Thursday, March 15, 2007

A predictable contempt for democracy

Last week in a landmark vote, the British House of Commons voted overwhelmingly for an end to Prime Ministerial patronage by replacing the Lords with a fully elected upper house. Today, the Lords had their say, and predictably they voted against democracy, rejecting every option other than full appointment.

The votes are indicative, rather than being on a piece of legislation, but they make the government's path clear: it must use the Parliament Act to bring democracy to the Lords. Allowing power to be wielded on the basis on hereditary privilege and patronage is unacceptable in this day and age, and the sooner it is erased, the better.