Reforming yet retaining the House of Lords – with elegant simplicity

Each elected member of the House of Commons shall, after taking his/her seat in the Commons nominate one unrelated person of substance and of the opposite sex to sit in the House of Lords for the Parliamentary term of the elected member. Upon accepting a seat in the House of Lords it shall be understood that the nominated Peer is not under any formal or indeed informal obligation to provide political support for the MP who nominated him/her, nor indeed the MPs party. Everybody bar blood relatives or relatives through marriage will be eligible for nomination. There shall be no judgement of character for example. The choice of Peer made by an MP; good or bad will ultimately reflect upon the MP. The existing aristocracy will keep their titles but will not be entitled to sit in the upper house unless they have been nominated by an MP to do so. Nominated peers will retain their life peerages even if their sponsor decides to nominate another person after any subsequent parliamentary election. Nominated peers will not canvas for support – it will be understood that a nomination is entirely in the gift of each MP. In fact nobody should ever canvas for a seat in the upper house.  In short the nomination and award of a seat in the House of Lords will be understood to be exclusively a matter of honour. The House of Lords will retain its vitally important role of scrutiny, revising and advising on government legislative proposals, together with the facility to inroduce legislation or even repeal legislation that is not considered party political in character.   Owzat? 

 

 

 

 

Why does this idea matter?

For donkey's years governments of every hue have been leaden and unimaginative in their proposals to reform the House of Lords. An invigorated second chamber can make a vital contribution to the legislative process and would be a constitutionally useful to provide brakes where neccessary and advice to over enthusiastic legislative proposals from the Commons. As well we will have at last an upper house where the political stripe will more accurately mirror the composition of the elected house and therefore an Upper House more reflective of the political will of the people.  Moreover, the power to nominate a peer, emanating solely as it will from the Commons benches, will add some much needed authority and influence to the role of the MP which has been so appallingly diminished in recent years, as the control of the executive has steamrolled over all other traditional repositories of power, mostly unchecked.

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