Lord Rennard: “There’s no substitute for democracy”

Liberal Democrat peer and campaigning guru Chris Rennard went on Radio 4 yesterday to respond to the Earl of Glasgow saying that we should back down on Lords reform.

Lord Rennard said that there have been  plans for an elected Lords were not Nick Clegg’s alone and that there had been efforts to reform the upper House for 50 years before Nick Clegg was born.

He took a mild swipe at his Liberal Democrat colleague Lord Steel when asked about the latter’s plans to limit the reforms to allowing voluntary retirement and sacking those peers who don’t attend. Those things, said Rennard, were very sensible and should be done but “there’s no substitute for democracy.”

Challenged about the Liberal Democrats’ poor poll ratings, Rennard reminded the audience that the pattern of the last few decades has been that we are lower in the polls between elections, but have elected between 50 and 60 MPs at the last four Westminster polls.

He also believes that it would not be be viable for Nick Clegg to give up the party leadership and retain his role as Deputy Prime Minister but he had some advice for how Nick should lead us into the 2015 election:

What Nick will need to do as DPM is to show what a difference the Liberal Democrats have made and why a majority for either Conservatives or Labour at the election would be a disaster.

You can listen to the whole interview here.

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

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2 Comments

  • mike cobley 5th Aug '12 - 10:49am

    The US has a bicameral legislature, and it has become a gridlocking dogs dinner which has restricted democratic change in America, not enhanced it. Abolish the Lords – reforming it, I`m afraid, really does amount to a substitute for making the Commons more transparent and answerable.

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