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Should the House of Lords be abolished? Show more Show less

The role of the British Parliament’s second unelected chamber has been debated for a century to no avail. Despite minor reform in the late 1990s, the future of the House of Lords remains ambiguous at best. So what is the purpose of the House of Lords? Should it be left untouched, reformed, or ultimately abolished?

The House of Lords should be abolished Show more Show less

The House of Lords is irrelevant in modern life and detrimental to our democracy.
(1 of 3 Positions) Next >

The House of Lords is undemocratic

The way the House of Lords is selected is fundamentally undemocratic.
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Context

The Argument

The House of Lords is the only chamber in a democratic country that's membership is through selective appointment. Peers hold their seats until they die and are not accountable or removable by the electorate in any way. This is an affront to the very idea that the UK is a democracy, particularly when an increasing number of its members are donors to political parties or former Members of Parliament. It is ironic that the only elections that are held for membership of the House of Lords are to replace one of the ninety-two hereditary peers whose seat in the Lords is still theirs by birth right. The lack of democratic accountability in the House of Lords undermines its legitimacy and the UK's credibility as a whole. It gives outsiders the impression that cronyism and nepotism remain a large part of British society.

Counter arguments

Steps have been taken to democratise the House of Lords and make it more accountable to the British public. This includes the reforms under Tony Blair in the late 1990s to remove all but ninety-two hereditary peers, reforms to allow peers to retire from the House of Lords, and new mechanisms to suspend peers who misbehave or are deemed to have acted inappropriately.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Members of the House of Lords are not democratically elected. [P2] We should get rid of it as an undemocratic institution inherently undermines democracy.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Steps have been taken to make the House of Lords more democratic.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

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    This page was last edited on Monday, 9 Mar 2020 at 15:32 UTC