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[Closed] The Electoral Reform (Senate) Act  

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Macmillan
(@dylan-macmillan)
MP for North East Bedfordshire
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 560
02/03/2019 11:24 pm  

Mr Speaker,

I beg leave to introduce this bill under Standing Order 23 as a 10 Minute Rule Bill.

A

BILL

TO

Create a new fully elected Upper House, termed the Senate of the United Kingdom (Senate), for the purposes of establishing further democracy in our Parliament

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

 

  1. Definitions

1) ‘The Senate’ shall mean the Upper Chamber of the United Kingdom Legislature

2) ‘Senator’ shall mean an elected representative sitting in the Senate

 

  1. Abolition of the House of Lords

1) The House of Lords is henceforth abolished

2) This section shall take effect the day after the results of the Special Election under Section 8(3) have been officially declared

 

  1. Institution of the Senate

1) The Upper Chamber of the United Kingdom Parliament shall henceforth be referred to as ‘The Senate of the United Kingdom’ or ‘The Senate’ for short

 

  1. Composition of the Senate

1) The Senate of Nations and Regions will consist of:

  1. 324 Senators elected in England
  2. 36 Senators elected in Scotland
  3. 20 Senators elected in Wales
  4. 20 Senators elected in Northern Ireland

2) Accordingly no-one is a member of the Senate by virtue of a peerage or other means

3) The Electoral Commission is empowered to amend the national composition of the Senate in accordance with population

  1. No nation is to receive fewer than 5% of the total number of seats in the Senate

 

  1. Electoral System and Regions

1) Elections to the Senate shall use a regional list system across the UK, by the method and regions set out for use in European Parliamentary Elections in Great Britain in the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999

2) The number of Senators per region in England will be as follows -

  1. the East Midlands region will have 28 Senators
  2. the East of England region will have 36 Senators
  3. the London region will have 52 Senators
  4. the North East of England region will have 20 Senators
  5. the North West of England region will have 40 Senators
  6. the South East of England region will have 52 Senators
  7. the South West of England region will have 32 Senators
  8. the West Midlands region will have 32 Senators
  9. the Yorkshire and Humber region will have 32 Senators

3) The Electoral Commission is empowered to amend the regional composition of the Senate in England in accordance with population

  1. No region is to receive fewer than 5% of the total number of seats in the Senate

 

  1. Candidacy for Senate Elections

1) To be eligible for a place on a list for a Senate Region a person must:

  1. Have their primary residence be situated in the region within which they are standing
  2. Be eligible to stand in a House of Commons Constituency at the time of the Senate Election

2) Nothing in subsection(1) is to be interpreted as mandating that a Senate Candidate stands in a House of Commons Constituency, neither is it to be interpreted as the reverse.

3) Independents standing for Senate Election may file as an Independent on a list of one person if they meet the following criteria:

  1. They must be proposed by an unrelated proposer and 200 unrelated seconders
  2. They must meet all requirements set out in subsection(1)

4) It shall be impossible to hold both a seat in the House of Commons and a seat in the Senate

  1. Should an individual win election to both the Senate and the House of Commons that individual shall be forced to vacate their Senate seat
  2. Section 6(4)(a) shall not preclude an individual from voluntarily surrendering their seat in the Commons to sit in the Senate instead, this choice shall trigger a by-election

 

  1. Classes of Senator

1) Senators shall be elected to one of three classes which are to be structured as follows

  1. Class One Senators are to be Senators elected from the nations of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland as well as the regions of North West and North East England
  2. Class Two Senators are to be Senators elected from the regions of London, South West and South East of England
  3. Class Three Senators are to be Senators elected from the regions of East Midlands, East of England, West Midlands, and Yorkshire and Humber

 

  1. Senate Elections

1) A Senate election is to be held on the first Thursday of May every three years

2) Senators are elected to serve a nine year term starting on the first day of the first session after their election and ending on the final day of the final term before the next Senate Election for their class

3) A Special Senate Election is to take place on the first Thursday of the first May after the enactment of this Bill, this election shall cover every region encompassed in this Bill.

4) Senators are to face election at a time corresponding to their class:

  1. Class One Senators are to be elected three years after the Special Senate Election and every subsequent nine years
  2. Class Two Senators are to be elected six years after the Special Senate Election and every subsequent nine years
  3. Class Three Senators are to be elected nine years after the Special Senate Election and every subsequent nine years

5) A person is entitled to vote in a Senate Election if on the day defined under subsection(1) they are entitled to vote in any parliamentary election for a constituency in the United Kingdom.

