Sunday, 16 May 2010

House of Lords Reform

One of the key areas of policy that the Lib-Con Coalition will be focusing on is electoral reform. Already we have seen plans for a referendum for the AV system to be used for election to the House of Commons. but what about the House of Lords.

Apparently there are plans to reform the House of Lords, but into what is the question?
Here are a few options;

Scrap all Lords currently sitting, Election for Lords will use the traditional counties as constituencies and either AV or FPTP used to elect them. We will then have a fully elected Second chamber comprising of around 110 Lords.

Elect the Lords using fully PR and multi-member constituencies. No estimate on how many Lords we will then have.

Adopt the additional member or closed list and use a regional basis, meaning we vote for party but the Parties themselves pick who takes the seats.

I Personally would favour the first option as it lowers the number of Lords, uses a system that will not favour extreme parties and uses boundaries already in place.

The choice made by the coalition will however fundamentally change the system of Government we have in place.

Women in Cabinet?

In the first week the Lib-Con Alliance has already come under fire from two fronts.

Some of you may be wondering what the first sentence has to do with the title... well simply put both problems can be exemplified by the new Home Secretary and minister for Equality Theresa May.

Theresa May was a choice that was immediately flagged by Lesbian and Gay rights groups due to her voting record against equal rights for homosexuals in some cases such as; making the age of consent the same as heterosexuals, repealing section 28 and voting against allowing lesbians couple to have IVF treatment without a male role model.

Although some groups will have or will likely call for Theresa May to be replaced there is another section of the Rights movement who may have a problem with Theresa May being booted out;

Women's Rights Groups, already a Lib Dem MP has criticised the lack of Women in the Cabinet.

Obviously she could just be replaced by another female or simply lose her Equality portfolio to another female Minister. This looks the opening shots from the Pressure groups of the UK, trying to get a feel for the Government's reactions.

The larger question we could ask is what actually constitutes equality in terms of Cabinet picks? Theresa May's appointment was not seen as one of affirmative action but the reward of 13 years on the Conservative front bench, should minister's be thinking in terms of Race and Gender or the person's ability and experience?

I will not give my personal view on Sexuality Rights, Gender Rights or even attempt to answer the last question I posed. The answer you give is yours and it is not for me to try and influence, I shall simply lay out the facts and some possibilities.