UK Gays to get the right to marry?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs & Debate' started by TurnerPrize, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Devil

    Devil I Need A House

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    I'm still waiting on a proposal. It's been FIVE WEEKS since I can get married, and no prick has got down on one knee yet :(
     
  2. delirium

    delirium TOODLES FUCKFACE

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    You're probably used to getting down on both knees yourself :disco:
     
  3. Ag

    Ag BRING BACK TAGS

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  4. Madison

    Madison Everything goes up by six

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    Fuck you Justin Welby
     
  5. Commotion

    Commotion User

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    It still needs to be scrutinised by the House of Lords Committees. That could take some months, but it's highly unlikely it will be rejected now.

    If the House of Lords had rejected it, then they would have been signing their own death warrant seeing as they are not elected, and therefore don't really have any sort of democratic right to reject Commons bills.
     
  6. Penelope

    Penelope SMIRKING LESBIAN MOON

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    Not really. They've rejected bills before - 'democratic right' doesn't really come into it given it isn't that isn't where they get their legitimacy from. And in any case, if people wanted to get technical about democratic rights then this bill isn't exactly the best one to get technical over given it wasn't included in either the Lib Dem or Conservative manifesto. Which isn't a reason for it to be considered illegitimate, just more to demonstrate that democracy isn't the be all and end all.
     
  7. Ag

    Ag BRING BACK TAGS

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    It wasn't in the Lib Dem manifesto? That surprises me...
     
  8. Commotion

    Commotion User

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    Well reform of the NHS wasn't in the Tory manifesto either but they are doing exactly that. The claim that gay marriage wasn't in any party manifesto, doesn't hold water - many, many bills are not in party manifestos.

    And where does the House of Lords get its legitimacy from?

    I just think it's wrong that a group of unelected pensioners (the average age in the House of Lords was 70 as of April 2012) has the power to block legislation.

    There are no really strong arguements for keeping the House of Lords unelected - for Cher's sake there are 26 Church of England bishops in there, seeing as that is the official religion of the country.
     
  9. Madison

    Madison Everything goes up by six

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    The House of Lords gets its legitimacy from our constitution. Whether or not it's a sensible way of running things doesn't mean it's illegitimate.

    That said, if it ever interfered in such an arrogant way, to strip rights from me following a bill from the commons with cross-party support, I'd be marching and calling for its abolition.
     
  10. Commotion

    Commotion User

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    Well that's just opening a big can of worms. The basis of our constitution is the supremacy of the Queen over parliament.

    Keep the Queen by all means, but that is absolutely no bar to changing the constitution to ensure that the Lords are elected, like the Commons is.

    The fact is that in the current situation the House of Lords can over-rule the will of the elected House of Commons and cannot be held accountable for it. Yes the Commons can invoke the Parliament Act to over-rule the Lords, and have done so, on occasion.
     
  11. Madison

    Madison Everything goes up by six

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    So there's no use pretending the Lords can't or shouldn't do what they are currently tasked with doing.
     
  12. Commotion

    Commotion User

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    Not sure I understand what you are trying to say here?

    If they were elected they could do as they are currently doing - only they would be accountable to the electorate and would have a lot more legitimacy.

    There are currently 92 hereditary peers; 26 church of England peers; and the rest (about 700 of them) are in the House of Lords for life - there's no getting rid of them unless they are convicted of a crime like Jeffrey Archer was.

    Even the Tories support Lords reform to make it an elected house (well they do in principle anyway - but then again they are Tories). I can't think of a single valid reason for keeping the House of Lords as it currently is. If it has no power then what is the point of having it? If it does have power then it needs to be accountable.
     
  13. RobotBoy

    RobotBoy BANG BANG

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    Bunch of irrelevant dinosaurs.

    Heartening to see a very decisive vote against that hateful bill though.
     
  14. Ag

    Ag BRING BACK TAGS

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    IN SPITE OF ITSELF.
     
  15. Penelope

    Penelope SMIRKING LESBIAN MOON

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    You prove my point in your first sentence - something not being in a manifesto isn't a reason to consider a bill illegitimate. Hence, democratic concerns aren't the be all and end all (which isn't to say it isn't hugely important, just that there's more to government than just democracy).

    The House of Lords derives its legitimacy through executive appointment. You know roughly what you're getting when you elect a party into government - appointment of lords in that term roughly based on the share of the major parties (ish - this is one of the biggest areas crying out for reform, but typically the governing party will get more lords) with crossbench independents appointed by expertise. It isn't a perfect system by any means, but if you accept quangos - which are in many ways far more influential than the Lords is capable of being these days - as being legitimate, then the principle that appointment confers legitimacy has some weight.

    And on the contrary, there are some pretty strong arguments for keeping the House of Lords unelected - one is that having it elected (particularly on proposals of proportional representation) brings about a massive issue with regards to which House out of the Lords and the Commons has primacy. If the Lords could have claim to be more representative, then you could see all sorts of conflicts as you see in places like the USA where you have constitutional deadlock when the two chambers disagree. Once you get to a point where there are arguments over which chamber has primacy, then the Lords probably won't be practicing its remit - to scrutinise and revise legislation, rather than drive it.

    Another is that it's a revising chamber, rather than one intended to generate laws - it exists to give some continuity across governments and to try and avoid hasty legislation (take the Lords' rejection of anti-terrorist detention measures under the last Labour government, for one). That's why it never has the power to fully block a bill - if a bill is rejected by the House of Lords twice then if the Commons really wants it through it can invoke the Parliament Act to force it through, but by that point the bill can't really be said to have not at least been examined and thoroughly thought through, given it takes two years to get to that point. Overall, I'd say the benefits of having a revising chamber which decreases the likelihood of hasty legislation outweigh the negatives of the odd possibility of a delayed bill on something I want.

