------ Forwarded Message
> From: "dasg...@aol.com" <dasg...@aol.com>
> Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2010 00:05:20 EDT
> To: Robert Millegan <ramille...@aol.com>
> Cc: <ema...@aol.com>, <j...@aol.com>, <jim6...@cwnet.com>
> Subject: If the Lords Get Out Voluntarily, They Can Keep Their Heads

> Labour pledge to replace House of Lords with elected chamber
> Jack Straw to publish manifesto plans to scrap the House of Lords and replace
> it with chamber modelled on US Senate
> * Polly Curtis <http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/pollycurtis> , Whitehall
> correspondent 
> * guardian.co.uk <http://www.guardian.co.uk/> , Sunday 14 March 2010
> * 
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/mar/14/labour-lords-elected-second-cha
> mber 
> <http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/mar/14/labour-lords-elected-second-ch
> amber#history-link-box>
> Ministers are working on proposals to transform the House of Lords
> <http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/lords>  into a democratically elected
> second chamber based loosely on the US Senate.
> The transport secretary, Lord Adonis, who would lose his seat in the Lords and
> his post in government under the plans, confirmed today that they would be
> published "very shortly".
> Leaked blueprints reveal the current 704-seat chamber would be reduced to 300
> seats, its members elected under a system of proportional representation. The
> justice secretary, Jack Straw <http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/jackstraw> ,
> will publish his proposals in a draft bill before the election and these will
> feature prominently in Labour <http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/labour> 's
> manifesto. Labour strategists hope that it will create a new dividing line
> with the Tories, allowing them to portray the Conservatives as being
> anti-reform.
> The second chamber would no longer be known as the House of Lords, a name
> which has been in use since the 14th century. Members would face elections
> every three terms and earn a salary of around £65,000. They would also be
> subject to a US-style "recall ballot" which would disqualify them for
> incompetence.
> The plans are designed to make parliament and legislative scrutiny more
> accountable, but they predate the recent rows about privilege in the Lords
> centring on the revelations of the Tory donor Lord Ashcroft's non-dom tax
> status.
> Adonis told the BBC's Marr show: "The time has now come to make it legitimate
> in the only way that a legislative assembly can be legitimate in the modern
> world, which is to be elected. Of course you couldn't introduce that reform
> until after the election, but there'll be firm proposals. And they build on
> the big changes we've already made to the House of Lords ­ notably the removal
> of the hereditary peers which has transformed it from being an essentially
> one-party Tory assembly with very little connection with modern life to being
> a proper working assembly."
> There are still 92 hereditary peers, a concession the government made to force
> through the 1999 reforms. Under the new plans, which were leaked to the Sunday
> Telegraph, they would all be removed.
> It is understood the main sticking points still to be overcome are over what
> to do about the 25 bishops in the Lords, whose removal would trigger a row
> with the church, and how to manage the transition to the new system.
> A spokesman for the Conservatives said that Labour had had 13 years to reform
> the Lords, and to launch proposals now was playing politics with the electoral
> system. " We will work to build a consensus for a mainly elected second
> chamber to replace the House of Lords," he said.

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