Oh no, I'm not bitter about the fact that, had the positions been reversed, Ros would have become a Lady.
- a First Past the Post system;
- an Alternative Vote system;
- a Single Transferable Vote system; or
- an open or semi-open list system.
As opposed to naked arm-wrestling, synchronised bungy-jumping or a silly walk competition. Actually, I know, we could do it as a political version of Jeux San Frontieres, where candidates could dress up as penguins and try and fill buckets with water coming from a tap eight feet off of the ground whilst standing on a greased turntable. It would certainly keep costs down...
4.87 The Government believes that there should be a process to fill vacancies and would welcome views on what those arrangements should be.
Bless, isn't it wonderful that they believe that voters shouldn't go without representation...
From there on in, the document is a morass of entirely reasonable, if mechanistic, set of proposals, most of which are unlikely to offend particularly.
The question of what happens to those Life Peers already elevated to the second chamber is addressed by means of a series of options. There is a moral dimension to this, in that these individuals have been sent there for life. You could argue that a contract has been entered into but, given that the average age of members of the House of Lords is sixty-eight, the actuarial bottom line is that death will take care of the problem in comparatively short order. That, and a modestly generous redundancy package, would probably satisfy the contractual obligation, and ensure that a reformed second chamber would be mostly elected by 2020.
For psephology geeks out there, Annex 2 considers what the make up of a reformed second chamber might be based on the results of the 2005 General Election. Putting aside the fact that, if current opinion polls are correct, the tables serve no useful purpose whatsoever, they do indicate that any proposal that calls for first past the post or alternative vote should be actively opposed by anyone other than Conservative or Labour supporters.
The Annex also indicates how the reformed second chamber would have looked after each election since 1974, and shows how we have advanced as a party since then.
And so, what are the prospects for House of Lords reform? Labour consider this to be an issue for their next term. The Conservatives view - something for a third term. On that basis, I expect to be married to a member of the House of Lords for some time to come...