Tag Archives: House of Lords referendum

Opinion: The myth of the referendum convention

All three major parties committed to Lords Reform in their 2010 General Election manifestos, however Labour promised an elected Second Chamber via a referendum. This explains why Labour MPs dragged their heels during the Second Reading of the Lords Reform Bill, though a cynic may suggest that Labour did so not as its job as Opposition but because of a more insidious agenda to break up the Coalition. Nevertheless, Labour profess that their opposition stems from a belief that ‘constitutional convention’ requires that the Bill must include a …

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Opinion: Why a referendum on second chamber reform would be good for the party

The Liberal Democrats built their electoral success on the three ‘Cs’: Concentrate, Communicate and Campaign. The campaigning zeal of the Party took us from a handful of councillors and a few MPs dotted around the Celtic fringe in the mid ‘Seventies to a truly national party, with over 3,500 councillors, 60MPs, power and influence in the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament, power and influence in over 150 councils, from Newcastle to Newquay, Liverpool to Islington.

Campaigning is the life blood of the movement we endeavour to create around the drive to seize and redistribute power. We do this by the simple means of helping people to take and use their power in their communities. Campaigning succeeds by involving people beyond the party in our campaigns. It energies and strengthens communities and nurtures the tolerance that comes from understanding others and identifying the common causes that link us. These common causes centre upon the injustice stemming from subjection to illegitimate power – be that banks that gamble with our money and provide shocking service, supermarkets that drive farmers to ruin and fix prices or bureaucrats who entangle citizens in red tape and restrict people’s opportunities.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 41 Comments

How referendums are the most effective way to maintain the status quo & what it means for Lords reform

Warning: this post contains paradoxes and thinking in progress…

Paradox 1: When asked, most people in this country say the current system of British politics needs to change. Yet the public consistently votes for small-c conservative parties and causes.

Paradox 2: As both a liberal and a democrat, I want a more participative democracy. Yet I’m sceptical referendums are the best way to achieve this.

A brief history of referendums in this country

Let’s take a look at our three most recent experiences in this country of referendums:

  • Just three weeks ago, 11 cities in England voted on whether or not they

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 22 Comments

Opinion: Lib Dems should not fear a Lords reform referendum

We got battered last year. So it would only be natural if we were to be a little wary of plunging headlong into another referendum for changing our political system so soon after the public rejected our proposal for AV for the Commons by such a wide margin.

There are now rumblings from Conservative MPs and also the Labour leadership that any change to the Lords should be subject to a referendum. Nick Clegg has strongly argued that this is …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 19 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • Steve Coltman
    I think the Lib Dems should be cautious about this by-election result. If the two main issues were HS2 and housing/planning the party is on dodgy ground. The pa...
  • David Raw
    @ John Marriott "Back in the days of the run up to GE ‘97, Paddy Ashdown thought he had Blair on his side regarding voting reform. However, when the latter...
  • John Marriott
    Could we possibly drop the adjective “progressive” for starters? “Alliance” would do for me. I agree with Brad Barrows’ sentiments. It HAS to be a com...
  • Tristan Ward
    Yes liberals should undoubtedly advocate free trade. It makes both sides of the trade richer than they would otherwise have been, bringing wealth to the poo...
  • Paul Barker
    This article is both confused & confusing. There is No possibility of any Electoral pact with Labour (unless Labour back Electoral Reform ) & I dont se...