Will Britain need a constitution?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

British MPs have voted for wholesale changes to the way the country is governed, with a large majority of parliamentarians supporting a 100 percent elected upper house.

Jack Straw, the Commons Leader, has said that he can't "put the genie back in the bottle" and will press ahead with change.

This was not a binding vote, it is simply the will of the Parliament. But if the House of Lords is to elected I suspect there will need to be some document laying out their powers, districts, terms, etc. I suppose they could remain much the same, but what is the point of electing people to a ceremonial position? Might as well leave the Lords appointed if there are no other changes.

I have felt somewhat opposed to this move simply on account of the importance of traditions in a stable society. Nonetheless, such a development is interesting and I wonder how they are going to manage it. Britain has a parliamentary system with almost all powers currently in the hands of the prime minister and his party. So it is not anything like the US and it is hard to see how an elected upper house would fit in if it were to be given a legislative role.

What next, the Monarchy?


terrye said...

If it ain't broke....