can someone check this essay - unit 2 Watch

ccfctom
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Assess the arguments in favour of a largely or wholly elected second chamber (25)

My teacher gave me 17/25 for this, I'm wondering what I need to do to get marked higher as I'm not sure what else I can do? Want to get in the 20's.

The House of Lords was last reformed in 1999 in which the number of hereditary peers was reduced to 92. Further reforms have been presented by the coalition government in 2010 such as a completely elected second chamber, partly elected second chamber or a completely appointed second chamber. The arguments in favour of an elected second chamber will be discussed and a conclusion reached.

Firstly, it can be argued that by having an elected second chamber is a more democratic solution as the elected members will have the popular consent of the people and can also claim legitimacy, so they effectively have the democratic right to scrutinise legislation and propose amendments. This can be extended further by electing these individuals using an electoral system on the basis of proportional representation, such as Single Transferable vote. This will allow members who support smaller parties to be represented in the House of Lords, such as the Green Party. However, this could mean extremist parties such as the BNP can be represented who may have views which do not serve the best interests of the people. Also, the House of Lords could be seen as more legitimate than the House of Commons as they have been elected using a fairer voting system, this would then bring into question if the House of Commons should be so dominant.

Secondly, by having an elected second chamber makes the members of the House of Lords accountable to the electorate, as currently they are accountable to nobody as they are wholly appointed. So as things stand, the members of the House of Lords have no democratic right to scrutinise legislation and propose amendments as they are unelected. However, it could be argued by making the members accountable via elections will make the electorate more apathetic towards voting. In 2010 the general election turnout was only 65% and the chances are that an election for members of the House of Lords will be an even lower turnout. An obvious fix to this is to make voting compulsory so the members can gain the popular consent via higher turnout figures, however there are problems to making voting compulsory such as "donkey voting" and the intrusion of freedom of the electorate.

Finally, by having an elected second chamber can mean that the House of Lords can serve as a more effective check of proposed government legislation. This is because the elected members may not represent a government majority so legislation cannot be steamrolled through the House of Lords, which may occur if there was a government majority in the House of Lords so members can display party loyalty and advance their careers. The House of Lords may have more authority, this means the government cannot simply ignore proposed amendments from the HOL as they have gained popular consent from the electorate, so they are more legitimate. Ignoring the HOL could result in protests if the amendments ignored are in the best interests of the people. However, a consequence of this is that the House of Commons may face excessive obstruction when trying to pass every law as the HOL may not have a government majority. This can be very time consuming and can mean that time is wasted debating more important issues. However, the power of the government is protected by the Parliament acts (1911,1949) so financial matter cannot be delayed by the HOL. Also, the Salisbury Convention restricts the HOL, not allowing them to delay any proposals made by the government in their election manifesto.

To conclude, the arguments in favour of an elected second chamber are stronger than the arguments against proposed. To be an effective check on government power the HOL needs democratic consent and legitimacy. A partly elected second chamber is also an option so the HOC will be more legitimate than the HOL so excessive obstruction can be restricted, even though this is supported by the Parliament acts and the Salisbury convention. All these factors considered propose that the HOL requires reform.
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Cam977
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Be more consistent with your argument from the start, give the examiner an idea of how you'll conclude before they reach it.

More evidence! Throw as much evidence in as possible, I know it's difficult but towards the end of your essay the evidence was strongly lacking.

A stronger conclusion

Throw some political theory in there.

A few more counter arguments would strengthen this

In your intro explain the basic idea of the question more: what the Lords is, how it's the upper chamber but is subordinate to commons due to limited powers, its composition etc... Also don't say 'The arguments in favour of an elected second chamber will be discussed and a conclusion reached.' you want an intro along the lines of:

'The house of Lords, the upper chamber in the bicameral British legislature that is Parliament, has been subject to heated controversy following the election of Blair's New Labour government in 1997 as a result of promised reform set-out in the party's manifesto of that year. Since this manifesto various reforms have taken place with further reform being suggested (White papers of 2001, 2003, 2007 and 2008), moreover the 2012 House of Lords Reform Act sought to alter the house to be fully elected by 2020, yet this, as well as other proposals after the 1999 House of Lords Act, failed. Despite these reform proposals, the House still remains unelected and the chamber lacks legitimacy as a result of this, leaving the chamber in a state of reform deadlock. However, Blair's reform arguably improved the chamber's scrutiny quality, yet arguments still circulate regarding further reform of the chamber. The nearest alternative is abolition, however the consequences would arguably be worse than those of reform, making reform the better option.'

You've missed a key argument in the event of a wholly elected chamber: It too will share a mandate making it more legitimate which will cause institutional conflict to Commons and in turn, this may lead to gridlock as happens in the American Congress which led to the 2013 and 1992 government shutdowns, thus this could be a huge issue.

Party control would become more prominent if it were elected, thus undermining the Lords' expertise and cross benchers' reputation, possibly leading to more rather than less executive dominance in comparison to the status quo.

Tip:
try and address the 'shades of grey' of the question that aren't covered. Ie: abolition, debates etc...
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A level RPP
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(Original post by Cam977)
Be more consistent with your argument from the start, give the examiner an idea of how you'll conclude before they reach it.

More evidence! Throw as much evidence in as possible, I know it's difficult but towards the end of your essay the evidence was strongly lacking.

A stronger conclusion

Throw some political theory in there.

A few more counter arguments would strengthen this

In your intro explain the basic idea of the question more: what the Lords is, how it's the upper chamber but is subordinate to commons due to limited powers, its composition etc... Also don't say 'The arguments in favour of an elected second chamber will be discussed and a conclusion reached.' you want an intro along the lines of:

'The house of Lords, the upper chamber in the bicameral British legislature that is Parliament, has been subject to heated controversy following the election of Blair's New Labour government in 1997 as a result of promised reform set-out in the party's manifesto of that year. Since this manifesto various reforms have taken place with further reform being suggested (White papers of 2001, 2003, 2007 and 2008), moreover the 2012 House of Lords Reform Act sought to alter the house to be fully elected by 2020, yet this, as well as other proposals after the 1999 House of Lords Act, failed. Despite these reform proposals, the House still remains unelected and the chamber lacks legitimacy as a result of this, leaving the chamber in a state of reform deadlock. However, Blair's reform arguably improved the chamber's scrutiny quality, yet arguments still circulate regarding further reform of the chamber. The nearest alternative is abolition, however the consequences would arguably be worse than those of reform, making reform the better option.'

You've missed a key argument in the event of a wholly elected chamber: It too will share a mandate making it more legitimate which will cause institutional conflict to Commons and in turn, this may lead to gridlock as happens in the American Congress which led to the 2013 and 1992 government shutdowns, thus this could be a huge issue.

Party control would become more prominent if it were elected, thus undermining the Lords' expertise and cross benchers' reputation, possibly leading to more rather than less executive dominance in comparison to the status quo.

Tip:
try and address the 'shades of grey' of the question that aren't covered. Ie: abolition, debates etc...
AMAZE...u are so good...what did u get in your a level...please give me tips...
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