Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Democracy… that would be nice

Number of elected representatives in the House of Commons: 650
Number of unelected representatives in the House of Lords: 851.
Result: an oligarchy. Cameron has (and will continue to) appoint as many of his Tory Scum friends as he likes (think Lords Young and Flight).
Even worse - he's planning to reduce the number of MPs to 600 because we 'don't need so many expensive representatives'.

Oh well, I enjoyed democracy while it lasted.


neal said...

851 seems completely unnecessary. I had an idea for the House of Lords the other day and want to see if anyone thinks it’s a goer or completely bonkers.

It’s essentially to run it a bit like a jury system. If you want to be in the House of Lords you just have to put your name forward and maybe pass some sort of test on the function of parliament. Names are then chosen at random from the list, but it can be made up of 50-50 men and women, have people that live in different regions, be representative of the ethnic mix of the country and the amount of people with disabilities. You have to commit to a minimum of one year and there would be a maximum of say 5 years (or maybe you get evicted like big brother, ha ha).

There would need to be some sort of way to guard against corruption. Corporations may try to get people to block a certain law for a cushy job when they come out. But I think in general people would take it seriously and want to do the best for people in their communities.

This would keep a situation where the upper chamber is able to take into consideration long term trends and not just worry about re-election and the population would become much more interested in politics especially if they’d put themselves forward.

What do you reckon?

The Plashing Vole said...

I had the very same thought many years ago, and I think it's a winner. The solution to cushy jobs afterwards is to ban them for a period of say 4 years after they leave.

The Chartists wanted annual elections - it militates against expertise developing, but it keeps people honest.

I wouldn't even let people put their names forward: just do it randomly like jury service, then strike out those obviously unfit to serve (Tories, golfers, Bruce Forsyth)

neal said...

You could make it so it was a full time job paid a little above the average wage, then it would be a pay increase for the average person, but the wealthy wouldn't be interested unless they had a genuine desire for public service.

The Plashing Vole said...

I like it.