"I will 'blog for victory' on the 10th of August by writing a post about the need for House of Lords reform, and link to the Elect the Lords campaign website but only if 20 other bloggers will do the same."
— James Graham, Coordinator, Elect the Lords Campaign
Deadline to sign up by: 7th August 2006
22 people signed up (2 over target)
Country: United Kingdom
The 10th of August will be the 95th anniversary of the passing of the Parliament Act 1911.
The preamble of that act states:
“it is intended to substitute for the House of Lords as it at present exists a Second Chamber constituted on a popular instead of hereditary basis, but such substitution cannot be immediately brought into operation.”
Nearly a century later, we still don't have a Second Chamber constituted on a 'popular basis'. Rather, the removal of most of the hereditaries has been replaced by patronage - Tony Blair has appointed more people to the House of Lords than any other Prime Minister in history.
Last year, on the 94th anniversary, the Elect the Lords campaign organised a blogging event and it was a modest success. A summary of what people wrote can be found here: http://new-politics.com/index.php?p=133
Since then, you may have noticed, House of Lords reform has shot up the political agenda. A joint constitutional committee has been established in Parliament and the free vote promised in the 2005 Labour manifesto looks set to happen in the new year.
But there is still resistance to a predominently elected second chamber, let alone a fully elected one. The Leader of the House, Jack Straw has been saying he believes a half-elected, half-appointed model forms the best basis for a consensus. Yet the last time the Commons voted on composition, despite the fact that a majority of MPs favoured a mostly or wholly elected second chamber, all the proposals fell (the proposal for an 80% elected chamber fell by just 3 votes). It is clear that we can afford to take nothing for granted.
So, once again, we'd like the blogging community to help play their part by helping to mark 10 August as "Lords Reform Day". All we're asking you to do is to write about the House of Lords Reform, and add a link to http://www.LordsReformDay.org.uk (n.b. this page will be updated shortly). You'll help our campaign enormously by helping to raise awareness on this day, and directing traffic to our site.
As a result of bloggers' efforts for last year's Lords Reform Day, the Elect the Lords website received thousands of extra hits. With the issue now firmly back on the political agenda, we hope to do even better this year. But we need your help!
James Graham, the Pledge Creator, joined by: