The House of Lords is too big and filled with political cronies. It is not representative of the people it is supposed to represent and we don’t get a chance to vote to say who should join. Other than that it’s fine!
According to Parliament.uk it is independent from, and complements the work of, the elected House of Commons. The Lords shares the task of making and shaping laws and checking and challenging the work of the government. This may be the intention yet when many of its members are directly appointed politically then its independence is questionable.
There are currently 797 sitting members, including 92 hereditary peers (4 dukes, 1 marquess, 24 earls, 16 viscounts and 44 barons). All other members are life peers and cannot pass on their peerage to their children.
Here is my proposal to sort it out:
- The House of Lords should be no bigger than the House of Commons, that is 650 members.
- All members should be elected by the public, with all hereditary membership stopped upon the death of current hereditary members.
- Membership should be held for life, or until they choose to stand down.
- At each general election a further election will be held to fill any vacancies in the House of Lords.
- The number of vacancies due to death, or stepping down, will be halved at each election until the membership is no more than 650
- Candidates will be nominated by a cross-party committee of parliament with no more than twice the number of vacancies put forward.
- People interested in becoming a member will put their names forward to the committee that will be responsible for shortlisting.
- Voters will select one candidate at the ballot box as part of the general election.
- The candidates with the most votes across the country shall be elected.
That doesn’t sound too hard does it? Such an approach would address all of the concerns raised in my opening paragraph.