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...a blog by Richard Flowers

Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 4212: But if it DOES come to a Referendum...

Friday:

Hard Labour CLAIM that they're FOR the PRINCIPLE of Lords Reform, but AGAINST the SPECIFICS of this Bill. So if we DO cut a DEAL that involves a REFERENDUM, let's make it one UP FRONT on the PRINCIPLES of reform.

This means it HAS to be WIDER than just a "YES/NO" to the current proposals.

The many different CONTENTIOUS CLAUSES in Cap'n Clegg's Bill give the reactionaries many different directions to attack from. So what say we make sure the PUBLIC get to decide on ALL the main issues, settling each question one way or the other. Like this:

The House of Lords is the second chamber of the United Kingdom Parliament. It reviews and revises legislation and can amend but not block legislation sent to it by the House of Commons. At present, the members of the House of Lords (peers) are appointed for life, mainly (80%) by the leaders of Political Parties, with some, known as Cross Benchers, selected by the Appointments Panel, and some Church of England Bishops.

The main question in this referendum is to decide in principle whether we should elect peers rather than appoint them.

Supplementary questions are asked about what an elected chamber might look like and how it might be elected IF it is decided to change to an elected House of Lords. Please answer all the questions, whatever your preference for an elected or appointed chamber.

MAIN QUESTION: Should the House of Lords be appointed or elected?
  • Appointed
  • Elected

SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS:

QUESTION ONE: If it is decided that the Lords should be elected, should peers be mainly or entirely elected?
  • Mainly elected peers (80%, per the Government's proposals)
  • Wholly elected (100%)

QUESTION TWO: If it is decided that the Lords should be elected, a proportional voting system is proposed. Should the voting system for the Lords be:
  • Party list system (as used in European Parliament elections)
  • Ranked preference system (as used in Scottish local elections or Northern Ireland)

QUESTION THREE: There are currently around nine hundred unelected peers. The Government proposes to reduce this number to four hundred and fifty. There will be six hundred member members of the House of Commons. How many peers should there be:
  • 300
  • 450
  • 600
  • 900
(vote for first and second preference)

QUESTION FOUR: The Government's proposals are for peers to sit for a single term of office of fifteen years, electing one third of the House at the same time as a General Election. If the House of Lords is elected, how long should their terms be:
  • Fifteen years (electing one third of members at each General Election every five years)
  • Ten years (electing one half of members at each General Election every five years)
  • Five years (electing all the members at each General Election every five years)
(vote for first and second preference)

QUESTION FIVE: The Government's proposals for fifteen-year terms include a provision that peers should not be allowed to stand for re-election. Do you agree?
  • Yes, peers should only be elected for one term
  • No, peers should be allowed to stand more than once

QUESTION SIX: Presently there are twenty-six Church of England Bishops with seats in the House of Lords. The Government proposes to reduce this to fifteen in line with the proposed smaller House of Lords. If it is decided that there should continue to be some appointed members, do you think that the Bishops should have seats in the House of Lords?
  • Yes, there should be seats for religious leaders
  • No, only members appointed by the Appointments Commission should have Cross Bencher seats

QUESTION SIX-A: Should the seats continue to be reserved for the Church of England or should other religions be represented as well?
  • Yes, the seats should remain exclusively for the Church of England
  • No, there should be representatives for people of all religions (and people with no religion)

QUESTION SEVEN: Under the Parliament Act, the House of Lords is only a revising chamber and cannot block legislation passed by the House of Commons. The Government's proposals will keep this provision. Do you agree?
  • Yes, the House of Commons should always be able to overrule the House of Lords
  • Yes, the House of Commons should be able to overrule the House of Lords, but only on the Budget
  • No, the House of Commons should not be able to overrule the House of Lords at all
A quick bill (haha), with all-Party support (hahaha), passed through the Commons this Autumn would pave the way for a poll next year. If the public reject an elected Lords then we drop the issue; if they approve, then we have a ready-made Bill that can be also be passed quickly, because only a bunch of BLINKERED SELF-INTERESTED IDIOTS would tell the Public that THEY know better... Oh.

1 comment:

Caron Lindsay said...

Hmmm. Multi option referenda are not great at showing the will of the public. There's a huge debate over the independence referendum up here. SNP are desperate for second question on Devo max but have said that if Devo max gets 99% and independence gets 50.1 %, Indy would win.

Even SNP's favoured expert says giving too much choice gives too much potential for an unclear result.