Thursday, March 08, 2007

"I now declare the candidate for the Conservative Party duly elected, my Lords"

So, it finally happened. The House of Commons has voted in favour of a one-hundred-percent elected upper house. And it only took 96 years. Somewhat disappointingly, however, the Commons was not voting on a Bill to introduce an Act of Parliament, but merely to winnow out the umpteen different proposals (including 80% and 50% elected). A lot can change even during the normal process of drafting and passing a bill, so let's just hope it stays that way.

Oh, and I DO hope they change the name - what's the point of calling it "the House of Lords" if you are not in it by virtue of being one? The obvious choice would be "Senate", but there are lots of other options: Japan's upper House for example is called the "House of Councillors", whilst the Netherlands has a First Chamber and a Second Chamber. (Somewhat counterintuitively however, it's the First Chamber that counts as the Senate.)

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