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I don't understand the House of Lords

(5 Posts)
Mistymorningcoffee Tue 27-Oct-15 13:46:25

Can anyone explain to me in simple terms what they do and the difference between them and the House of Commons?

squidzin Wed 28-Oct-15 09:20:20

Hello mistymorningcoffee

In the UK, laws are passed through a two-tier system in parliament, consisting of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The USA also has a two-tier system for legislation through the government's House of Representatives and the Senate. But in the US the Senate are elected.

Our House of Commons is elected, but the House of Lords is appointed by the Queen through recommendation from the prime minister.

HoL consists of Senior judges, senior Bishops, a few have inherited their title, basically people you presume to be of high intellectual and moral standing, but it's highly elitist.

The HoL have powers to push-through or push-back legislation voted in by the HoC.

Thurlow Wed 28-Oct-15 09:30:06

It's to provide a sort of system of checks and balances for the House of Commons, which contains the elected MPs.

Though the House of Lords used to just be for "lords", it's now designed to be a house full of people who are considered experts, or worthy - i.e., intelligent people with good life, business, scientific, philosophical experience etc who can check the laws the government would like to make, and ensure that they are good and sound. In theory it is supposed to be neutral and separate from the government, though like anybody, the people who make up the House of Lords will have their own political opinions and support one party or another.

The debate that's been knocking around for a long while is whether it should be another elected chamber. The slight issue is that if a government is in power for long enough, it can start to push its supporters into the House of Lords.

The idea is that if the government in power decided to pass a really drastic law, such as one that got read of the welfare state, the House of Lords could refuse to pass it.

Fugghetaboutit Wed 28-Oct-15 09:32:27

It's not all elitist now, my mother is in the HoL and was born in Hackney to immigrant parents and couldn't speak English until 6. Worked her way up and helped many people on the way, and got selected to join.

howtorebuild Sat 31-Oct-15 01:44:18

The HoL was hereditary peers. That changed and as they died out they were replaced by underwater manufacturers
etc. David Beckham is trying very hard to get in too. During a Tory parliament they will recommend people like Angelina Jolie unless she changed citizenship she can't join and people from the banking system for example. During a Labour government they place their people in the Lord's.

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