It’s quite rare, but from time to time you are thrown a somewhat bizarre idea that makes you think. This evening was one of those occasions. I was discussing politics with a university friend, Sarah Mulley, and discussion strayed onto the issue of reform of the House of Lords. I have a simple idea she said.
Why don’t we put House of Lords reform and Electoral Reform together, and have a fully proportional election system for the House of Lords. There’s no constituency link with the Lords as it is, so we would not need to worry about that.
Now, before ridiculing this idea, give it some thought. Both Sarah and I agreed that it’s a very sub-optimal solution. But what we have presently in the UK is even worse. Further, proper electoral reform in the House of Commons is unrealistic presently, and the government realises more reform is needed in The Lords.
The result of all of this would be a sort of coalition arrangement in The Lords – allowing people to vote for The Greens, Lib Dems etc., yet the more traditional two party system would remain in the House of Commons. The constituency link would also be maintained there.
So how about it? Roll electoral reform and Lords reform into one. It might be a messy, pragmatic solution, but it might just work.