Reform Is for Anoraks: ... on an Elected Second Chamber, Essential Citizens and Esther Rantzen
Wilby, Peter, New Statesman (1996)
Those who quote Cromwell's "In the name of God, go!" miss an important point: Cromwell replaced the Rump Parliament with an assembly of nominated placemen, setting himself on the road to dictatorship. Is that what we want now?
In fact, both Houses of Parliament are already composed very largely of nominees, with democracy providing just a veneer of legitimacy. Membership of the House of Commons is heavily determined by the parties' lists of "approved candidates", with neither party members nor voters in general having much of a say unless they strain themselves to make trouble. Most active members of the House of Lords are similarly nominated without anyone even pretending to consult the electorate. Shouldn't we have at least one house free of party machines and beyond executive control? If, as widely advocated, the Commons is reduced to some 400 members, that need …
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Publication information: Article title: Reform Is for Anoraks: ... on an Elected Second Chamber, Essential Citizens and Esther Rantzen. Contributors: Wilby, Peter - Author. Magazine title: New Statesman (1996). Volume: 138. Issue: 4951 Publication date: June 1, 2009. Page number: 14. © Not available. COPYRIGHT 2009 Gale Group.
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