 

  1. Presiding Officer of the Senate

1) The Presiding Officer of the Senate shall be styled “The Speaker of the Senate”

2) The Speaker of the Senate shall be elected at the start of every Senate term by all elected Senators for that term

3) The Speaker of the Senate shall be elected by simple majority

 

  1. Senator Resignation

1) Should a Senator notify the Speaker of the Senate of their intention to resign the next name on the list which they were elected on shall take their seat

 

  1. Senate Question Time

1) Cabinet Ministers shall present themselves to the Senate for questions to be asked for one session every six weeks for no less than 30 minutes per session , to be scheduled by the Lord Speaker of the Senate

 

  1. Repealing the 1949 Parliament Act

1) The 1949 Parliament Act is repealed in its entirety

 

  1. The 1911 Parliament Act

1) Section 2 of the 1911 Parliament Act is hereby repealed in its entirety

2) Consequently the Senate shall have a veto on all non-financial legislation

3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as changing the powers of the Senate with regards to Money Bills or the primacy of the Commons in these matters

 

  1. Amendments to Other Legislation

1) Any legislation referring to the House of Lords shall be amended to reflect the transfer of powers, responsibilities and other requirements to the Senate

 

  1. Enactment

1) This Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom

2) This Act shall come into force on the day it receives Royal Assent

3) Nothing in this Bill shall be construed as repealing or amending the text or spirit of the 1911 Parliament Act unless explicitly stated in this bill.

Conservative MP for North East Bedfordshire
Leader of the Opposition (2014-16)

Prime Minister (2014)

Parliamentary Experience: Novice (25)
Media Experience: Experienced (62)
Policy Experience: Novice (29)


Macmillan
(@dylan-macmillan)
MP for North East Bedfordshire
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 560
02/03/2019 11:42 pm  

Mr Speaker,

Our constitution is a complex beast, forever evolving and never staying stationary as the constitutions of our more codified cousins do, it is for this reason that I present this legislation under the 10 Minute Rule to drag the Mother of All Parliaments into the 21st Century.

Mr Speaker, I know many in my party that I am already estranged from will find this hard to understand or believe, but the idea that an individual may be a member of the legislature merely by appointment, accident of birth, or by virtue of their faith is absurd. There are 92 elected members of the other house, their electorate was a couple of hundred other Earls, Viscounts, and Dukes, Mr Speaker if this election had transpired in the Commons it would quite rightly be referred to as the rottenest of Rotten Boroughs. Cash for Honours, retirement privileges, the Upper House's reputation is almost as tattered as the reputation of our own house, it is time that we updated the whole schematic and gave the people complete control of the legislative process, that is what this bill does.

Very simply Mr Speaker every region and nation in the United Kingdom is given representation in a way that they are not in this place. Many quite rightly state that the First Past the Post system gives communities a representative, a face that they know so that they may take their complaints and concerns, this is a good position for our democracy to hold and is the reason that I continue to stand against electoral reform of this place. But for the upper chamber of our legislature I believe that there is a need for new, for different, for more equality and equity. Each nation and region receives a minimum of 5% of the seats in the Senate under this bill, that means a minimum of 20 Senators dedicated to the well-being of Wales, Northern Ireland, and the North East of England. Scotland has a higher percentage of the population so receives a higher number of seats, the same goes for London, the South East, and indeed every other region of England.

Mr Speaker this bill empowers the upper chamber in a way that it would be wholly improper to empower an appointed upper house. The Senate shall not merely be a consultative body it shall have the power to hold Ministers to account through Ministerial Question Time in the Senate and it shall have the power to prevent non-financial legislation from passing. Mr Speaker, honourable members from all sides should not fear that the Senate could ever surpass the House of Commons as the House of Commons will retain full primacy in budgetary and monetary matters.

Mr Speaker, I commend this bill to the House.

Conservative MP for North East Bedfordshire
Leader of the Opposition (2014-16)

Prime Minister (2014)

Parliamentary Experience: Novice (25)
Media Experience: Experienced (62)
Policy Experience: Novice (29)


Barclay Calhoun (CON)
(@barclay-calhoun)
MP for New Forest West
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 33
06/03/2019 12:56 am  

Mr. Speaker,

 

The Government will not be scheduling time for this bill.

Rt. Hon. Barclay Calhoun
MP for New Forest West
Shadow Leader of the House
Shadow Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport
Greater Britain Committee

Parliamentary experience: Unknown (19)
Media experience: Unknown (17)
Policy experience: Unknown (10)


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