Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Reform of the House of Lords Term Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2500 words

The Reform of the House of Lords - Term Paper Example While the primacy of the Commons was originally derived from its electoral mandate, its continuing relevance is furthered by its functions and roles. The Government cannot govern without the support of the Commons because it has final say on legislation. As the Royal Commission chaired by Lord Wakeham emphasized, "The House of Commons, as the principal political forum, should have the final say in respect of all major public policy issues" and "it would be wrong to restore the fully bicameral nature of the pre-1911 Parliament."3 The primary role played by the Commons rests on several factors. First, its mandate as the direct representatives of the people means that it has greater democratic legitimacy than the Lords. The Commons' power to grant or withhold supply (public expenditure) is the source of its ability to uphold or dismiss the Government. Without the Commons' consent, the Government cannot function because the Commons approves the expenditure. It is thus undesirable for the reformed Lords to undermine this primacy. Changes in the Lords composition might lead to this undesirable outcome.4 The Lords cannot have the same power of public expenditure because there must only be a single route through which the Government secures its authority to govern. The Lords should have less power over the Government although it can ask the Government to reconsider a proposal without questioning the Government's authority. The primacy of the Commons is enshrined in the Parliament Acts, which limit the power of the Lords to veto legislative proposals, contain specific provisions relating to Bills on national taxation, public money or loans or their management. In a dispute between the two chambers on primary legislation, the Commons is supreme.The Lords should neither be a rival nor a mirror of the Commons. The Lords should not also be a rubber stamp of the Government's proposals. The primary function of a second chamber is the scrutiny of proposed legislation to provid e a second opinion. In order to secure the highest possible quality of legislation, a government must provide this second opinion.  

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