Stephen Beer, Blog, Stephen Beer

Stephen Beer (www.stephenbeer.com)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

MPs vote for elected House of Lords

MPs voted this evening by a majority of 113 for a completely elected House of Lords. There was also a majority in favour of an 80% elected House. Other options were rejected, including a completely appointed chamber (179 voted against).

This surprise result should be celebrated as a vote in favour of democracy - even if it seems some MPs voted tactically to try to scupper change once the vote on a fully appointed chamber had been lost.

As I noted in a previous post on this issue, the powers of the House of Lords need to be carefully defined (http://stephenbeeronline.blogspot.com/2007/02/reforming-house-of-lords.html).

Some progress has been made on this. The challenge however is how to ensure that the Commons remains the primary chamber and that, in effect, the second chamber is enabled to do its job as a revising chamber while being 'kept in its democratic place'.

That probably means that the House of Lords needs to be elected in a different way to the House of Commons.

The vote this evening was only indicative. Much debate remains to be had before we are near real reform of our second chamber.

3 comments:

The Labour Humanist said...

Very encouraging news indeed from tonight's voting.

By the way can you sort out an RSS feed on your blog - I'd like to subscribe!

The Labour Humanist said...

Please ignore the second part of my last post, I've just spotted the link for the feed at the bottom of the page!

Anonymous said...

Will an elected second chamber mean there is less wisdom in the house? I'd like to think that it means we recognise the wisdom of the people, not just that of 'experts'. Still, when we have an elected second chamber, there could still be a portion that are pre-selected. After all political parties pre-select candidates to stand. Perhaps the existing House of Lords appointments commission (ie. not the Prime Minister) could continue to nominate people for the second chamber - including bishops - but we, the people, get to vote them in - or not.