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    B1339 - House of Lords Bill 2018, TSR Libertarian Party





    House of Lords Bill 2018

    A Bill to create a procedure for the replacement of current members of the House of Lords, reduce the amount of seats to 500, reform the way in which the House of Lords Appointments Commission functions and create a procedure for the election of members to the House of Lords.



    BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

    1: Definitions

    (1) Elected peers are those who are chosen by the electorate to sit in the House of Lords.

    (2) Appointed peers are those who are chosen by the House of Lords Appointments Committee to sit in the House of Lords.

    2: Composition of the House of Lords

    (1) The House of Lords shall be reduced to five hundred seats using the reduction measures outlined in section 3.

    (2) The House of Lords shall be comprised of three hundred elected peers and two hundred appointed peers, upon the conclusion of the reduction measures.

    3: Appointed Peers

    (1) At the point this bill achieves Royal Assent, the House of Lords Appointments Committee shall begin a review of all current members of the House of Lords, looking for those that make the best contribution.

    (2) The House of Lords Appointment Committee shall select two hundred appointed peers for the first Thursday in May of 2019.

    (3) Using the review of all current members of the House of Lords, the House of Lords Appointment Committee shall firstly choose members that it feels have made an adequate contribution to maintain their place in the House of Lords if they accept.

    (4) In the case that the House of Lords Appointment Committee finds less than two hundred current members that it feels should maintain their place in the House of Lords, they shall use the existing selection criteria to elect new members.

    (5) This process shall repeat every ten years to coincide with elections for the House of Lords.

    4: Elected Peers

    (1) The three hundred elected peers shall be selected using the single transferable vote form of proportional representation every ten years, beginning on the first Thursday in May of 2019.

    (2) Elected peers shall be allowed to stand for re-election if they so wish.

    (3) The requirements to stand in an election shall be the same as in elections for the House of Commons.

    (4) Each county shall serve as a multi-member constituency in which an unlimited amount of people can stand for election. There shall be no limits on the amount of people that can stand from a certain political party.

    (5) Each of the following counties shall possess a different amount of seats proportional to their population, decided by the Electoral Commission:
    -Aberdeenshire
    -Angus
    -Antrim
    -Argyllshire
    -Armagh
    -Ayrshire
    -Banffshire
    -Bedfordshire
    -Belfast
    -Berkshire
    -Berwickshire
    -Buckinghamshire
    -Caithness
    -Cambridgeshire
    -Cheshire
    -City of London
    -Clackmannanshire
    -Clwyd
    -Cornwall
    -Cumbria
    -Derbyshire
    -Devonshire
    -Dorsetshire
    -Down
    -Dumfriesshire
    -Dunbartonshire
    -Durham
    -Dyfed
    -East Lothian
    -East Riding of Yorkshire
    -East Sussex
    -Essex
    -Fermanagh
    -Fife
    -Gloucestershire
    -Greater London
    -Greater Manchester
    -Gwent
    -Gwynedd
    -Hampshire
    -Herefordshire
    -Hertfordshire
    -Isle of Wight
    -Inverness
    -Kincardineshire
    -Kirkcudbrightshire
    -Kent
    -Lanarkshire
    -Lancashire
    -Leicestershire
    -Lincolnshire
    -Londonderry
    -Merseyside
    -Mid Glamorgan
    -Midlothian
    -Moray
    -Nairn
    -Norfolk
    -North Yorkshire
    -Northamptonshire
    -Northumberland
    -Nottinghamshire
    -Orkney
    -Oxfordshire
    -Peeblesshire
    -Perth and Kinross
    -Powys
    -Renfrewshire
    -Ross and Cromarty
    -Roxburghshire and Selwickshire
    -Rutland
    -Shetland Islands
    -Shropshire
    -Somerset
    -South Glamorgan
    -South Yorkshire
    -Staffordshire
    -Stirling
    -Suffolk
    -Sutherland
    -Surrey
    -Tyne and Wear
    -Tyrone
    -Warwickshire
    -West Glamorgan
    -West Lothian
    -West Midlands
    -West Sussex
    -West Yorkshire
    -Wigtownshire
    -Wiltshire
    -Worcestershire

    5: Commencement, Short Title, Extent and Conditions

    (1) This bill shall come into force on April 1, 2018.

