Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Get behind a campaign for an elected House of Lords

Dear reader, our blog has moved to a new address.

Do come on over (and change your bookmarks accordingly): rationalist.org.uk

One of our readers has drawn our attention to the Power 2010 campaign, which invites the public to vote for reforms they'd like to see politicians get behind in the run-up to the general election. There's a long list to choose from, and the public vote closes in 5 days' time. Once it closes, Power 2010 will actively campaign for MPs and candidates to pledge their support for the top five reforms emerging from the poll.

There are lots of worthy issues up for nomination, such as proportional representation and scrapping ID cards, but one issue that might be of particular concern to our readers currently sits in fifth place – a fully elected second chamber. I'll leave you to weigh-up the democratic arguments surrounding appointed versus elected legislatures yourselves, but the key point for humanists is that a fully elected House of Lords would mean no more guaranteed places for 26 Church of England bishops (you can read the arguments against the Lord Spiritual in our piece on the matter from a couple of years ago).

So, this most secular of proposals is in fifth place with 4,315 votes. But its place in the Power 2010 campaign is by no means secure – at the time of writing it is a mere 104 votes ahead of an English nationalist proposal to "Forbid Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs from voting on matters that affect only England".

Shall we see if we can't keep the Lords issue in the top five? Vote now at the Power 2010 website.

Update: the fully elected second chamber option has now moved up to third place with 4,670 votes. If you haven't already voted, do so and help keep it there.

1 comments:

AllenC said...

I'm not entirely convinced an elected house of lords is such a great idea. Since the one elected house has proven itself so supine, do we really need another bunch of no-accounts doing the bidding of the PM?

The lords are far from perfect, by all means dump the bishops, but they are independent of the executive and parties and occasionally show some teeth.