Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Unlock Democracy: Lords Reform- Where Does Your MP Stand?

No-one who has paid any attention to Parliament over the past couple of months can doubt that the decisions made in the House of Lords affect our daily lives. With working peers under the control of their whips more tightly than ever, putting their work under greater public scrutiny has never been more important.

In a few months time, MPs will be given a vote over whether to introduce democratic elections to the House of Lords.  It is crucial that they stick to their election promises and endorse these proposals.

We've built a new tool to help you see to what extent your MP supports Lords reform and helps you to write them an email based on their position.  You can look up your MP by going here:

Find your MP

Whether you have agreed with the positions the House of Lords has taken in recent months or not, the fact remains that its basic lack of legitimacy means that, all too often, its decisions are simply reversed by the government.  What's more, the government can simply pack the House with more cronies if it feels it is not getting its own way. It is largely accepted that it is now a matter of when, not if, the government will flood the Lords with up to 60 new party appointees.

We simply can't continue with a discredited, broken system like this.  Sadly, the Lords itself could, if it wanted, cause the government real problems if it presses ahead with reform.  Peers who have been willing to back down on fundamental issues, such as health reform, are threatening to derail the government’s whole legislative programme to protect their own status.

If we want the government to call the Lords' bluff, we need to ensure that the House of Commons gives the reform proposals a ringing endorsement when it is debated there in a few months.  That means putting pressure on MPs now to make it clear that this is an issue that matters to their constituents.

We've built a new tool on our website to help you do this.  It shows you to what extent your MP supports Lords reform and helps you to write to them based on their position.

Please take a couple of minutes to write to your MP today.  It could make all the difference.  Visit our new tool here:

Find your MP

Many thanks,

Peter Facey
Director, Unlock Democracy