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Should there be a House of Lords?

Uploaded by ar14 on Oct 29, 2001

Clearly, in such a populated country such as Great Britain, a Second Chamber of Parliament also known as the House of Lords is necessary. Although the House of Lords cannot execute much power, compared to the House of Commons, it is a vital part of British Government. The House of Lords plays an important part in revising, potentially delaying legislation and as well as keeping a check on Government by scrutinising its activities. It complements the work of the Commons, whose members are elected to represent their constituents. Members of the Lords are not elected and are unpaid. Most peers have a wide range of experience as most have retired from a political career. For example, there have been 158 members of the House of Lords that were once MPs, (the breakdown is as follows; Conservatives 77, Labour 55, Liberal Democrats 14, Crossbenchers 9, other 3) . Peers also provide a source of independent expertise as the House has among its members a number of University Chancellors, professors, and writers. The House also has a judicial role as the final Court of Appeal . Although the House of Lords perform many functions to help Government flow smoothly, it has many flaws including being undemocratic as members are appointed, not voted in by the people (as mentioned before). In this essay, there will be arguments both for and against the Second Chamber being part of British Government. Also, it will be discussed how the role of the Second Chamber has changed throughout history.

To understand the functions of the House of Lords, one has to first look at how it has evolved throughout history. The House of Lords has slowly lost its power throughout time. During the 1800's, the two houses of Parliament remained nearly equal in power. Although the Commons had control over money bills, the Lords had the power to veto legislation. Soon, in 1909, a dispute broke out between the House of Commons and the House of Lords over a budget that was rejected by the Lords. Two years later, the Parliamentary Act of 1911 came into effect and the House of Lords lost its vetoing power. Under this new act, the Lords were permitted to delay money bills for only one month and non-money bills for a minimum of two years. Soon, the Parliamentary Act of 1949 reduced to one year the length of time that the...

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Uploaded by:   ar14

Date:   10/29/2001

Category:   Politics

Length:   6 pages (1,379 words)

Views:   1774

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