Monday, 26 November 2012

Plans for New Lords Will See Voters in Scotland Elect Under 4% of Westminster

Plans to create at least 80 new life peers will mean that the Scottish public is responsible for electing fewer than 4% of Westminster parliamentarians.

Despite the election manifestos of the three largest Westminster parties on reform of the House of Lords, the proposals are expected to take membership of the House of Lords from 760 to at least 840, meaning that the Scottish electorate is responsible for electing just 3.95% of decision makers at Westminster.

There are already 110 more unelected Lords than there are MPs and 701 more unelected Lords than there are MPs from Scottish constituencies.

The SNP does not take seats in the House of Lords because of its undemocratic and anachronistic nature. The only other country in the world with an unelected second chamber is Lesotho.

Commenting, SNP MSP Linda Fabiani said:

“If these ludicrous plans go ahead, it will make a bad situation even more farcical. It is completely unjustifiable for Westminster to still be operating an unelected and undemocratic second chamber in this day and age.

“A situation where people in Scotland are only able to elect fewer than 4% of the parliamentarians at Westminster is an insult to democracy.

“It is hugely embarrassing for the three biggest Westminster parties as they are all set to abandon their manifesto commitments on Lords reform and instead make Westminster even more undemocratic.

“How on earth can they square their previous statements with plans to create a swathe of new unelected Lords?

“Decisions affecting Scotland should be made by people 100% elected in Scotland and these moves make completely clear that this will only be achieved with a Yes vote for an independent Scotland in 2014."
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