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to think appointment/'election' of new hereditary peer seems regressive/anachronistic

(3 Posts)
Pangurban1 Mon 18-Apr-16 13:50:46

3 Lib dem hereditary peers get to appoint a new Lib Dem hereditary peer to replace one who has passed away. I would be loathe to say elect as it is really an appointment. There are 7 Lib Dems competing for the appointment.

Should hereditary peerages be allowed to decline rather than be replaced in the Legislature in this way? Does the house of Lords just become an expensive number for politicians appointed by their buds? These people are given power as they are involved in making laws.

The are around 790 members of the house of lords.

Is there a reason to justify keeping this house topped up and is it in any way democratic or worth the expense in public money?

herecomethepotatoes Mon 18-Apr-16 14:58:47

It isn't democratic but that's kind of the point.

The second house, by not needing to fight for re-election, can vote for the interests of the country. By historically being privately wealthy, they were deemed less easily bought.

790 does seem a lot but I do believe that they perform a necessary function.

Heard the expression that the best form of government is a benign dictatorship?

Pangurban1 Mon 18-Apr-16 16:02:08

I don't know if I am convinced that because people are privately wealthy and appointed by their party to the Lords means they will necessarily vote and influence legislation purely in the interests of the country. Aren't some appointments rewards for large party donors and supporters? In that climate, I would be surprised if they are more principled that regular electoral candidates. Hopefully not less principled or committed to public service, but I don't see why they would be viewed as actually attaining a higher standard. Unless there is evidence, of course.

They could indeed be in a better position to influence things to their own interests or their allegiances. Even more so if they don't have to face an electorate. They have already been appointed.

Are they even under as much scrutiny as the Commons?

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