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From an aristocratic anachronism to a democratic dilemma: an elected House of Lords and the lessons from Australia

Archer, Robin (2013) From an aristocratic anachronism to a democratic dilemma: an elected House of Lords and the lessons from Australia. Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 51 (3). pp. 267-282. ISSN 1466-2043

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Abstract

The British government recently proposed to replace the House of Lords with an upper house that is largely elected by proportional representation. Could such a reform paradoxically pose a threat to Westminster-style democracy? Australian experience provides one of the best guides to the likely consequences. Australia not only has over 100 years experience of an elected federal Senate, but it also has over 150 years experience of upper house reforms in the various state parliaments. These state parliaments, though rarely discussed, provide good comparative reference points for understanding the likely effects of Lords reform. Australian parliamentary history suggests six main lessons about the potential dangers of these British proposals. It also points to the importance of properly considering the option of abolishing the upper house, and it highlights the main democratic safeguards that need to be put in place if an elected second chamber is introduced.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/fccp20
Additional Information: © 2012 Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2012 14:40
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/47688/

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