New leader and new ideas abound like spring lambs in the autumn sunshine. I’ve just looked outside though and it is raining hard with no let up. Miserable, a bit like my mood at the moment. However, I have a plan. Or an old idea at any rate.
I don’t know why but was thinking about electoral reform. That’s what crap weather does to you! This one though is quite good.
I’m not in favour of wide electoral reform such as changing first past the post. I am though in favour of reform of the House of Lords. I don’t think that a fully elected chamber would do the trick though as it would ultimately become a challenge to the House of Commons. No harm in that you may think, except I personally don’t want to inflict yet more elections on weary voters. Turn out is pretty poor at the best of times and I’m not sure more elections can help with that.
Legitimacy can though. So here it is.
After a general election, the House of Lords should be populated on a proportional basis based on the results of the election. This should also be done regionally to ensure all parts of the UK are represented.
This would have a number of advantages. It would do away with hereditary peers who are an anachronism in this day and age. It would go some way to recognising proportionality in our electoral system whilst preserving the peoples say in the preceding general election.
I am open to suggestion or other ideas such as including cross benchers to include real expertise and specialisms which are a mark of our mature but at times aging system. I don’t believe the Church of England should be there but again am open to all faiths having representation as a proportion based on the overall method.
Who would choose them though? Good question. It would have to be done in conjunction with the Prime Minister of the day along with the leaders of all parties who had candidates and saved their deposit in the recent election. It won’t get rid of nepotism I suppose which is a great flaw I admit. However, no system is perfect.
There you have it. A reforming and revising chamber, still called the House of Lords because we must preserve our heritage, which has legitimacy and expertise. What could possibly go wrong?
Any thoughts welcome!