House of Lords

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Ciranore
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#1
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#1
Should it be wholly unelected as it is now or should it be elected

opinions?
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Dilmurod Dilmu
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#2
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#2
Unelected.
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gladders
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#3
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#3
Unelected, but substantially reformed. A cap on numbers, a retirement scheme, and a more meritocratic and accountable means of appointment.
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L i b
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#4
Report 7 years ago
#4
(Original post by gladders)
Unelected, but substantially reformed. A cap on numbers, a retirement scheme, and a more meritocratic and accountable means of appointment.
This.

I don't see much merit to yet another elected chamber. I suspect if it was elected, we'd see them using whatever procedural measures they could to grandstand and challenge unpopular legislation from the Commons. Then we'd end up with an argument about legitimacy and potentially an American-style system where both houses end up horsetrading votes and policies.

The Lords has its value as a revising chamber. I think the hereditaries should probably go eventually, although I'll be sorry to see that from a sentimentalist angle. It should be appointed, with a mix between party appointees (better capped than at present) and merit-based independent appointments.
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TurboCretin
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#5
Report 7 years ago
#5
I think it's right that we have a meritocratic chamber, rather than both being ruled by popularity contests. To that end, though, I think the HL needs reforming.
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HigherMinion
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#6
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#6
(Original post by L i b)
I think the hereditaries should probably go eventually
Why is this necessary?
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Teaddict
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#7
Report 7 years ago
#7
(Original post by gladders)
Unelected, but substantially reformed. A cap on numbers, a retirement scheme, and a more meritocratic and accountable means of appointment.
I believe Gladders and I have written on this issue on this forum many a time over a number of years. While I do not wish to speak on behalf of Gladders, I suspect both our views are summarised in this blog article:

http://www.theconversative.com/comme...ouse-of-lords/
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Teaddict
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#8
Report 7 years ago
#8
(Original post by HigherMinion)
Why is this necessary?
Quite simple really. The only way that a non-elected body can maintain its existence is through legitimacy. This is why we don't challenge the courts existence. We perceive them as highly legitimate even if they have no real democratic accountability mechanisms. The courts are seen as independent, judicious, and deserving of public support.

Equally, if we want the Lords to be seen in this light, we must ensure that nothing exists to weaken its legitimacy. The ability of the Prime Minister to appoint peers weakens its legitimacy. The ability of political parties to effectively appoint peers the same. So to regarding the hereditaries. The Monarchy can get away with this. A Chamber of parliament cannot.
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HigherMinion
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#9
Report 7 years ago
#9
(Original post by Teaddict)
Quite simple really. The only way that a non-elected body can maintain its existence is through legitimacy. This is why we don't challenge the courts existence. We perceive them as highly legitimate even if they have no real democratic accountability mechanisms. The courts are seen as independent, judicious, and deserving of public support.

Equally, if we want the Lords to be seen in this light, we must ensure that nothing exists to weaken its legitimacy. The ability of the Prime Minister to appoint peers weakens its legitimacy. The ability of political parties to effectively appoint peers the same. So to regarding the hereditaries. The Monarchy can get away with this. A Chamber of parliament cannot.
If it's not solely hereditary, then it can be corrupted. If it's purely hereditary, the Lords will have not just a host of different opinions on a particular piece of legislation, but they live in the country and tend to care what happens to it. They won't always do what is popular.

I do not want anyone appointed to the Lords: it should only be hereditary. This is the only way to maintain it's legitimacy, or you may as well have one giant House of Commons and abolish the Lords.
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william walker
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#10
Report 7 years ago
#10
It should be brought back to the way it was after the English Bill of Rights. 50 hereditary peers. Judges and Bishops. Its legitimacy is that the people who sit within it have legacy within Britain. They are seated because of legacy, rather than their own deeds. People who seek to remove hereditary peers seek to destroy the legacy of the British nation state. The House of Lords must be a legacy based House and the Commons a representative house. This is Parliament.

