Thursday, May 17, 2007

Leaping into action

I'm starting to come round to the idea of reforming the House of Lords. Up until now I've been of the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' persuasion. I see no point in constitutional change just for the sake of it. I'm also against an upper house whose only purpose is to rubber stamp acts passed by the government in power. You get a situation where bad laws go through unchallenged.
Saying that, the current set up is a bit casual. Lords get appointed, but they may have other commitments, that keep them away from the chamber. The upper house is an important check on the runaway aspirations of a party in power, and shouldn't be left in the hands of people who might or might not turn up to vote depending on their schedule.
I would be in favour of a senate made up of one or two senators representing each county, or major city, elected democratically. That way, bills passed upwards from the House of Commons would get the scrutiny required to prevent bad law blighting our land.
But I wouldn't rush it. constitutional change has to be well discussed and examined before implementation, otherwise you end up with a situation worse than the one you tried to fix.

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