(14) Reforming the House of Lords

Marcus  Danvers
Mind Map by , created almost 6 years ago

A level Governing the UK - 2C ( Parliament) Mind Map on (14) Reforming the House of Lords, created by Marcus Danvers on 12/17/2013.

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Marcus  Danvers
Created by Marcus Danvers almost 6 years ago
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(14) Reforming the House of Lords
1 The House of Lords NEEDS reform
1.1 Majority of peers sat in the HoL on the basis of heredity
1.2 Exhibited a strong & consistent bias towards the Conservative party
2 What reform has already taken place?
2.1 House of Lords Act 1999
2.1.1 compromise was made to enable this to pass, whereby a percentage of hereditary peers would be allowed to remain until ‘Stage Two’ – REDUCED FROM 777 TO 92.
2.1.2 Appointment of more Labour life peers put an end to Conservative dominance.
3 Why hasn’t further reform taken place?
3.1 Stage Two proved difficult
3.1.1 Declining interest in Labour to press for further reform
3.1.2 New assertiveness of partially reformed Lords made some ministers anxious about a partially or wholly elected second-chamber.
3.1.3 Disagreement about the nature of the chamber has continued
4 What progress has been made?
4.1 2007 vote demonstrated that there was a general consensus for bicameralism
4.2 Support for its abolition leading to a one-chamber parliament has been discarded
4.3 Debate continues:
4.3.1 Composition of the second-chamber (appointed, elected or a combination of two)
4.3.2 Powers – restriction due to non-elected status – if elected, it could demand/expect wider power (if not equality with the first chamber)
5 Arguments for an elected chamber
5.1 Benefits of democracy – legitimate basis for exercising political power is success in free and fair elections
5.2 Benefits of full bicameralism – a more powerful chamber with popular authority is a way to prevent ‘elective dictatorship’
5.3 For Elected
5.3.1 Check and Balances
5.3.1.1 Checking the Commons - elected chamber can properly check another elected chamber. The Commons alone has popular authority, the second chamber will defer to the first. Bicameralism requires two equal chambers
5.3.1.2 Better legislation - currently a "revising chamber" to clean up bills. Popular authority would encourage greater power of legislative oversight and scrutiny
5.3.1.3 Ending executive tyranny - exeutive dominates Parliament through majority in Commons so the only way of checking government is though democratic or more powerful second chamber
5.3.2 Increasing Democracy
5.3.2.1 Democratic legitimacy - policy-making institutions must be based on popular consent, determined through competitive elections
5.3.2.2 Wider representaion - Strengthens democratic process through possible different election dates, terms, different eelction systems or constituencies
6 Arguments for an appointed chamber
6.1 An appointed chamber could have greater expertise & specialist knowledge than the first chamber
6.2 Partial bicameralism has benefits in that it makes clashes between the two chambers less likely & does not lead to confusion about the location of popular authority.
6.3 For Appointed
6.3.1 Power issues
6.3.1.1 Gridlock government - two-equal chambers could lead to government paralysis, caused by institutionalised rivalary between both chambers, and the executive and parliament. This is more likely to occur if chambers are elected at different times, or with different electoral systems.
6.3.1.2 Complementary chambers - Two chambers means two different roles and fuction are served. As a revising chamber, the HoL compliments the HoC. Only one chamber needs to express popular authority
6.3.2 Use of Knoledge
6.3.2.1 Specialisted Knoledge - peers selected on their expperience, expertise and specialisted knowledge. Election politicans may only be very good at public speaking and campaigning
6.3.2.2 Damgers of partisanship - Any elected chamber will be dominsted by party "hacks" like the HoC, who rely on party to get electe. Appointments have reduced partisanship, allowing peers to think for themselves
6.3.3 Greater representation
6.3.3.1 Descriptive repersentative - elected peers may have popular authority, but difficult to ensure they resemble larger society as the Commons does. Structured appointments take account of group representation

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