Evaluate the Advantages and Disadvantages of an Elected Second Chamber

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“The Preamble to the Parliament Act 1911 envisaged reforming the composition of the House of Lords to create a fully-elected Chamber.” To date all attempts have been unsuccessful. Explain the difficulties entailed in reforming the composition of the Lords and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of an elected second chamber.

In the United Kingdom, the Upper House- the House of Lords is currently an unelected chamber. It argues that the House itself is not democratic or representative at all and this problem has been lasting for a century. The Preamble of the Parliament Act 1911 says that :

“… whereas it is intended to substitute for the House of Lords as it at present exists a Second Chamber constituted on a popular instead of a hereditary basis, but such substitution cannot be immediately brought into operation”. History told us that reforms on House of Lords has been gradually taken place, however, not all of the attempts were successful.

Historically, the House of Lords composed of a majority of unelected hereditary members and a minority of nominated members, they are Hereditary Peers, Life Peers, Law Lords and Lords Spiritual. Leaving the lords with a majority of nominated and no democratically elected members.

Before the Parliament Act 1911, the House of Lords enjoyed equal power with the Commons over legislation, with the exception of which by convention, recognized the supremacy of the House of Commons in relation to financial matters. However, in 1909, House of Lords rejected the Finance Bill which in breach of convention, resulting Parliament Act 1911 without the consent of the House of Lords. It replaced the Lord’s power to veto legislation by a power to delay it, except in the case of extending the life of Parliament requires the consent of both Houses.

Conflict between the two houses resurfaced again over the government’s nationalization programme. Parliament Act 1949 was passed to further reduce the power of House of Lords. The...
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