Unicameralism

Kelvin Hopkins MP has set up an EDM, signed by 34 people to date, that points out what I said in a draft post on Lords reform - 163 MPs, 155 taking the Labour whip, voted for a unicameral system. I wrote (but didn't post, and I know how that looks):
I believe that the best system would be unicameral with reforms to the Commons. One hundred and sixty-three MPs voted for that system including Margaret Beckett, Steven Byers, Jon Cruddas, Keith Hill (Blair's PPS), John McFall (chair of the Treasury Select Committee), 'Red' Dawn Primarolo and Alex Salmond. I don't know if there is an ulterior motive that I'm missing; if I'm reading the procedure correctly, a no-vote would not have prevented the later votes and the cries of outrage would have been audible even in the Commons. I sincerely hope that they were genuinely voting for a single chamber.
The point Hopkins makes I did not; scrapping the second chamber outright should at least be honestly and seriously considered. If nearly half the PLP want a single chamber, it has more support among the governing party than any other option.

The Lords is there as a revising and delaying chamber. Its existence suggests that the Commons does not do its job properly. Reducing the power of the whips, strengthening select and standing committees, the introduction of PR and a facility for 'experts' to be attached as non-voters to committees, along with some general tidying up, could cover the Lords contribution to democracy. Yes, it would be a large change, but it is not without precedent - Denmark abolished the Landsting, which had equal power to the Folketing, in 1953 at the same time as it introduced referendums on any Parliamentary vote that 10% of deputies requested. Since 1953, no referendums have taken place under that provision.

xD.

 

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