Peer pressure

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Another 45 peers created! It is more than time for reform of the Westminster Houses of Parliament and the Scottish Parliament.

For a long time now many have been saying that the Lords must be reformed again after the half-hearted attempts some years ago have still burdened the country with many more peers than are needed – none elected.

There is no doubt that a second chamber is required to scrutinise and amend badly drafted legislation. Scotland doesn’t have one, which is not only foolish but could be dangerous for democracy.

My suggestion is that there should be no more people in the second chamber, the Lords, than there is seating capacity, which is roughly 230, and every one of them should be elected. And paid properly.

To ensure continuity, I suggest that for the first election half should be for three years and the rest for six and thereafter an election to replace half of them every third year.

There are far too many MPs representing us. David Cameron said he would like to reduce their number to 600. Applying the same argument as for the Lords, the total should be no more than the number of seats – about 440.

This would, of course, mean a significant re-drawing of constituencies.

This would enable larger areas which could have several members, elected by a system other than first-past-the-post.

This would obviate the charge that Parliament is not truly representative of the way the votes were cast. It is just a personal suggestion. I am a member of no political party.

John Dorward

Brechin Road

Arbroath

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