Tag Archives: parliamentary reform

Registers and recall: I support them both. But they’re not going to clean up our democracy

The weekend’s revelations that two Labour peers and an Ulster Unionist were filmed offering to lobby ministers for cash, following hot on the heels of Tory MP Patrick Mercer’s resignation of the Tory whip over similar allegations, has re-ignited the question of how to clean up Parliament.

Two proposals are being pushed, both of them originally pledged in the Coalition Agreement.

Register of lobbyists

First, there’s a register of lobbyists, intended to bring greater transparency to the way in which professional lobbyists seek to influence government decisions. This is one of Unlock Democracy’s top campaigns:

If we don’t know

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Constituency boundary changes are dead.* Unlike the House of Lords.*

House of Lords. Photo: Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of ParliamentThe House of Lords has today voted to block a reduction in the number of MPs from 650 to 600 as part of the review of constituencies that might have seen the Conservatives gain up to 20 seats. The BBC reports:

The House of Lords voted by 300 to 231 to delay until 2018 a boundary review necessary to make the change. … Lib Dem leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced that his party

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Dear Conservative MPs, Re House of Lords reform here’s what your manifesto & the Coalition Agreement say

It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for Conservative MPs — it appears some of them have only just read their own party’s manifesto and the Coalition Agreement they signed up to. That can be the only explanation for the sudden fit of vapours which have apparently afflicted three of their number over the issue of House of Lords reform.

So as a reminder to them, and as a service to their Tory colleagues, here’s a reminder of the Conservative Party’s promise to the people back in 2010 in its manifesto:

We will work to build a consensus for a

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LibLink | Paul Tyler: Lords’ Question Time is a “farcical free-for-all”

Lord Tyler writes over at e-Politix today about the way Question Time is conducted in the Lords:

As the House’s membership has increased in recent months, Question Time has become an ever more farcical free-for-all. There are a large number of Members who wish to contribute at any one time. Newcomers are rightly mystified by the absurd way in which one has to jockey for the opportunity to speak. You have to pop up and start bellowing, ‘My Lords’, in the hope that your bellow will be more thundersome than those of competing Members, or that some Lordly recognition

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Electoral reform news: peers don’t like democracy, but Labour candidate who lost on vote transfers backs AV

From The Independent:

Clegg: peers are holding Government hostage…

In acrimonious clashes, they warned the Deputy Prime Minister that they would fight his proposals every step of the way…

The show-down – described by one participant as “Daniel in the lion’s den” – came at a meeting between Clegg and members of a cross-party group campaigning against the plans. More than 50 peers from all major parties were present, including the former Liberal leader Lord Steel of Aikwood.

Shock news there, that peers who are against elections are against plans to introduce elections – though the presence of David Steel is disappointing.

Meanwhile, the …

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The Liberal Democrat challenges for 2011: making progress on core LibDem beliefs

Over the festive season we’re running a series of posts on the main Liberal Democrat challenges for 2011. You can find all the posts as they appear here.

Getting economic policy right may be at the heart of the government’s long-term fate, and crucial for the country, but even if everything goes right the benefits are long-term ones – so to keep the coalition working well over the next year will require a steady supply of other good news and much work on internal communications.

Ask Liberal Democrat activists why they are active in politics and why for the Liberal Democrats …

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Lord Rennard writes… Lord Blackadder, Baldrick, by-elections and reform of the Lords

The House of Lords debated (again) this week the second reading of David Steel’s Bill to make some very modest and minor reforms to the House of Lords.

I compared the process of by-elections to elect hereditary peers to the campaign run by Lord Blackadder to elect Baldrick in the rotten borough of Dunny on the Wold. David Steel’s Bill would end these by-elections and allow peers to retire voluntarily. A much more fundamental draft Bill for Lords reform is expected early next year.

But this debate showed again how hard it will be to achieve fundamental reform of the House of Lords.

The …

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