    (2) This bill shall be cited as the House of Lords Bill 2018.

    (3) This bill extends to the United Kingdom.

    Spoiler:
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    Notes

    This bill opens by reducing the House of Lords to 500 seats. The logic for this is quite simple; a house that is too big will fail to be as transparent as it should be as it is more difficult to follow and its large size can mean it is ineffective. The reality is that the British electorate know very little about the House of Lords and how it works at the moment and this must change if we wish for the House of Lords to provide adequate scrutiny to the legislation of the House of Commons.

    Secondly, this bill legislates to review and replace members of the House of Lords that fail to provide this country the service it deserves. As the House of Lords Appointment Committee possesses a majority of members not involved in political parties, it can be ensured that this would be based upon the scrutiny offered by members and their turnout rather than for any nefarious political purposes. This process is repeated every ten years in order to provide accountability to those selected for non-political reasons without needing to replace those who are doing a satisfactory job.

    The House of Lords is often called undemocratic; an upper house merely provides checks and balances to the lower house rather than possessing equality or superiority to it and therefore peers selected without the consent of the electorate should not be considered an affront to democracy. Indeed, many aspects of all political systems lack democracy and it is neither reasonable nor a good idea to attempt to pursue full democracy due to the inefficiency it entails.

    Nonetheless, this bill legislates to create elections for members that take a more political role as to provide accountability and encourage the public and media to take a greater interest in the workings of the House of Lords, while using the single transferable vote to necessitate bipartisanship and scrutiny over political games. In closing, this bill is a radical yet sensible attempt at providing this country with a better upper house than it currently possesses. The changes made mean that the House of Lords can become an area of pride in our democracy, mixing accountability with the preservation of its fundamental purpose: scrutinising every single piece of detail in legislation from the House of Commons.



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    Hmm, I think an elected Lords is a good idea, but I don't really like the STV voting system and ten years is wayyyy too long...
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    Not necessarily my first choice for a reform, but better than the status quo.
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    A reform of the House of Lords has been long overdue, and this is a good way to go about it. This makes the HoL more democratic by ensuring that there are elected peers, while the ten-year term helps to ensure that those elected peers are not constantly thinking about re-election. A proportional representation voting system also ensures that make-up of the HoL remains different to that of the House of Commons.

    The retention of appointed members also ensures that the HoL can retain the expertise that makes it an effective scrutiniser of legislation and which makes it fundamentally different from the House of Commons due to the range of experiences each member brings to the House, for example in the areas of science, business, the arts, etc.

    A strong aye.
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    Aye, we deserve to have scrutiny on who sits in the Upper chamber, and what better way to do so than with voting on them. The term length is chosen as 10 years, 1) because British public already has low turnouts on other elections anyway, therefore making the election process more significant and
    2) Lords primarily scrutinise bills from the commons and due to their position I don’t see it as fit for their terms to be as short as a parliamentary term.
    This bill gives regional representation in the lords that have previously been lacking and thus I urge other members to support this
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    Aye, although I don’t think it goes far enough.

    I’d like to see a 15 year term with 1/3 of peers up for election every 5 years coinciding with a fixed term parliament and an entire House of Commons election; ideally this would also include the repeal of the Parliament Acts, to create a proper bicameral legislature with checks and balances.
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    Mr Speaker