We must not forget the present is simply the legacy of the past.
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Captain Haddock
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#11
Report 7 years ago
#11
At least get rid of the Lords Spiritual. The episcopacy has no place in modern governance.
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Teaddict
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#12
Report 7 years ago
#12
(Original post by HigherMinion)
If it's not solely hereditary, then it can be corrupted. If it's purely hereditary, the Lords will have not just a host of different opinions on a particular piece of legislation, but they live in the country and tend to care what happens to it. They won't always do what is popular.

I do not want anyone appointed to the Lords: it should only be hereditary. This is the only way to maintain it's legitimacy, or you may as well have one giant House of Commons and abolish the Lords.
Before I respond, I suspect many of my responses can be found within the blog article I referenced earlier. Please, if you have time, give it a quick read. I think you will find it informative.
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gladders
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#13
Report 7 years ago
#13
(Original post by HigherMinion)
If it's not solely hereditary, then it can be corrupted. If it's purely hereditary, the Lords will have not just a host of different opinions on a particular piece of legislation, but they live in the country and tend to care what happens to it. They won't always do what is popular.
The old hereditary House shows your assumptions are unfounded. It may have been not corrupt by virtue of accident of birth, but the breadth of talent and experience within it was quite limited. Nor do the appointed Lords do what's popular; after all, it''s the appointed House that frustrated the fox hunting ban in 2004.

I do not want anyone appointed to the Lords: it should only be hereditary. This is the only way to maintain it's legitimacy, or you may as well have one giant House of Commons and abolish the Lords.
I don't think you quite understand what legitimacy means. It has to be accepted as legitimate by a broad spectrum of society, and the hereditaries had arguably stopped doing that well over a century ago. The hereditary House ended up being more of a hindrance than an aid, as its hereditary nature crippled its ability to block bad legislation coming from the Commons.

Thanks to their removal, the Lords has enjoyed 15 years of rejuvenation, it's a considerably more active and effective chamber now than it's been in roughly a century.
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william walker
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#14
Report 7 years ago
#14
The fox hunting ban doesn't matter. Also the point in the Lords isn't to block anything but change it. It is then after passing through Parliament to the Monarch which blocks law or the Courts which the government can then appeal in the House of Lords.

If you want to restore the power of the House of Lords to constrain the government and House of Commons you need to cut the numbers of Lords and make them sure of their power. House of Lords was the most powerful chamber throughout the 1700's, however it is clear that it has no independent power anymore because the wealth of the aristocracy was taken through death taxation and the House of Lords was stacked with to many Peers.

I don't want a House of Lords that was around in the 1800's or 1900's, I want the House of Lords from the early 1700's. The peak of British governance and civilisation.
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william walker
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#15
Report 7 years ago
#15
(Original post by Captain Haddock)
At least get rid of the Lords Spiritual. The episcopacy has no place in modern governance.
Get rid of all the non-Anglican or Protestant Lords Spiritual I agree.
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Captain Haddock
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#16
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#16
(Original post by william walker)
Get rid of all the non-Anglican or Protestant Lords Spiritual I agree.
In other words 'don't get rid of any of the Lords Spiritual', since they are all Anglican.
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gladders
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#17
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#17
(Original post by william walker)
The fox hunting ban doesn't matter. Also the point in the Lords isn't to block anything but change it.
True, but it can at the last try to stop a law by holding it up and using its reputation to get the Commons to think again. It failed with fox hunting, but the point is Higher Minion claimed an hereditary House would have a stronger concern for the countryside. The present House actually has a large number of farmers.

It is then after passing through Parliament to the Monarch which blocks law or the Courts which the government can then appeal in the House of Lords.
I don't understand what you mean. No monarch has blocked a law in three centuries, and they certainly won't start doing it now. Under what capacity can the Government appeal to the Lords for a law struck down in courts - remembering, of course, that courts keep away from striking down primary legislation?

