Jo Swinson MP says “Let’s Fix Parliament”

Liberal Democrat MP for East Dunbartonshire Jo Swinson has today sent out an e-mail to Liberal Democrat members and supporters asking them to spread the word about the need for Lords Reform on the day the Bill was published. This is what she had to say:

Did you know that only the UK and Lesotho allow people to inherit seats in Parliament? In the 21st century, that’s simply embarrassing, and it has to end.

We can only do this with your help. Today, the Bill for an elected House of Lords has been published. Over the coming weeks I’ll be asking you to help spread the word.

Today, I need you to do one thing – “Like” our Fix Parliament campaign on Facebook.

We know that if we as Lib Dems don’t fight to fix our broken system, nobody will. I won’t let this opportunity pass, but we will fail unless all of us make this change happen.

Do this one thing today, and let your friends know about our broken system.

Thank you,

Jo Swinson MP

PS We’ll be in touch over the coming weeks to let you know more. Today, if you “like” our Facebook page,  we’ll get the flying start we need.


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • John Roffey 27th Jun '12 - 9:51pm

    I watch Gary Gibbon interview NC on C4 News tonight. One of the key issues with this reform, as both houses will be, in the main, elected [apart from a relative few in the HofL] how can the HofC remain superior.

    NC provided what was a fairly intricate answer – but it was more for constitutional lawyers than the people. Why not demonstrate that the political class does still believe in a degree of democracy and let issues, where the two houses cannot agree, be decided by a referendum of the people?

  • @John Roffey: You might end up with a slew of referenda, which could be a very inefficient way to legislate as well as pretty expensive. If the introduction of more direct democracy is your goal, better to do so on some specific constitutional grounds: like our membership of the EU (due to questions of sovereignty). That would seem to make more sense.

  • Peter Andrews 27th Jun '12 - 11:11pm

    @John Roffey, many democratic countries have two elected parliaments without one claiming powers it does’t have simply because it is elected.

  • @mpg

    Yes I would like to see the introduction of a great deal more direct democracy – and now with more than 70% having access to the internet, it need not be at all expensive.

    I confined my remarks to the HofL/HofC aspect because this was the subject of the thread.

  • @ Peter Andrews

    Yes, I appreciate that it happens elsewhere and whilst I can understand the two main alternating dictatorships not wanting a solution that includes referenda – the Lib/Dems, who are unlikely to be replacing either of these in the foreseeable future, might benefit from a policy that wishes to return an element of democracy to our political affairs.

  • If appointees are going to be politicial animals, whipped by their parties, it will not be much of an improvement, desirable though reform may be and getting rid of the hereditaries.Fifteen years is far too long, in my opinion, for an elected official, in terms of accountability.
    I fear that if this issue, which has to be admitted, leaves the public cold,drags on and becomes very acrimonious, blocking up the Houses, it will backfire, making the party look even more marginalised, pursuing pet projects, at a time when ordinary people fear for their jobs and are worried about getting food on the table.

  • I used to be in favour of an elected HoL now I’m undecided.

    BTW…Listening to Nick Clegg defending the change on purely ‘ageist’ grounds made me even less sure. Every week there are glaring examples of the incompetence that ‘youth’ (Cameron, Osborne, etc.) has brought to the HoC.

  • I agree with you, Jason.I would always, in the past, have gone for an elected HOL, but am having my doubts about what sort of person we would get.
    I regret the trend that valued ” youth ” over experience, substance and good judgement and agree that many of the present cohort of leaders, etc, have been promoted too soon and that youth does not always bring competence,.

  • My MP is a numpty effectively chosen by a handful of candidate selection people in the local Tory party. Democracy when parties have a local stranglehold is not all its cracked up to be. The main advantage of these reforms would be one less carrot to offer MPs for their continued loyalty. It’s not enough.

  • Jonathan Price 28th Jun '12 - 10:43am

    While this debate is intellectually interesting, as a political move, this is a complete waste of time. There is less chance of House of Lords reform being achieved in this parliament than there was AV, which was much more important. For those outside the political class, it is not seen as an important or urgent issue and while there may be good philosophical reasons for having an elected house (let’s do away with the monarchy while we are at it) this will not win us any votes from the general public.
    For me, this has all the makings of being Nick Clegg’s third big cock up, and if my fears are realised, I am afraid it is ‘three strikes and he’s out’.

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