The reformed second chamber – a dichotomy

The Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament last week proposed no less than thirteen new Bills; interesting to note that those on Housing, Jobs and Health didn’t quite make it to the speech.  But one thing struck me when Her Majesty announced:

“Legislation will continue to be taken forward on constitutional reform.  My Government will also publish draft legislation on proposals for a reformed second chamber of Parliament with a democratic mandate.”

You see, if you look at the detail of Labour’s proposals for this Bill, there appears to be a contradiction.  Quoting from the website of the Leader of the House of Commons, you’ll see from the bullet points under “The main elements in the draft legislation are…” that firstly, “the reformed second chamber should be eighty per cent or a hundred per cent elected”.  However just three bullet points later comes the text “the Government should not hold a majority in the second chamber and its members should be independent”.

Maybe someone could explain how any Government could ensure that both those points are fulfilled?


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