A smaller parliament

Still two-tier parliament, lower & upper houses. 

All lower house representatives are elected

Upper house representatives could be a mix of elected or nominated.

However in context of devolving power to regional assemblies, national (UK) parliament can be much smaller

 

Lower House

Say 200-250 representatives

5 year terms

Independent or party affiliated

Constituency based – context of elections by PR

Min age 21

Fit and proper person test

A process for sacking

Stiff criminal penalties for corruption/graft

 

Upper House

100-150 representatives

5 year terms - limit to 2 consecutive terms (stops it from becoming a retirement home).

Independent or party affiliated

Min age 41

Fit and proper person test

A process for sacking

Stiff criminal penalties for corruption/graft

50% Regional representatives

nominated by Regional assemblies or PR elections?

50% specialisation representatives

            Politics, law, health, defence, industry, business etc.

Nominated by Regional assemblies and/or PR elections?

Specific criteria for what constitutes someone having specialist knowledge.

 

Idea revised 17 April 2015

Ok - Lets make some assumptions

We moved to a devolved/federal form of government with England being represented by a number of Regional assemblies.

Such Devolution enables much of what is currently managed by Westminster to be done at a Regional level

National Government will fundamentally focus on Foreign, Defense, Monetary and Fiscal Policies, National policies for Health,education, transport etc. and legislation.

Revised Proposal:

2 houses pf Parliament - Lower House (LHP) & Upper House (UHP)

Lower House  - as currently for HoC, primary chamber for debating and drafting legislation

Upper House - there as a check LH - prevents rash/extreme legislation

250 MLHP's & 125 MUHP's

Will defer to other threads on details for process for recalling MP's, length of therms

MLHP 100% elected - again defer to outcome of discussions on PR/STV etc.

MUHP A couple of options:

100% elected

Some elected, some appointed by regions

100% appointed by regions  - similar to German Bundesrat

Criteria for appointment- I really think we need to avoid purely political appointments.  One of the few positives of the house of Lords is that it does act as a real check on the Commons and some had valuable rel life experience and knowledge to share.

My preference is therefore to ensure that if some MUHP are appointed we ensure that they come from a variety of backgrounds.

edited on Apr 17, 2015 by Faisal Ahmed

Malcolm Ramsay Apr 13, 2015

"nominated by Regional assemblies"

Personally I regard it as essential that regional/local government should have a voice in Parliament, though my own proposal didn't make it past the cut (possibly because I'd linked it to the notion of parliamentary sovereignty which seems to stir up hostility).

There seem to be surprisingly few surviving proposals for Lords reform and there's not much discussion on any of them. Is anyone doing anything with this one?

Faisal Ahmed Apr 15, 2015

I have tried to link this to some of the devolution/regional assembly threads.

Absolutely need to get some momentum regarding Westminster reform.

 

Malcolm Ramsay Apr 16, 2015

Yes, I think we definitely need some momentum on this.

I've pointed out on JakeD's thread – Devolution for the English Regions : https://constitutionuk.com/post/100424 – that this question affects the question of what powers will need to be defined in the constitution and what can be left to Parliament to define.

Malcolm Ramsay Apr 16, 2015

I think it would be good to get some tighter wording defined for this.

Number of representatives seems to be central to the idea, so definition of that seems to be necessary.

Most of the other points, apart from how the Upper House members are appointed, are probably covered by specific ideas elsewhere in the project; certainly length of parliamentary terms and MPs conduct have dedicated proposals and a process for sacking is covered under 'recall mechanism for all elected politicians' – https://constitutionuk.com/post/87782

On the appointment method for Upper House members: there were definitely proposals for representatives for special interests but I don't know if any of them made it into phase two. There were certainly strong objections put forward to them.

My own preference is for an Upper House entirely composed of members appointed by locally elected assemblies. One of the points I made in my own proposal on the subject was that the Lords were originally local rulers so that there was integration between local and central government in the past. To my mind, there has to be somewhere for the tension between the different levels to be played out and Parliament seems to me to be the right place for it. I think having mixed methods of appointment would interfere with that.

The other important question is how the relationship between the two houses should be defined. The dominance of the Commons largely comes from the fact that the Lords have no democratic mandate but that wouldn't be the case for an indirectly elected house. My preference would be for them to be equal but what do others think?

I'm conscious that we only have a couple more days to come up with some appropriate clauses for this. Do you have anything in mind, ScepticOptimist?

Faisal Ahmed Apr 17, 2015

Ok - Lets make some assumptions

We moved to a devolved/federal form of government with England being represented by a number of Regional assemblies.

Such Devolution enables much of what is currently managed by Westminster to be done at a Regional level

National Government will fundamentally focus on Foreign, Defense, Monetary and Fiscal Policies, National policies for Health,education, transport etc. and legislation.

Revised Proposal:

2 houses pf Parliament - Lower House (LHP) & Upper House (UHP)

Lower House  - as currently for HoC, primary chamber for debating and drafting legislation

Upper House - there as a check LH - prevents rash/extreme legislation

250 MLHP's & 125 MUHP's

Will defer to other threads on details for process for recalling MP's, length of therms

MLHP 100% elected - again defer to outcome of discussions on PR/STV etc.

MUHP A couple of options:

100% elected

Some elected, some appointed by regions

100% appointed by regions  - similar to German Bundesrat

Criteria for appointment- I really think we need to avoid purely political appointments.  One of the few positives of the house of Lords is that it does act as a real check on the Commons and some had valuable rel life experience and knowledge to share.

My preference is therefore to ensure that if some MUHP are appointed we ensure that they come from a variety of backgrounds.

 

 

 

 

Malcolm Ramsay Apr 18, 2015

My first preference is for most Upper House members to be appointed by regional assemblies with a single directly-elected Upper House member per region, who would have authority to order regional assembly elections. Criteria for the directly-elected member would be similar to the criteria for the elected Head of State.

My second preference is for all Upper House members appointed by regional assemblies.

In those two scenarios  the number of Upper House members would be a multiple of the number of regions.

I think the two Houses should be equal on matters pertaining to the distribution of power between regional and central government but I'm happy for the Lower House to be primary on central government matters.

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