08 March 2007

28.8% of Tory MPs vote for democracy.

Frankly I am surprised it is that high, the 57 Tory MPs who voted for a 100% elected second chamber (out of 198 Tory MPs - this is less than in 2003 when 59 Tory MPs out of 165 voted for - so they have got more anti democracy since then) must have got lost in the lobbies, they certainly voted against the vast majority of their party, including Lord snooty - David Cameron.

This vote will be rejected by the unelected Lords (what a surprise) and the Tories think the 100% elected plan will be easier to incite the Lords wrath. As Gordon Brown voted against democracy as well, it is unlikely he will be bothered to push this through on an Act of Parliament, pity! So the Tories will get what they want yet again - no change! What a load of crap our system is. A complete waste of time.

The full voting figures are here and list of MPs for and against are here. Votes for democracy (i.e. 100% elected) were as follows;

337 For (Labour 223 (62.8% of party MPs), Lib Dems 57 (90.5%), Tories 57 (28.8%)
224 Against

Finally, the Tories argued against an alternative vote system (a system they use to elect their leader) to gauge a majority opinion on this from MPs. Now they are arguing that the smaller majority for an 80% elected chamber is closer to the 'true' feeling of parliament than the much larger majority who voted for 100% elected. It is pretty clear the Tories just don't want democracy and are willing to use any argument no matter how spurious to slow reform while pretending they do want it. It is all a bit pathetic.


  1. Curious as to why your local mp voted against it. Any ideas?

  2. After asking David for his views on this, I received a letter from him that included the following explanation;

    "My first preference is for the abolition of the House of Lords...This is also the view agreed by Pavilion CLP when it last debated the issue.

    "If a second chamber is to continue to exist then I do not believe it should have any elected element that would give it democratic legitimacy in possible opposition to the House of Commons.

    "It seems to me that either a fully elected or hybrid second chamber is merely storing up problems for the future

    "Yours sincerely DAVID LEPPER MP"

    Needless to say I am disappointed with his response. While I agree that abolition is better than an appointed chamber, a democratically elected revising chamber could be a useful brake on poor legislation.

    The unelected Lords priorities at the moment are promoting blood sports, religious bigotry and self preservation. I believe an elected house would care more about what the majority of people care about.

  3. Neil, is the current House of Lords failing to be a useful break on poor legislation?

    If the poor legislation derives from an elected House, why should a second elected House be expected to correct it!?!

  4. The House of Lords only come alive during a Labour govt - that is not democracy. Where were they when Thatcher was ramming through the destruction of local democracy, the Poll Tax, Section 28 etc. The answer was the old heriditory codgers were all asleep.

    Things have improved under Labour because Labour have got rid of most of the heriditories. Getting rid of the other unelected clowns will improve it even more.

    The Lords have only forced the Parliament Act when protecting the rights of Nazi war criminals (I jest not), protesting against equal gay rights and defending fox hunting - representing the people and our rights - they most certainly are not! They also scuppered the humane 'right to die' bill (that 80% of the public backed) thanks to a load of religious zealots that get unelected power over us.