“…it is intended to substitute for the House of Lords as it at present exists a Second Chamber constituted on a popular instead of hereditary basis, but such substitution cannot be immediately brought into operation.”
Preamble to the Parliament Act 1911
This Act, which limits the powers of the House of Lords and commits Britain to democratic reform of the House of Lords, received Royal Assent on 10 August 1911. This was only ever intended to be a temporary measure. If the first elections to a democratic Second Chamber are to take place before its centenary, the Government and Parliament must act now.
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On 1st May 1997 I was a happy man. The Tories had finally been booted out of office and replaced with a progressive, forward-thinking party with a commitment to electoral reform.
Can you spot my mistake?
Labour have spent much of the last eight and a bit years abusing the Parliament Act and behaving as though the House of Lords were just an irrelevance. I’m no constitutional expert but I I have not failed to notice that many other states have bicameral legislatures. Labour have tried to force through some terrible laws with no regard for how they could be abused by a future government. It’s time for a change but, sadly, if the Government have their way, we may not even be able to vote in local council elections soon.