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John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lib Dem Voice: Barry Holliday- Electoral Reform, How To: How to Reform the U.K. Parliament

Source: Lib Dem Voice: Barry Holliday- Electoral Reform, How To

Things are already changing very fast in the United Kingdom. Thanks to the Scottish independence referendum in September, devolution and federalism is coming to Britain perhaps as early as next year. At least an agreement on what a federalist United Kingdom would look like. With the unitarian socialist state in Britain collapsing, with more power headed to the states as Americans would call it and the people of Britain over their own domestic affairs.

But devolution and federalism I believe will only work as an American outsider looking in on Britain, if they reform their Parliament as well. Because at the end of the day, for England, Scotland, Wales and North Ireland to be able to function properly in the United Kingdom, they will need to be well represented in Parliament in London with a functioning bicameral Parliament so not all over the power and resources are not so centralized in London with the national or federal government and in England.

For a bicameral Parliament to work in Britain the House of Lords or whatever they may call it in the future, perhaps the U.K. Council or Lordship, perhaps even Senate, needs to function like the upper chamber of Parliament that it is supposed to be. Where they actually have a say in what laws are passed in Parliament and not just be a rubber stamp for the House of Commons. Where they can conduct real oversight of the U.K. Government and have at least the same power and authority as the House of Commons. And where members of this body can be part of Prime Ministers Questions.

The way I would reform the U.K. Parliament is similar to how the U.S. Congress looks. The lower chamber the House of Representatives where Representatives represent districts inside of states. And where the upper chamber the Senators represent the whole state in America. But since Britain is a lot smaller physically and in population to America, where they would represent districts as well inside of a state. But with each state lets say in the U.K. Senate getting an equal amount of Senators. But in the House the Commons would be proportioned based on population.

England would still have more Commons than anyone else because they are by far the biggest state in the United Kingdom. But this would be a real bicameral parliament and the Lordship or Council or even Senate, each state would be represented equally. So England, Scotland, Wales and North Ireland would all have the representation in parliament needed to bring back the resources that their districts and states need from London to be able to function properly.
UK Parliament: Open Lecture- Reform in The House of Lords