    Plus, picking out an example of some unelected lords that aren't appealing isn't really an argument to scrap the principle of the system as a whole, more one to scrap the provisions enabling them to be lords - by the same token you could say 'look at the BNP getting seats, we should totally scrap proportional representation in European Parliament elections'.

    None of this is to say that the Lords is perfect, I just don't think election is the solution for reforming it. I'd prefer a cross-party commission to Prime Ministerial appointment (to avoid the scenario of the PM packing the chamber with lords of their own party, which has happened a lot since it was reformed in the 90s), a set number of seats in the Lords, and a consistently set proportion of crossbenchers appointed on an expertise basis by an independent body.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  16. RobotBoy

    RobotBoy BANG BANG

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    I just think the old cunts should cunt off.
     
  17. Loufoque

    Loufoque BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE

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    OOH there ain't no OTHER WAY :disco:
     
  18. Commotion

    Commotion User

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    The 92 hereditary peers are not appointed; the 26 bishiops are not appointed. The rest of the unelected pensioners ARE appointed, but once appointed are completely unaccountable to anyone and cannot be removed for the duration of their life unless they commit a crime.

    That is absolutely disgraceful. The concept of legitimacy through executive appointment is an utter joke when it comes to those unelected pensioners.

    Fixing the electoral system to a system of PR in the Commons to make it representative of the will of the people (instead of the joke system it has at the moment) and having the Lords elected every 12-15 years (instead of every 5) would solve all those issues.

    Elections to the Lords every 12-15 yeats would allow it to continue its function as a revising chamber, but not in the manner of the undemocratic, unelected old-folks home it is at present.

    I completely disagree. I loathe the BNP, but they won their European seats fair and square and their elected representatives have far more democratic legitimacy than the Lords.

    There really is no valid reason for the House of Lords to be unelected.

    Is there any reason for it to exist at all.

    Surely a Supreme Court completely independent of the executive woule be a better system.

    Many democracies are uni-cameral.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  19. Loufoque

    Loufoque BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE

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    Unelected pensioners :D :D :D
     
  20. RobotBoy

    RobotBoy BANG BANG

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    I won't rest until Cruela DeWarsi is out on her mush.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  21. Loufoque

    Loufoque BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE

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    I don't mind Warsi in general, but this bitch needs a copy of Born This Way on her iPod ASAP!
     
  22. Madison

    Madison Everything goes up by six

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    I'd rather have no second chamber than an elected second chamber.

    In any case, not sure why they are getting so much stick in this particular topic. They duely approved the bill - the votes of the Tory MPs in the commons offend me much more.
     
  23. RobotBoy

    RobotBoy BANG BANG

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    I think she's a hateful, hypocritical, chip on her shoulder arsehole. She's my very least favourite politician. She's not even ridiculous enough to laugh at.
     
  24. Eileen

    Eileen All the better to see you with, my dear.

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    Why? Or have you already said in a previous post that I've not read?

    *can't be bothered to look*
     
  25. Ag

    Ag BRING BACK TAGS

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    A fully elected second chamber would be a nightmare. Imagine the situation in America where their second house slows everything down to a preventative halt. It would be a constant protest vote.
     
  26. Madison

    Madison Everything goes up by six

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    This.

    If PR is so good, let's have it for the first chamber - the existence of an alternative voting system is not a good enough reason to have two houses.

    I don't think having another 300 elected politicians would improve things. At the very least, I'd want them to have very long terms and term limits.

    I could just about accept an elected how it if their powers were explicitly limited to considerations of constitutional issues and bills which could adversely affect human rights.
     
  27. Commotion

    Commotion User

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    Not if the Lords were elected for a longer period than the 5 year parliamentary term.

    And because the US and UK share the primitive, unrepresentative 1st past the post electoral system it allows legislation to get bogged down.

    Many countries have perfectly representative, bicameral, functioning, elected systems. Britain could very easily as well.
     
  28. Commotion

    Commotion User

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    Every 12-15 years would be sufficient to ensure that an elected Lords does not get bogged down in party politics.
     
  29. Ag

    Ag BRING BACK TAGS

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    I'd support a 30% or 40% elected second house, perhaps once a decade. The rest decided by a cross party or even none Parliamentary committee, as representative of the UK as possible. Although even that could provide all kinds of problems.
     
  30. Madison

    Madison Everything goes up by six

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    Which?
     
  31. Peekaboo

    Peekaboo User

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    Spain has it. Since 1837.
     
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  32. Ag

    Ag BRING BACK TAGS

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    Ah Spain the cornerstone of successful functioning democracy for almost 40 years.
     
  33. Ag

    Ag BRING BACK TAGS

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    Correction... 35 years.
     
  34. Madison

    Madison Everything goes up by six

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    !
     
  35. Ag

    Ag BRING BACK TAGS

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    :D :D :D
     
  36. Eileen

    Eileen All the better to see you with, my dear.

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    Franco AGOG
     
  37. Ag

    Ag BRING BACK TAGS

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    Peekaboo rewrites 50 years of Spanish history!
     
  38. lolly

    lolly Rowena? From Kuwait?

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    Even if Spain DID have a perfectly representative, bicameral, functioning electoral system, they didn't get colour TV until the late seventies. Some things are overrated.
     
  39. Commotion

    Commotion User

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    France
    Ireland
    Netherlands
    Germany

    There's nothing unusual about a democratically elected system
     
  40. Madison

    Madison Everything goes up by six

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    The Irish upper house isn't elected.
     

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