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LordTempest

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Antonine

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Well fair enough then, I can understand why one might argue for a senate on the grounds that 300 senators could well be cheaper than 600+ peers, but surely the simplest option here would just be to reduce the number of peers? Occam's razor and all that.

Well, there are a series of questions we need to ask:

Do we need an upper chamber? Yes.

Should it continue to have legislative powers? Yes.

Is there any reason why it should be mostly composed of unelected hereditary individuals? No.

Therefore the answer is to keep the chamber and elect it (just like almost every other country does with their upper chamber) in accordance with the principle that the power to make and influence the laws governing a country must come from the ballot box.
 

99KingHigh

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Furthermore, while in principle I should be a republican, there's very little point in getting rid of the monarchy. I can't think of any better alternatives.

However, we absolutely should completely nationalise the Crown Estates and the duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall so that they can benefit the nation as a whole rather than being owned by a family of inbred aristocrats who only acquired them by theft in the first place.

Much treason. I smell Liberal-Labor-Communism.
 

LordTempest

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Well, there are a series of questions we need to ask:

Do we need an upper chamber? Yes.

Should it continue to have legislative powers? Yes.

Is there any reason why it should be mostly composed of unelected hereditary individuals? No.

Therefore the answer is to keep the chamber and elect it (just like almost every other country does with their upper chamber) in accordance with the principle that the power to make and influence the laws governing a country must come from the ballot box.

On the contrary, what reason is there for the Lords to be elected aside from the romantic principle that it should be "democratic" for the sake of being so? Say what you will about the Lords, but it is by a wide margin the most impartial political body in the land, with a greater number of political independents than the Commons and the devolved assemblies combined. These independents are free to exercise their impartial judgements on issues precisely because they have no political affiliation and are not under pressure to adopt one. There are plenty of individuals out there who merely vote for the party rather than the candidate, and I fear that even with STV (if you suggested a closed list I would figuratively beat you over the head with my order papers until your forehead resembled Mikhail Gorbachev's) many capable and fair-minded independent individuals will lose their seats in favour of two-bit party hacks following the lines given to them by their whips in either House.

Now, I'm not saying that unelected chambers are inherently superior to elected ones and that we should dissolve the Commons or ban political parties. Merely that the combination of an unelected, impartial Lords with a partial, democratically-elected Commons is superior to two partial, elected chambers or two impartial unelected ones.
 

John Forseti

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I'm not sure simple lack of (overt) party affiliation is guarentee of impartiality, after all who is it that grants them their seat and lovely robe? Wouldn't be the partial, partisan and elected government would it? :)

How about instead of election or appointment, the the second chamber is selected at random from the population. Like a giant citizen's jury. That way it's representative of the people, as it is of the people, and it's members are still not beholden to a party and election cycle.
 

LordTempest

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I'm not sure simple lack of party affiliation is guarentee of impartiality, after all who is it that grants them their seat and lovely robe? Wouldn't be the partial, partisan and elected government would it?

That could only be said of Life Peers, and I'm not sure whether they're a thing yet or not.

How about instead of election or appointment, the the second chamber is selected at random from the population. Like a giant citizen's jury. That way it's representative of the people, as it is of the people, and it's members are still not beholden to a party and election cycle.

I don't believe in Lottocracy, nor do I believe that a chamber filled with 300 random individuals is any superior to one filled with 300 hereditary peers.
 

Battle bunny

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The Lords, and all other remnants of the decrepit British aristocracy including the monarch, are never impartial. They have both their own personal political biases and their inherent, conservative class interests. "Independent" does not equal "impartial" either.
 

Ticket Cookie

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What way would you want the Senate to be elected, Antonine?
I did not understand.

I believe the french system could be an amelioration, Senators are elected indirectly by approximately 150,000 officials ("grands électeurs"), including regional councilors, department councilors, mayors, city councilors in large towns, and members of the National Assembly. This way it represents territorial collectivities of the Republic and French citizens living abroad, and is wonderfully moderate. A place where bipartisan bill are alive and were politics are less stereotypical and divisive. More democratic than hereditary peers, but still somewhat "above politics".

It doesn't have much more power than the House of Lords so the comparison seems legit :)
 

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The Lords, and all other remnants of the decrepit British aristocracy including the monarch, are never impartial. They have both their own personal political biases and their inherent, conservative class interests. "Independent" does not equal "impartial" either.

Indeed, Lords and independents exercise their own judgement while delegates follow the line given to them by their Party Commissars.
 

DensleyBlair

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I'm not sure simple lack of (overt) party affiliation is guarentee of impartiality, after all who is it that grants them their seat and lovely robe? Wouldn't be the partial, partisan and elected government would it? :)

How about instead of election or appointment, the the second chamber is selected at random from the population. Like a giant citizen's jury. That way it's representative of the people, as it is of the people, and it's members are still not beholden to a party and election cycle.

Perhaps rather than instituting a giant jury style system, which would, frankly, be impractical I think, why not just use the existing system of life peerages to "elect" notable individuals who would have something important or insightful to offer the legislative process to the chamber? Leading figures in business and the arts, for example. These peers could easily be mandated as being cross-benchers, and in combination with a contingent of hereditary peers could offset the current "patriarchal" atmosphere.
 

