Streamline the House of Lords

The House of Lords currently serves a valuable role in our democracy, providing detailed scrutiny of legislative bills and revising them accordingly to make sure they effectively serve the purpose for which they are intended. However, the Lords is also vastly overpopulated, expensive and appointments to it are too often used as a reward by political parties. The number of peers should be greatly reduced, from more than 800 currently, to 200-300, with appointments overseen by an independent body. Appointments should then be made on a non-partisan basis. Appointments should be mainly of people with expertise in policy areas (such as public health, education or criminal law), with some representatives of different communities and a few appointees with a long standing record of public service. This would create a smaller, but more consistently involved House of Lords, which would seek to improve legislation, rather than being a source of party-political competition.

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  • Sue Fewster
    commented 2016-07-30 20:52:41 +0100
    But I would go further: Bishops out, hereditary Lords out. Members should be chosen from local constituency and nominated by MP.
  • Sue Fewster
    tagged this with like 2016-07-30 20:52:41 +0100
  • Bob Crossley
    commented 2016-04-01 19:11:27 +0100
    Yes, it’s too big and will get bigger before 2020.
    “Streamlining” is a good way to approach House of Lords reform. People like the idea of fewer people “claiming expenses” so I don’t see much problem selling this to the electorate. But it also provides a way of selling it to the Lords themselves, which we would have to do or face an unnecessarily extended process in passing the Bill.

    My suggestion would be that the Lords in each party themselves should elect the Lords who will represent their party in the “streamlined” Chamber. This is similar to the election the hereditary peers hold to select which of them can sit and vote. If you make the number from each party to be proportional to the national vote in the previous election it becomes difficult to argue that this is a way of “fixing” the Lords in our favour and should gain broad suport.
  • Bob Crossley
    tagged this with like 2016-04-01 19:11:23 +0100
  • Jonathan Marsland
    commented 2016-04-01 13:49:25 +0100
    Needs to be elected.
  • Jonathan Marsland
    tagged this with dislike 2016-04-01 13:49:24 +0100
  • Jonathan Marsland
    tagged this with neutral 2016-04-01 13:49:23 +0100
  • Jacob Lloyd
    published this page in Join the debate 2016-04-01 12:33:39 +0100