The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Should the House of lords undergo a major reform?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/2/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 511 times Debate No: 102354
Debate Rounds (4)
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The con side argues that the House of lords is effective in its current form and only small changes are needed. The side proposition argues that it should undergo a major reform (ex. elected second chamber, removal of all hereditary peers etc.).


I would like to thank my opponent for setting up this challenge. Good Luck.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this challenge. Before we begin I should say that this has been very problematic topic in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for a whole century.
Firstly, let us look how was the house reformed in the past 100 years since I assume that my honorable opponent is aware of the duties of the House in the current status quo. The Parliament Act 1911 removed the ability of the House of Lords to veto money bills, with any other bills, the House of Commons was given powers to overrule the Lords' veto after three parliamentary sessions. In 1917 the Bryce Commission was set up to consider House of Lords reform proposals. The commission's recommendations were rejected by a vote in the House of Lords. The Parliament Act 1949, however, amended the 1911 act reducing the time the Lords could delay a bill from three sessions to two. The Life Peerages Act 1958 enabled the appointment of a new class of peers, who could sit and vote in the House of Lords, but the honor and rights would not be hereditary. Although they were there because of they somehow have contributed to the British society they were often mocked by the Hereditary peers. Then came the 1999 House of Lords Act which removed every but 92 members who inherited their right to sit in Parliament. Another ten were created life peers to enable them to remain in the House. The Act decreased the membership of the House from 1,330 in October 1999 to 669 in March 2000. As another result of the Act, the majority of the Lords were now life peers, whose numbers had been gradually increasing since the Life Peerages Act 1958. As of August 2012, there were 825 Peers, of whom 26 were senior Church of England bishops, whose determination is governed by the Bishopric of Manchester Act 1847. Most of the peers now are elected by an independent commission. The remaining Hereditary peers cannot pass their right to sit to their inheritors directly. When a Hereditary Peer passes away or resigns an election is held among fellow Hereditary Peers. Only other non-member Hereditary peers are eligible to stand and thus the peer-elect is often not a relative of the peer who passed away or resigned.
Secondly let's have a look at my first argument. It is that the current Hose of lords is a very diverse second chamber. There are more women, more minorities and people with wider knowledge in this House than the elected one. That can easily be thrown away by making a fully or partially elected Upper House.
My second argument is that there is currently no party even close to majority in the Hose of Peers. That helps the chamber to do its only two jobs left - scrutinize legislature and question Her Majesty's Government. There are numerous instances where the bill proposed is passed through the Commons but it has not been meticulously examined. If we abolish or make the House fully or partially elected that could change the balance and will facilitate the Government to pass bills not carefully scrutinized.
My third and final argument for now is that the House of Lords is the only connection between Her Majesty and the legislature. Since King Charles I was executed by the Commons the monarch is not allowed in the lower chamber Thus, the only place where the Queen is allowed to attend and make speeches is in the House of lords. Making the Upper Chamber a replica of the Commons means that there will be no such place in Britain any more. If we abolish the house altogether we should also have to think about the abolition of the Crown as well.
I look forward to constructive suggestions by the Proposition for major reform which will not neglect the issues I addressed earlier. Thank you!
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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