Friday, March 09, 2007

Democracy in action

How appropriate to hear about the Commons vote for a fully-elected House of Lords here in the world's largest democracy of a billion voters!

I've been lucky to work with some extremely committed and knowledgeable peers over the last few years. I hope that the electoral system used for the reformed Lords/Senate will allow those with great expertise but fewer party political connections to have the chance to stand for seats. That certainly means avoiding the electoral abomination of closed party lists used for the European elections.

As Tony Benn remarks:

In arguing for this major constitutional reform, no one should interpret it as a personal attack on those who have worked hard and conscientiously in the present Lords, and who have made an impact in securing changes, as for example in some anti-terrorism legislation - for they have done a good job, and some might want to stand in a senate election.

The Lords have done a vital job in holding back the authoritarian control freaks of New Labour. Their successors must be given enough power to protect our freedoms in the same way.

1 comment:

John East said...

Somehow, I don't think that a responsible second chamber which can keep a check on the excesses of the Commons is top of the list of New Labour's priorites.