GREEN'S CONTRIBUTION ON LORDS REFORM

The Green party today delivers its submission to the Royal Commission on Lords Reform. The short submission calls for a fully elected House, with some seats available to reflect minority views distributed throughout the country. Nationally based top up seats being a possible means to achieve this end.

Dr Caroline Lucas, one of Englands Green MEPs will deliver it to Matthew Parker Street at 3.30 pm today , accompanied by Hugo Charlton, the prospective parliamentary candidate for Kensington and Chelsea, whose Lords Reform Working Group had drafted it.

"This is an opportunity to improve democracy in the United Kingdom, and elected representatives are the best way to achieve this" said Dr. Lucas.

Mr. Charlton said "A fully elected Upper House would help resolve 'the democratic deficit' -- (the failure of our system of representative democracy to fairly represent the views of the electorate). This is an historic opportunity which should not be thrown away for the convenience of the administration in power at the time."

"The pre-eminence of the Commons can be maintained by limiting the powers of the Upper House, there is no reason to undermine the new chamber's democratic credibility by populating it with appointees."

"It is a reflection on our voting system that Green voters are represented at the European Parliament but not in the British Parliament. The Labour manifesto promised to create representation for political parties in the interim House of Lords. This promised was repeated both by Margaret Beckett as leader of the House of Commons and by Baroness Jay in the Lords. Given that the " interim House" will be coming into existence shortly the Green party will be asking Mr Blair to fulfil his election promise. Whilst we welcome the voice of Lord Beaumontt who has left the Liberal Democrats to join us, the Green Party's support among the electorate entitles us to about eleven Lords on a proportional basis. "

"Dr Lucas is evidence of the fact that when given the opportunity, the Green Party is able to properly represent a section of the electorate, and this section is entitled to representation in this country as well as at a European level," said Mr. Charlton.

SUBMISSION BY THE GREEN PARTY OF ENGLAND AND WALES TO THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON LORDS REFORM

The Green Party favours a fully elected Second Chamber.

As a government majority is not considered essential for the business of the second chamber the opportunity should be taken to have as proportionately representative a body as possible, and provision should be made for representation of minority views held throughout the entire electorate.

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