A proposal for simultaneous reform of the House of Commons and House of Lords
The political quarterly, 2020, Vol. 91, No. 2, pp. 442-447
DENNISON, James, A proposal for simultaneous reform of the House of Commons and House of Lords, The political quarterly, 2020, Vol. 91, No. 2, pp. 442-447 - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/70900
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
The disproportional electoral system of the House of Commons is increasingly contested, while the undemocratic composition of the House of Lords has been criticised for a century. I first argue that simultaneous reform of both chambers creates the opportunity for far more optimal outcomes than possible under attempts to reform just one chamber. I then argue that bicameralism should continue so that the UK can be represented in two, currently convoluted, ways: as a singular polity in partisan terms and as both an aggregate of constituencies and union of nations, in geographic terms. The former would best take place in a reformed House of Commons, responsible for government formation, and composed of around 300 MPs elected by ‘pure’ proportional representation. The latter would best take place in a reformed House of Lords of around 300 peers, elected by plurality voting from single‐member constituencies. Together, these reforms would improve governance, representation, legitimacy, accountability and the robustness of the union, while retaining celebrated facets of the status quo such as simplicity and the direct constituency link.
First published online: 30 March 2020
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/70900
Full-text via DOI: 10.1111/1467-923X.12840
ISSN: 0032-3179; 1467-923X
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