QUOTE(stulancs @ May 17 2011, 23:00)
This won't happen, the coalition agreement only commits the government to considering proposals. It doesn't commit them to make the change. As for the dozy bernard Jenkins who in that story is suggesting there should be a referendum - Lords reforms have never been put to a referendum before, so there's no precedent for it now (as there was no precedent for the AV vote either).
Anyway, the proposal is mostly useless. For a start, they're suggesting only 85% elected when the only acceptable proportion is 100%, and they're keeping the bishops, who have no place in the government of a modern, secular state. Something the BBC has missed out of that story, is the fact that as well as keeping the bishops, the proposals also includes widening the religious spectrum to include leaders of other relgions, one of which will be Islam.
While the position of the Church of England in the Lords is just about justifiable due to its status as the established church, the presence of anyone representing Islam is devoid of even that tenuous justification, is completely unnecessary in the world's (officially) most atheist country, and will completely posion the debate from the start.
It's typical lacklustre Clegg nonsense. He must really hate being in government.
I think that changing the composition of the second chamber by introducing elections is a bit like putting the cart before the horse. The real debate should be what we want the second chamber to achieve, is it about checks and balances to the Commons or amending legislation to improve it, or a combination of the two. Having decided on that point consideration needs to be given to what happens when there is a stalemate, currently the Lords cannot change finance bills and can have their changes to legilation revoked in the Commons, in addition debate in the Lords can be reduced.