Basiil17
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#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
Image
( This is the Lords chamber during State Opening)


Today I'm going to focus on the second House of Parliament, the House of Lords. Most people believe that it is just filled with snotty white old men who do nothing, but I want to dispel that myth and focus on some of the other interesting parts. Whereas that stereotype is partially accurate, as the majority of the House is both old, white and male, it is starting to change. Interestingly, the only larger legislative body in the world is the North Korean Assembly!.The House is the revising chamber of Parliament, as all laws that are debated in the Commons have to go before the Lords for their approval. The Lords is only allowed to revise bills not block them, as the Commons, being the supreme chamber is allowed to force any bills through after two Parliamentary sessions, under the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949.

Structure of the Lords:
Unlike in the Commons, the Lord Speaker is only there to announce business, because the Lords is a self-regulating chamber, and the members control discipline. In a case of disagreement over who speaks, the Lord Privy Seal ( Baroness Evans of Bowes Park) decides who can speak. Like in the Commons, the Lords is divided up into Government and Opposition sides, but with the added Lords-Specific part of the Cross-Benchers, i.e independent Lords. The majority of business is ordered/decided by the Clerk of the Parliaments ( the boss of the Lords) and the Government Whip's office. Security in the House of Lords is run under the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod who is the Crown's representative in the Lords, and he is responsible for state occasions such as State Opening ( which is represented in the above image).

Day to Day Running of the Lords:
- All Days Start with a Question Time where Lords from any part of the House can ask 4 Questions of the Government- This can include Government Peers
- Then bills are read for a first time ( anything above 4), this lasts maybe 30 seconds per bill!
- Then into either debate/legisation depending on the programme
- Divisions (votes) are rarer than in the Commons, but can occur over an issue where verbal divisions do not work.
- A Verbal Division occurs after first readings and over any legislative amendment.
- The Lords do not vote as Aye/Nay, it is Content/Not Content (same thing really)
As per in the Commons, all debates are recorded by Hansard ( The office of the official report), which is publicly searchable at hansard.parliament.uk
[/field]

Points for Discussion:
1) Do you believe the House of Lords has a place in today's society?
2) How to reform the House, if there is a way?
3) What could work in place of it?
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ScottishBrexitor
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#2
Report 4 years ago
#2
I believe the House of Lords in it's current form is a mess and is in need of reform.

I am a strong advocate of having a second, upper elected chamber.

Personally I can see different ways of having a second upper chamber being elected, similar to the upper houses of the US and Australian Senate
I came with some rough concepts of what can replace the current system:

Plan A: Elected Regional Members
- 120 members
- 12 regional constituencies (Greater London, South East, South West, East of England, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber, North East, North West, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland)
- Each regional constituency elected 10 members to the House of Lords, under the voting system of semi-open party list PR, with a candidate needing around 10% of the votes to win a seat in the Lords
- Elected members serve three "electoral periods", effectively 15-year terms, at each Commons election (unless it is called early), one-third of seats will be up for each general election, for example:
- South West, West Midlands, North East & Scotland would elect members in 2022
- South East, East Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber & Wales would elect members in 2027,
- Greater London, East of England, North West & Northern Ireland would elect members in 2032
- Areas in South West, West Midlands, North East & Scotland elect members in again in 2037, after the 15-year term comes to an end
- Introduce a Speaker of the House of Lords elected by members of the Lords who will act as an independent Presiding Officer just like the Speaker of the House of Commons and will preside over debates, determining which members may speak and maintaining order during debate


Plan B: Elected County Members
- 296 Members
- 2 members for each of the 83 Metro & Non-Metro Counties of England,
- 2 members for each of the 32 subdivisions of Scotland,
- 2 members for each of the 22 principle areas of Wales,
- 2 members for each of the 11 District areas of Northern Ireland (1 Unionist and 1 Republican are elected per NI district)
- The two candidates with the most votes in each area wins the seats
- Elected members serve three "electoral periods", effectively 15-year terms, at each Commons election (unless it is called early), one-third (120) seats will be up for election
- For example:
- Areas in South West, West Midlands, North East & Scotland elect members in 2022
- Areas in South East, East Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber & Wales elect members in 2027,
- Areas Greater London, East of England, North West & Northern Ireland elect members in 2032
- Areas in South West, West Midlands, North East & Scotland elect members in again in 2037, after the 15-year term comes to an end
- Introduce a Speaker of the House of Lords elected by members of the Lords who will act as an independent Presiding Officer just like the Speaker of the House of Commons and will preside over debates, determining which members may speak and maintaining order during debate


Plan C: Elected Lieutenancy Area Members
- 198 members
- 2 members from each lieutenancy area of the UK, areas below (Northern Ireland areas elect 1 Unionist and 1 Republican)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieutenancy_area
- Elections held under STV with two seats available for each Lieutenancy
- Elected members serve three "electoral periods", effectively 15-year terms, at each Commons election (unless it is called early), one-third (120) seats will be up for election
- For example:
- Areas in South West, West Midlands, North East & Scotland elect members in 2022
- Areas in South East, East Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber & Wales elect members in 2027,
- Areas Greater London, East of England, North West & Northern Ireland elect members in 2032
- Areas in South West, West Midlands, North East & Scotland elect members in again in 2037, after the 15-year term comes to an end
- Introduce a Speaker of the House of Lords elected by members of the Lords who will act as an independent Presiding Officer just like the Speaker of the House of Commons and will preside over debates, determining which members may speak and maintaining order during debate


Plan D: Proportional Representational Appointments
- 200 Members
- Members are appointed by the Prime Minister and leaders of the oppositions, with appointments proportional to their vote share at the general election
For example:
- The Conservatives got 42.3% of the vote, they get 84 appointments, Labour got 40%, they get 80 appointments, SNP got 3% they get 6 appointments, Liberal Democrats get 7.9% they get 16 appointments, DUP get 0.9%, Sein Fein gets 0.7 they get 2 appointments each, Plaid Cymru get 0.5 they get 1 appointment, Greens get 1.6% they get 4 appointments, UKIP gets 1.8% they get 4 appointments and the last seat goes to SDLP which got 0.3% (UUP got the same percentage number but was 10,000 or so less votes)
- Powers the same as they are now, just more proportional representation in the upper chamber which is vitally needed in my opinion


Obviously these aren't perfect and not fully detailed enough but I feel these concepts are much better and have the potential to be better democratic, alternatives to the current system of the House of Lords.
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Basiil17
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#3
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#3
(Original post by ScottishBrexitor)
I believe the House of Lords in it's current form is a mess and is in need of reform.

I am a strong advocate of having a second, upper elected chamber.

Personally I can see different ways of having a second upper chamber being elected, similar to the upper houses of the US and Australian Senate
I came with some rough concepts of what can replace the current system:

Plan A: Elected Regional Members
- 120 members
- 12 regional constituencies (Greater London, South East, South West, East of England, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber, North East, North West, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland)
- Each regional constituency elected 10 members to the House of Lords, under the voting system of semi-open party list PR, with a candidate needing around 10% of the votes to win a seat in the Lords
- Elected members serve three "electoral periods", effectively 15-year terms, at each Commons election (unless it is called early), one-third of seats will be up for each general election, for example:
- South West, West Midlands, North East & Scotland would elect members in 2022
- South East, East Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber & Wales would elect members in 2027,
- Greater London, East of England, North West & Northern Ireland would elect members in 2032
- Areas in South West, West Midlands, North East & Scotland elect members in again in 2037, after the 15-year term comes to an end
- Introduce a Speaker of the House of Lords elected by members of the Lords who will act as an independent Presiding Officer just like the Speaker of the House of Commons and will preside over debates, determining which members may speak and maintaining order during debate


Plan B: Elected County Members
- 296 Members
- 2 members for each of the 83 Metro & Non-Metro Counties of England,
- 2 members for each of the 32 subdivisions of Scotland,
- 2 members for each of the 22 principle areas of Wales,
- 2 members for each of the 11 District areas of Northern Ireland
- The two candidates with the most votes in each area wins the seats
- Elected members serve three "electoral periods", effectively 15-year terms, at each Commons election (unless it is called early), one-third (120) seats will be up for election
- For example:
- Areas in South West, West Midlands, North East & Scotland elect members in 2022
- Areas in South East, East Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber & Wales elect members in 2027,
- Areas Greater London, East of England, North West & Northern Ireland elect members in 2032
- Areas in South West, West Midlands, North East & Scotland elect members in again in 2037, after the 15-year term comes to an end
- Introduce a Speaker of the House of Lords elected by members of the Lords who will act as an independent Presiding Officer just like the Speaker of the House of Commons and will preside over debates, determining which members may speak and maintaining order during debate


Plan C: Elected Lieutenancy Area Members
- 198 members
- 2 members from each lieutenancy area of the UK, areas below
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieutenancy_area
- Elections held under STV with two seats available for each Lieutenancy
- Elected members serve three "electoral periods", effectively 15-year terms, at each Commons election (unless it is called early), one-third (120) seats will be up for election
- For example:
- Areas in South West, West Midlands, North East & Scotland elect members in 2022
- Areas in South East, East Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber & Wales elect members in 2027,
- Areas Greater London, East of England, North West & Northern Ireland elect members in 2032
- Areas in South West, West Midlands, North East & Scotland elect members in again in 2037, after the 15-year term comes to an end
- Introduce a Speaker of the House of Lords elected by members of the Lords who will act as an independent Presiding Officer just like the Speaker of the House of Commons and will preside over debates, determining which members may speak and maintaining order during debate


Plan D: Proportional Representational Appointments
- 200 Members
- Members are appointed by the Prime Minister and leaders of the oppositions, with appointments proportional to their vote share at the general election
For example:
- The Conservatives got 42.3% of the vote, they get 84 appointments, Labour got 40%, they get 80 appointments, SNP got 3% they get 6 appointments, Liberal Democrats get 7.9% they get 16 appointments, DUP get 0.9%, Sein Fein gets 0.7 they get 2 appointments each, Plaid Cymru get 0.5 they get 1 appointment, Greens get 1.6% they get 4 appointments, UKIP gets 1.8% they get 4 appointments and the last seat goes to SDLP which got 0.3% (UUP got the same percentage number but was 10,000 or so less votes)
- Powers the same as they are now, just more proportional representation in the upper chamber which is vitally needed in my opinion


Obviously these aren't perfect and not fully detailed enough but I feel these concepts are much better and have the potential to be better democratic, alternatives to the current system of the House of Lords.
Wow, this was an interesting read, and good points made!
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ScottishBrexitor
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#4
Report 4 years ago
#4
(Original post by DreamlinerFinder)
Wow, this was an interesting read, and good points made!
Thank you very much. D you have any preference of which concept would be best to replace the current House of Lords? Or are you a firm supporter of the status quo or would rather see it abolished in it's entirety?
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Basiil17
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#5
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#5
(Original post by ScottishBrexitor)
Thank you very much. D you have any preference of which concept would be best to replace the current House of Lords? Or are you a firm supporter of the status quo or would rather see it abolished in it's entirety?
I'm personally one for sticking with the current system, because of the Lords being the revising chamber, and I feel that would be lost if it was politicised.
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ScottishBrexitor
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#6
Report 4 years ago
#6
(Original post by DreamlinerFinder)
I'm personally one for sticking with the current system, because of the Lords being the revising chamber, and I feel that would be lost if it was politicised.
Fair enough, while I get that idea I feel appointments haven't been good recently, the likes of David Cameron and co basically elected all former MPs who they got on well with rather than focusing more on picking the right people and the chamber is overflooded with members at the moment. I belief is that if we reform the Lords to a Senate style of chamber, where regions and counties get equal voices there will be less of a London centric vibe to Westminster which I think is needed. The US Senate for example gives all it's states 2 Senators so the US political system isn't just dominated by California, New York, Texas and Florida for example.
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Basiil17
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#7
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#7
(Original post by ScottishBrexitor)
Fair enough, while I get that idea I feel appointments haven't been good recently, the likes of David Cameron and co basically elected all former MPs who they got on well with rather than focusing more on picking the right people and the chamber is overflooded with members at the moment. I belief is that if we reform the Lords to a Senate style of chamber, where regions and counties get equal voices there will be less of a London centric vibe to Westminster which I think is needed. The US Senate for example gives all it's states 2 Senators so the US political system isn't just dominated by California, New York, Texas and Florida for example.
I think after the 2015 GE most of the Lib Dems who lost their seats went straight to the Lords!, and I totally agree on the overflowing point, as I read that the next largest parliamentary chamber in the world is the North Korean assembly!. Regional representation sounds interesting to look at
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ScottishBrexitor
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#8
Report 4 years ago
#8
(Original post by DreamlinerFinder)
I think after the 2015 GE most of the Lib Dems who lost their seats went straight to the Lords!, and I totally agree on the overflowing point, as I read that the next largest parliamentary chamber in the world is the North Korean assembly!. Regional representation sounds interesting to look at
Agreed, my preference would be the regional members, which would effectively make it an elected Senate in all but name. In addition I would change their salary system and given them a fixed yearly salary just like MPs as opposed to £300 per day they show up.

The whole political system of the UK imo needs reform. I'm an advocate of a federal UK by which there is a Federal Houses of Parliament for the whole UK along with a Federal UK Government, Federal Constitution and Federal Supreme Court, along with each Home Nation of the UK having their own Parliaments, Governments, Constitutions and Supreme Courts.