DensleyBlair

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That could only be said of Life Peers, and I'm not sure whether they're a thing yet or not.

They have been since 1958, I believe – unless we're assuming that no legislation from our timeline made it into this one, of course.
 

Contravarius

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Well, how about we just raffle out all the life peerages? Like some kind of national lottery? When somebody dies, everybody just buys a ticket and some lucky bloke somewhere wins and gets to be a peer for the rest of his life.
 

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What way would you want the Senate to be elected, Antonine?
I did not understand.

I believe the french system could be an amelioration, Senators are elected indirectly by approximately 150,000 officials ("grands électeurs"), including regional councilors, department councilors, mayors, city councilors in large towns, and members of the National Assembly. This way it represents territorial collectivities of the Republic and French citizens living abroad, and is wonderfully moderate. A place where bipartisan bill are alive and were politics are less stereotypical and divisive. More democratic than hereditary peers, but still somewhat "above politics".

It doesn't have much more power than the House of Lords so the comparison seems legit :)

Honestly, I do not believe that electing people to elect people, as they do in America, is a worthwhile way of doing anything. If we must have an elected senate (and I don't believe we need anything of the sort) then far better to have it elected directly than to elect people to elect it.
 

Antonine

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On the contrary, what reason is there for the Lords to be elected aside from the romantic principle that it should be "democratic" for the sake of being so? Say what you will about the Lords, but it is by a wide margin the most impartial political body in the land, with a greater number of political independents than the Commons and the devolved assemblies combined. These independents are free to exercise their impartial judgements on issues precisely because they have no political affiliation and are not under pressure to adopt one. There are plenty of individuals out there who merely vote for the party rather than the candidate, and I fear that even with STV (if you suggested a closed list I would figuratively beat you over the head with my order papers until your forehead resembled Mikhail Gorbachev's) many capable and fair-minded independent individuals will lose their seats in favour of two-bit party hacks following the lines given to them by their whips in either House.

Now, I'm not saying that unelected chambers are inherently superior to elected ones and that we should dissolve the Commons or ban political parties. Merely that the combination of an unelected, impartial Lords with a partial, democratically-elected Commons is superior to two partial, elected chambers or two impartial unelected ones.

If you're concerned about party influence then only allow senators to sit one term - if they're ineligible to stand for re-election then parties can't threaten them with not supporting their re-election campaign.

And let's not forget now that the very existence of the Lords corrupts the Commons. How many MPs and ex-ministers are bribed by the promise of a future peerage? How many donors to political parties do so in exchange for a peerage? No sane person designing a system from scratch would create the House of Lords so keeping it just because it's what we already have is a ridiculous argument.
 

LordTempest

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If you're concerned about party influence then only allow senators to sit one term - if they're ineligible to stand for re-election then parties can't threaten them with not supporting their re-election campaign.

But for that one term they're still liable to follow the party whip. They may be less inclined to do so, but this doesn't change the fact that there will be far fewer independents and people from outside politics in the House if it is to be elected.

And let's not forget now that the very existence of the Lords corrupts the Commons. How many MPs and ex-ministers are bribed by the promise of a future peerage? How many donors to political parties do so in exchange for a peerage? No sane person designing a system from scratch would create the House of Lords so keeping it just because it's what we already have is a ridiculous argument.

Replace "peerage" with "senate appointment." :rolleyes:

Even if only 20 or so senators are directly appointed, this does not take into account the fact that parties choose their candidates. Granted, STV is an effective way of combating this, but I can't help but feel that most voters will vote as the party tells them (de jure STV, de facto PLPR) and that therefore, promising a candidate the "right" place on an unofficial party list (like a leaflet which tells supporters how they should vote) will serve the same function as promising one a peerage.
 

Contravarius

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((Ummmm... If I were to choose one or two most important British liberals of all time, which would I choose? Or what about a few moderate conservatives? And socialists would get Attlee(right?), but what about someone a tad bit more radical?
I mean, I'm not looking for just important figures, I'm looking for the Faces of these ideologies, much like Mosley was for British fascism.))
 

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((Ummmm... If I were to choose one or two most important British liberals of all time, which would I choose? Or what about a few moderate conservatives? And socialists would get Attlee(right?), but what about someone a tad bit more radical?))

During the AAR's timeframe? Sinclair and Grimond. Don't let Densley corrupt you with his 19th Century nostalgia for the GOM. ;)
 

DensleyBlair

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((Ummmm... If I were to choose one or two most important British liberals of all time, which would I choose? Or what about a few moderate conservatives? And socialists would get Attlee, but what about someone a tad bit more radical?))

Gladstone definitely. I'd also go for Grey, but others may disagree. There's always Mill, of course.

As for socialists, you can't go wrong with Keir Hardy. Moderate Tories – Peel, definitely. Not sure of another solid one.
 

Contravarius

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During the AAR's timeframe? Sinclair and Grimond. Don't let Densley corrupt you with his 19th Century nostalgia for the GOM. ;)
((Well, they really don't have to be in the timeframe, if the foundations were laid long before by someone a lot more important.
Also, include first names, FOR GOD'S SAKE!))
 

DensleyBlair

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