Lords reform is well and truly on the agenda. So much so that it seems plausible to say that it could split the coalition. Compromise seems desirable. But tensions between and within parties could see progress grind to a halt, a situation unwanted not least because all of the three major parties have actually expressed support for reform, at least in principle. In this context, here, I outline a proposal I developed in a recent paper that has, to my knowledge, not be aired in the Lords reform debate before. I propose a reform that would reconstitute the House of ‘Lords’ with features that are commonly deemed desirable, but sometimes thought to be in conflict. Those features are that it …
Although their official report isn’t due to be published until the 23rd of April, on Wednesday the Guardian reported that the Joint Committee on Lords Reform has decided to back an ‘open preferential voting system’ rather than the government’s preferred Single Transferable Vote (STV) for electing members to a reformed House of Lords. Open preferential voting is a hybrid electoral system which allows voters to either express a rank ordering of individual candidates in the same manner as STV, or to select a list of candidates chosen by a political party, much like a closed list proportional representation system. In Australia, where the method is used to elect the Senate, this is known as voting ‘below’ and ‘above’ the line …
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