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Common sense prevails

March 8, 2007

So the House of Commons has finally voted in favour of reforming the upper chamber. The 80% elected 20% appointed option was the one that was expected to come out on top so I was delighted that whereas that option got a majority of 38 the option of 100% elected got an even bigger majority of 113.

The only thing that stuns me is that in this day and age 224 Member of Parliament could oppose the concept of a wholly elected chamber in the first place. Does anyone know where we can see a list of who voted against?

In some parts of the world I should imagine we must be a bit of a laughing stock but at least at long last this is a step in the right direction. MP’s also voted for the remaining 92 hereditary peers to be removed. Another no brainer. As far as I can tell they were not offered a vote on the retention of Bishops and Archbishops but they too should be removed from the second chamber.

I assume that the government will now push forward with this option. There is obviously a long way to go yet.

Doubtless the Lords will reject these proposals out of hand.

The major political parties need to get together and agree the details of how a wholly elected second chamber might work. This needs to address the mechanics of electing a second chamber and just as importantly what the role and powers of that second chamber should be. Proposals then need to be included in election manifestos for the next general election thereby weakening the ability of the Lords to oppose such proposals.

Before we get too excited it looks like it could be at least 2010 or 2011 before the Lords is finally killed off and replaced with an elected chamber.

Oh the joys of living in a modern democracy
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  1. Edis
    March 8, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    You can access the Offical Record (Hansard) on line direct. Or possibly more conveniently through the ‘They Work For You’ webpage on http://www.theyworkforyou.com/

    The official lists of votes on any particular division in Lords or Commons usually appears on the site a day or so after the vote takes place. You can also locate how any particular MP voted on any issue through the Public Whip website http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/

  2. Tony Ferguson
    March 8, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    Brilliant thanks for that. I knew I could get the information somewhere but for the life of me I could not remember where

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