Do you think the House of Lords should be replaced with an elected body?- Md’s Law Opinion

MD’s LAW Opinion.

By Md Mominul Hamid

The current composition of the House of Lords has around 800 life peers, including 97 hereditary peers, judicial peers and the and Lords Spiritual.

The 1911 Parliament Act was brought in because the House of Lords was blocking Lloyd George’s budget. At that time the House of Lords was almost entirely Conservative, and they opposed Lloyd George’s liberal budget. The parliament Act 1911 was introduced to alter the Conservative dominant compositions of the upper house.

A new Parliament Act passed in 1949 reduced the amount of time that the Lords could delay a bill up to one year. Interestingly, this Act itself was only passed by the imposition of the provisions of the 1911 Act.

The next significant legislation was the House of Lords Reform Act 1999. Tony Blair, The then Prime Minister introduced the reduction of the hereditary peers’ number in the House of Lords. The 1999 act said:  House of Lords contains brilliant people form the world of sports, culture, education etc. who bring valuable service to Parliament. For example, recently Ian Botham has just become a Lord. Alongside these members are political appointees. These are generally former MP’s and political advisors. They represent political parties.

As things stands the make-up of the House of Lords is either created by hereditary privilege or by the patronage of the Prime Minister who nominates the life peers and then The Queen appoints them. There is no democratic input at all. Because there is no democratic process on it where normal people can have their say. So, there is no reason to claim that the oldest son of the Duke of Norfolk may have any greater intelligence or gifts to offer to the government of this country than a guy comes around every week to empty the wheelie bins. 

 The Royal Commission under Lord Wakeham made 132 recommendations in 1999 almost none of which have been implemented. These included the removal of the Prime Minister’s authority to appoint peer, and his replacement by an independent body. This has the potential benefit of widening the scope of future appointments. One could foresee a future where Dominic Cummings take a seat in the House of lords.

The tolerance of the electoral for a further item in the electoral calendar must be considered. The average turnout at general elections is approximately 60 per cent whilst local council elections typically attract between 30 and 40 percent. Police and crime commissioner elections between 10 and 20 percent. So, the introducing the House of Lord’s election would need be considered carefully with this in mind. We may hold an online election pool for the nominees and also get the chance to speak to the candidates locally.

Ultimately, an elected upper house could enhance the work of parliament because it would be better connected with the population it should serve and bear the glory of democracy.

“ Thank You” to my Course tutor – Rachel Dunnn, Simin Cronin, and my Law tutors.

Watch the Video Explains the House of Lords-

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