Tuesday, 17 May 2011
House of Lords Reform
The Deputy Prime Minister (The Rt. Hon Nick Clegg MP) has presented a draft House of Lords (Reform) Bill to Parliament. The Bill is to be considered in a committee which will report in early 2012. The proposal involves a House much reduced in size (300 is proposed) and the majority (possibly all) will be elected using the Single Transferable Vote (STV) method of proportional representation.
See the draft Bill together with Explanatory Notes. A later post will take a look at this important proposal in some detail. See also Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
It appears that this key constitutional reform will be decided just by the politicians. No referendum on the reforms is planned. Should there not at least be some detailed consultation with the people on reforming what is, after all, a Parliament which enacts the laws they have to live by?
The White Paper ends by stating - "This draft Bill marks the transformation of the House of Lords into a democratically legitimate second chamber. It provides our vision for the reform of the House of Lords. The Government looks forward to the results of the work of the Joint Committee which is undertaking pre-legislative scrutiny of the Bill. We will consider their report carefully, but remain committed to introducing a Bill for enactment in time to provide for the first elections in 2015."
Addendum 18th May: UCL Constitution Unit Press Release - Eight key obstacles on the road to Lords reform.