want a system fixed in favour of anyone EXCEPT you.

1 comment:

Steph Ashley said...

I have a question, wise and fluffy one! If we are going to elect Lords Club members, ought we to also pay them a salary for being there? And if so, how can we find the pennies to do it?