If you want to restore the power of the House of Lords to constrain the government and House of Commons you need to cut the numbers of Lords and make them sure of their power. House of Lords was the most powerful chamber throughout the 1700's, however it is clear that it has no independent power anymore because the wealth of the aristocracy was taken through death taxation and the House of Lords was stacked with to many Peers.
There is absolutely no way a hereditary or appointed Lords could approach the absolute bicameralism of the 1700s, even if you entirely repealed the Parliament Acts. The Members, as well as the country, would consider such activity illegitimate. Consider the wholly appointed Canadian Senate is not constrained by a Parliament Act and it does not use its full powers.

And the cause of this decline was not due to death taxation or stacking of the House. It was neutered long before life peerages came about, or that death taxation got to the degree it is today. The simple fact is that for many centuries the public has permitted fewer and fewer avenues by which the Lords can be assertive.

I don't want a House of Lords that was around in the 1800's or 1900's, I want the House of Lords from the early 1700's. The peak of British governance and civilisation.
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zippity.doodah
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#18
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#18
elect them - the idea that some council of tired old men should challenge the semi-democratic house of commons is both frustrating and patronising to the concept of human rationality/self-determination. if people are too stupid to elect people to do "the right things" then why are we even bothering by electing one house? if we're so dumb as voters that we need a "corrective" chamber, then well, ****, we are a bunch of clueless fools, apparently. we challenge terrorism bills and snoopers charters which offer a stench of nanny-statist elitism, but then "we" support institutions like the lords because "they know bet for us 'lot". utterly ridiculous.

oh yeah, and to the people thinking that the priests and the ****ing *hereditaries* should stay - either you are thinking through your anus, or you have a powerful respect towards truly *ancient* and backwards ideas, like hereditary-rule or theocracy. the idea that "they have something to bring to the table" (epecially the hereditaries) based on who their daddy was is both factually vague and moronic - if you can select someone to rule/legislate if you first pamper them until they're 65 years old, sucking on daddy's silver spoon, then you or anybody at all can be a lord, so long as their pappy was rich and politically-connected
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gladders
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#19
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#19
(Original post by zippity.doodah)
elect them - the idea that some council of tired old men should challenge the semi-democratic house of commons is both frustrating and patronising to the concept of human rationality/self-determination.
Why? It's not as if it's unique to the UK. The majority of bicameral states do not directly elect their upper houses. Why duplicate what already exists in the lower?

And surely your criticism would include, say, judges, who are also a council of tired old men that challenge the House of Commons from time to time?

if people are too stupid to elect people to do "the right things" then why are we even bothering by electing one house?
It's not about trusting the people to elect the right people - it's trusting those elected people to do good. Clearly, if we trusted the Commons, why would we bother with a second house at all?

if we're so dumb as voters that we need a "corrective" chamber, then well, ****, we are a bunch of clueless fools, apparently. we challenge terrorism bills and snoopers charters which offer a stench of nanny-statist elitism,
So you're a unicameralist now? You said 'elect them' earlier. Tell me, if not to be a corrective chamber, what do you see an upper house for?

but then "we" support institutions like the lords because "they know bet for us 'lot". utterly ridiculous
Preeeeeeettty sure you're projecting here. Not a single pro-appointed-Lords person has argued such nonsense.

oh yeah, and to the people thinking that the priests and the ****ing *hereditaries* should stay - either you are thinking through your anus, or you have a powerful respect towards truly *ancient* and backwards ideas, like hereditary-rule or theocracy. the idea that "they have something to bring to the table" (epecially the hereditaries) based on who their daddy was is both factually vague and moronic - if you can select someone to rule/legislate if you first pamper them until they're 65 years old, sucking on daddy's silver spoon, then you or anybody at all can be a lord, so long as their pappy was rich and politically-connected
Look...you're entitled to your opinion, and believe it or not this is the one field in which I actually sympathise with your view, but your attitude bloody stinks. Treat people with respect, rather than belittling them. You're extremely offensive, and no worse than the straw-men you invented that apparently consider the Lords 'good for us'.
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Gos123
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#20
Report 7 years ago
#20
Unelected. It's fine as he is.

As far as I could consider reform is to remove hereditary peers (after ths current lot dies) and remove Bishops.
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