With the ‘Harrogate Meet’ just two days away, it is perhaps co-incidental that George Howarth, Labour, has proposed the abolition of the House of Lords thus moving this country to a unicameral system of government; a suggestion not unsurprising from a Socialist viewpoint as they tend to regard the HoL as representing the interests of the ‘upper class’. Needless to say, the main weakness of a unicameral system can be seen as the lack of restraint on the majority, particularly noticeable in parliamentary systems where the leaders of the parliamentary majority also dominate the executive – a situation which exists in the HoC. In keeping with the current political belief that they and only they can decide what is best for the people, it will not have escaped the attention of readers that the one section omitted from any consultation process is the people.
While for sure it would cut the cost of government, in my view a move to unicameralism strengthens the dictatorial power that representative democracy already provides to those meant to serve us. Oddly for those proposing reform of representative democracy this suggestion does not appear to have made an appearance in their proposals – perhaps because it does strengthen the power of the executive?
Remembering that whatever system of democracy is agreed it has to be one where the people retain control of their political servants. Something else to consider for the Harrogate attendees, especially bearing in mind that as Richard North pointed out if we sort out our present political malaise we simultaneously sort out matters EU.