    I do not see the point in this bill it does not affect TSR Mhoc since we have no HoL. A Nay from me.
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    Aye, but a 10-year term length is way too long.
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    (Original post by CountBrandenburg)
    Aye, we deserve to have scrutiny on who sits in the Upper chamber, and what better way to do so than with voting on them. The term length is chosen as 10 years, 1) because British public already has low turnouts on other elections anyway, therefore making the election process more significant and
    2) Lords primarily scrutinise bills from the commons and due to their position I don’t see it as fit for their terms to be as short as a parliamentary term.
    This bill gives regional representation in the lords that have previously been lacking and thus I urge other members to support this
    I don't disagree with what you say in this post, but I would personally like to see members limited to one term, so as to establish the upper house as something people participate in for a certain timeframe and bring with them expertise, rather than something people make a career of.
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    Abstain - A 10 year term is far too long
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    The Lords does need reducing in size, but an elected Lords undermines its purpose
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    (Original post by Unown Uzer)
    Aye, but a 10-year term length is way too long.
    (Original post by CoffeeAndPolitics)
    Abstain - A 10 year term is far too long
    A ten-year term was chosen to ensure that the elected peers are able to perform their duties without being unduly influenced by constantly thinking of re-election. It encourages them to act according to their own beliefs and somewhat safeguards the independence of these peers by reducing the amount of party politics generated by elections.

    In fact, the government's proposal in 2014 for House of Lords reforms was for elected peers to serve a 15-year term. It can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...29020/8077.pdf (a document search for the word 'term' will take you to the relevant information)
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    Nay. I don't believe making the Lords elected will mean adequate scrutiny of legislation.
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    (Original post by CoffeeGeek)
    Nay. I don't believe making the Lords elected will mean adequate scrutiny of legislation.
    In addition, to CatusStarbright 's point above of a ten year term maintaining the scrutiny purpose of the HOL. Keeping appointed peers ensures scrutiny of legislation, and upholds the expertise in the HOL that is lacking in the HOC.
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    Having an elected House of Lords is a foolhardy oversight made by the Libertarian Party in an effort to bring this pathetic idea of 'democracy' into the House of Lords. One of the features of the House of Lords that they're unelected is quite honestly a positive. Members of Parliament often care only about their re-election and don't often create good debate in the chamber. The Lords, however, scrutinise the bill line by line often scrutinising with particular reference to the Human Rights Act. The House of Lords offers a greater level of scrutiny not provided in the Commons.

    This bill is ill-conceived and utterly wrong. I implore any right thinking member of this House to vote against this bill.
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    Making it elected defeats the purpose and thus it's a no from me. The fact that the electorate aren't involved makes the HoL work.
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    (Original post by SuperHuman98)
    In addition, to CatusStarbright 's point above of a ten year term maintaining the scrutiny purpose of the HOL. Keeping appointed peers ensures scrutiny of legislation, and upholds the expertise in the HOL that is lacking in the HOC.
    It reduces scrutiny by reducing appointed peers. Less appointed peers, means less people with expertise and knowledge to provide adequate scrutiny. If you don't want it lacking then you wouldn't support something that does that.
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    STV is the best choice for a voting system due to its use of multi-member constitutencies; as it is regional rather than using the constituencies seen in the House of Commons, there must be representation from across the political system. As for a 10-year term, the idea that a 5-year term would better our democracy is nonsense. While I believe the electorate would be interested in this, the House of Lords is less important than the House of Commons and low turnout would hurt its legitimacy. By forcing a longer wait, elections could generate greater coverage. Elected peers should be introduced to encourage fair represntation across the political spectrum and hold those that represent parties accountable to the public. In writing this, we attempted to strike a balance by making it a partially-elected chamber and ensuring that we would have a much higher percentage of crossbenchers than is currently seen, which would allow greater bipartisanship and fulfill the goal of making the House of Lords better at scrutiny.

    Even if you do not fully agree, consider voting for this. According to the Electoral Reform Society, one in ten people want the House of Lords to remain as it is. Failing to change it and introducing partial-election - the most popular type of reform - would be an insult to the electorate and extend the problems we curently see. This is a strong aye from me and I was delighted to work with my fellow members on this piece of legislation.
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    I would totally abolish it, so abstain
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    Aye, a step in the right direction
 
 
 
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