Civics Citizenship

Government & Politics by P. J. Sidey (auth.)

By P. J. Sidey (auth.)

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T has to have some of its ministers picked from the House of Lords- to act as government spokesmen there. Why should this select band have reserved seats in any Cabinet? If they were life peers, would their claim to join the government be more defensible? The House of Commons is notoriously jealous of any other organ challenging its authority as the supreme power in the land. If the House of Lords regained prestige and power might it once more thwart the will of the elected Commons? Some say the Lords already challenges the Commons, by the quality and good sense of its debates compared with the party squabbling in the Commons.

Widgin, and assur- 29 ing her that everything possible is being done, the House should know that the jets were there when Mrs. ' And so on. The individual problems of Mrs. Widgin and any other ordinary citizen can occupy the Queen's ministers for quite a while each day. Sometimes these questions may appear to be just banter, but they achieve one excellent purpose. By demanding an explanation from a minister they prevent remote administrative moves from becoming unfair and unreasonable. If Mrs. Widgin really has been treated badly, the minister will not be able to disguise the fact and will have to do something about it.

The Deputy could then attend the second chamber whose voting strength would mirror that of the Commons. The less-important work could be handled by this second chamber, which could act as a 'training ground' for full Members of Parliament. On top of this, when the Member of Parliament had to be absent from the House of Commons, his Deputy could attend there, and vote in his place. This would give us a second chamber to remove a huge amount of routine work from 40 the Commons, but would not act as a check on the Commons in the way that, theoretically, the Lords now does.

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