Federal UK Houses of Parliament:
- House of Commons: 373 MPs elected under AMS (300 FPTP and 73 PR)
- House of Lords: 120 Lords elected under Semi Open List PR, 10 Lords per UK regional constituency

With that I would also introduce an English Parliament along with the Scottish Parliament and Welsh and NI Assemblies getting reformed with more powers, their own constitutions and supreme courts:

English Parliament:
Lower House:
The House of Representatives:
- 300-350 MEPs elected in the traditional counties which would act as multi seat constituencies

The Upper House
The Senate
- 96 Senators with traditional counties electing 2 Senators each under STV

Both houses would have equal power, essentially the House of Representatives would be the voice of the people and the Senate would be the voice of the counties

The Scottish Parliament and Welsh & NI Assemblies would remain the same but with their own Constitution, Supreme Court and much more legislative power. I would prefer the Scottish Parliament to change it's voting system to STV though.

Federal Matters:
  • - the Crown
  • - Parliament
  • - international relations
  • - international development
  • - defence
  • - weapons of mass destruction
  • - honours
  • - treason
  • - immigration and nationality
  • - Taxation
  • - national insurance
  • - elections
  • - currency
  • - national security
  • - nuclear energy
  • - space


Shared Matters (matters which Home Country Parliaments can legislate on provided they don't go against Federal law or constitution):
  • - navigation (including merchant shipping)
  • - civil aviation
  • - The foreshore, sea bed and subsoil and their natural resources
  • - postal services
  • - import and export controls, external trade
  • - national minimum wage
  • - financial services
  • - financial markets
  • - intellectual property
  • - units of measurement
  • - telecommunications, broadcasting, internet services
  • - The National Lottery
  • - xenotransplantation
  • - surrogacy
  • - human fertilisation and embryology
  • - human genetics
  • - consumer safety in relation to goods
  • - firearms and explosives
  • - minimum wage

Home Country Matters (matters for the Home Countries)
  • - law & justice
  • - rates and bands of income tax in respective country
  • - rates of corporation tax in respective country
  • - motoring taxation
  • - exercise duties
  • - The National Health Service
  • - social services
  • - education
  • - employment and skills
  • - agriculture
  • - pensions & social security
  • - child support
  • - housing
  • - economic development
  • - local government
  • - environmental issues, including planning
  • - tourism, heritage, culture and sport
  • - transport (within respective country)


For England, due to it's size and demand for local powers I would devolve more powers to Directly elected Mayors and County Councils which include:
  • - policing
  • - fire and rescue
  • - emergency services
  • - infrastructure
  • - housing
  • - internal transport
  • - economic development
  • - sports
  • - tourism
  • - minimum wage
  • - education
  • - transport
  • - planning
  • - public safety
  • - social care
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james813
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#9
Report 4 years ago
#9
(Original post by DreamlinerFinder)
Image
( This is the Lords chamber during State Opening)


Today I'm going to focus on the second House of Parliament, the House of Lords. Most people believe that it is just filled with snotty white old men who do nothing, but I want to dispel that myth and focus on some of the other interesting parts. Whereas that stereotype is partially accurate, as the majority of the House is both old, white and male, it is starting to change. Interestingly, the only larger legislative body in the world is the North Korean Assembly!.The House is the revising chamber of Parliament, as all laws that are debated in the Commons have to go before the Lords for their approval. The Lords is only allowed to revise bills not block them, as the Commons, being the supreme chamber is allowed to force any bills through after two Parliamentary sessions, under the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949.

Structure of the Lords:
Unlike in the Commons, the Lord Speaker is only there to announce business, because the Lords is a self-regulating chamber, and the members control discipline. In a case of disagreement over who speaks, the Lord Privy Seal ( Baroness Evans of Bowes Park) decides who can speak. Like in the Commons, the Lords is divided up into Government and Opposition sides, but with the added Lords-Specific part of the Cross-Benchers, i.e independent Lords. The majority of business is ordered/decided by the Clerk of the Parliaments ( the boss of the Lords) and the Government Whip's office. Security in the House of Lords is run under the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod who is the Crown's representative in the Lords, and he is responsible for state occasions such as State Opening ( which is represented in the above image).

Day to Day Running of the Lords:
- All Days Start with a Question Time where Lords from any part of the House can ask 4 Questions of the Government- This can include Government Peers
- Then bills are read for a first time ( anything above 4), this lasts maybe 30 seconds per bill!
- Then into either debate/legisation depending on the programme
- Divisions (votes) are rarer than in the Commons, but can occur over an issue where verbal divisions do not work.
- A Verbal Division occurs after first readings and over any legislative amendment.
- The Lords do not vote as Aye/Nay, it is Content/Not Content (same thing really)
As per in the Commons, all debates are recorded by Hansard ( The office of the official report), which is publicly searchable at hansard.parliament.uk
[/field]

Points for Discussion:
1) Do you believe the House of Lords has a place in today's society?
2) How to reform the House, if there is a way?
3) What could work in place of it?
Reduce members to 150, make it elected every general election by PR, and have another 50 independent peers who are experts on different aspects of society (defence, health etc) to review legislation better.
And keep costs under control.
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