House of Lords Reform. One Policy the Lib Dems got Right
Written by Tim Heydon
There has been much satisfaction in some quarters that a rebellion of 91 Tory MPs during the second reading of the Lords Bill has sunk this measure for the foreseeable future. A House of Lords elected on a proportional basis is said to be constitutionally damaging, because it would undermine the authority of the Commons.
Well of course it would, and no bad thing if it did. The present House of Commons badly needs to be undermined. A proportionately elected Lords would be truly representative of opinion in the country at large in a way that the House of Commons is not. That is why it would have more authority with the electorate than does the House of Commons as currently constituted and that is why it would undermine the authority of the latter.
Giving the Game away
A significant point to be made is that those MPs and others who are opposed to House of Lords reform on a proportional basis are effectively admitting this. They are saying, ‘Yes we know that the House of Commons is not truly representative of the opinions of the people in the way that a proportionately elected chamber would be, but that is the way we like it and that is how it is going to stay’.
Parliament isn’t fit for Purpose
Well it isn’t good enough. Does Parliament work now? Most people would say that it doesn’t. That is why so many of them couldn’t be bothered to vote. They think that their opinions count for nothing when it comes to the most important matters, and they are right.
For example, the country was brought into a Common Market on a lie and now here we are some decades later virtually a province of a European Superstate with less powers in some respects than a State in the USA does in the Union. Some 80% of our laws are now made in Brussels, not to mention the European Court of Human Rights. Were we ever asked to consent to this ? No!
And for example, down many High Streets in the country today, every black, brown and yellow face you see tells you that you don’t live in a country where the wishes of the people are truly represented, because if they were, those faces wouldn’t be there.
We need radical Democratic Reform
This country needs radical electoral reform. If the House of Lords can’t be constituted on a proportional basis, then some form of it should be introduced into the House of Commons.
Will it happen sometime soon? Will it heck. Proportional representation would weaken the present monopoly party system and career politicians have too much to lose in terms of power, career prospects and so forth.
Parliament is a Democratic Sham because it suits the Main Political Parties
Those who are opposed to proportional representation are sure to argue that it would allow 'BNP'– type opinions into Parliament. And we couldn’t have that, could we? Not even when around 50% of the population agree with what used to be key BNP polices on immigration and related matters.
One argument that they used to use to oppose proportional representation - that it would mean coalition government - is now rarely mentioned. I wonder why?
Parliamentary organisation, you see, is designed, not to represent the people so much as to ensure the monopoly of power of the main political parties. So democracy can go hang.
People vote for one of these main parties, if they do, not because they like them much, or even at all, but because they like the other main parties even less. They fear that if they voted for a smaller party that they preferred it would let one of the parties they hate most into power.
The sooner this sham of a democratic system is destroyed the better. But don’t hold your breath….…