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Four Parliaments and a Senate

(21 Posts)
Gracesgran Tue 14-Jul-15 18:23:53

This has come up on quite a few other threads in one form or another. I have felt for some time that an English parliament and the abolition of the House of Lords would be a sensible way forward and give us a better chance of keeping Scotland in the UK.

I have just heard an anti-hunting Conservative say that we need to abolish the House of Lords and The Commons and have four Parliaments and a Senate. There seems to be backing for this from at least some MPs on all sides - what do Grasnetters think?

vampirequeen Tue 14-Jul-15 18:30:24

I'm all for abolishing the House of Lords.

whitewave Tue 14-Jul-15 18:31:18

So how would that work?

FarNorth Tue 14-Jul-15 18:40:50

Sounds like a good idea. England would have MPs elected to act on their behalf only instead of UK MPs switching back and forth, as currently suggested.

The other countries would not have their UK MPs being excluded from parliamentary business, also as currently suggested.

Gracesgran Tue 14-Jul-15 19:04:04

Well the assemblies in Wales and Ireland would become parliaments whitewave and Scotland already has one so we just need an English one. You abolish the Commons and Lords and each of the countries send Senators to the Senate. The Senate would deal with the areas not devolved to the countries.

durhamjen Tue 14-Jul-15 19:07:37

That's the north east back to the dark ages, then. We would never get anything we want from an English government ruled by Tories.

durhamjen Tue 14-Jul-15 19:08:48

Would each country have an equal number of senators?

whitewave Tue 14-Jul-15 19:09:11

Sounds OK. At least all houses would be elected democratically which is progress.

Gracesgran Tue 14-Jul-15 23:12:18

Jen I wouldn't have thought the countries would have an equal number of senators. Wouldn't it be more likely that they would be pro rata to population?

durhamjen Tue 14-Jul-15 23:30:15

But then there is no point because the English part of the senate will always win.

FarNorth Wed 15-Jul-15 02:54:56

Maybe its members could try to work for the good of the whole UK, rather than being adversarial. Or maybe that makes me a hopeless optimist.

whitewave Wed 15-Jul-15 08:31:01

Yes I have been thinking about this,and decided it will be fraught with difficulties. Would there be a senate leader and how would she be appointed? Would the English house have a PM and would her powers be less than now?
Like above how many members would each country have in the senate? How would the voting work? The list goes on and on but you get my drift.
Saying that I do agree that we need something like that confused

Gracesgran Wed 15-Jul-15 11:07:27

I can't see why you think that "the English part of the senate will always win" Jen. We have a UK parliament at the moment - well two really - the Commons and the Lords. A Senate would work on the same party basis as far as I can see.

I don't think it is as complicated as you think whitewave. The Senate would be the revising chamber for the countries parliaments, just as the Lords is now for the Commons. It would also retain some of the cross country powers that are not devolved to the countries. I wonder if many of us know that the Leader of the House of Lords is Baroness Stowell of Beeston; I certainly don't know who the leader of the US Senate is. So yes, in the same way that the Commons is the only English parliament currently, there would be a PM for the English Parliament although First Minister may be preferred. We have a First Minister for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales but England may wish to continue with Prime Minister.

As for numbers, I don't know. I have only just started looking at this because various cross party MPs have mentioned it. There are currently 650 members of the commons so I would like that halved but I have really no idea. Better people than me could no doubt tell you. Without the Lords and with fewer in the UK parliament there should be some large savings.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 15-Jul-15 11:09:28

It sounds too much like a film title.

Are you sure it's not a double entendre? confused

Lilygran Wed 15-Jul-15 11:27:08

Good idea! Present ad hoc suggestion won't solve anything. EVEL is well named! SNP argue every piece of legislation presented in Westminster has relevance to all parts of the UK because of financial implications. Just as every bit of legislation passed in NI, Wales and Scotland has implications for the other countries.

Anniebach Wed 15-Jul-15 12:44:49

I don't see how housing, NHS , education and care of ancient monuments in Wales affects the rest of the country

Lilygran Wed 15-Jul-15 13:08:57

Because every piece of legislation has financial implications is what the SNP argue.

whitewave Wed 15-Jul-15 13:42:53

Which is true.

Something needs to be done though as I am beginning to think that this government is shaping up to be anti-democratic.

Boundary changes will ensure that Labour will find it almost impossible to win an election and the latest trade union proposals will ensure lack of funding for the Labour party.

Anniebach Wed 15-Jul-15 13:51:11

whitewave, this government is anti democratic

Gracesgran Wed 15-Jul-15 18:37:34

I just live in hope that the incompetence of the Conservatives continues whitewave. What an attack on the unions. They seem to have not understood that both the NHS and teaching have been kept going to a great extent by good will. Certainly those areas would only need to work to rule to have an effect.

absent Wed 15-Jul-15 19:47:01

Just having a senate for UK-wide issues with no other chamber for revision and oversight would make it incredibly powerful.