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Explain the limitations on the powers of the House of Lords.

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Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Explain the limitations on the powers of the House of Lords. [16] Throughout the 20th century there was a steady reduction in the powers of the Lords as the Commons became the dominant House within Parliament. There was a reform of the Lords in 2000, removing all but 92 of the hereditary peers (the reason why they remain is the Weatherill Amendment). Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said the House of Lords is a "flawed institution" which exercises power without legitimacy. In examining the limitations on their powers, a good place to start are the various Parliament Acts that have been passed. The first Parliament Act came in 1911, and it removed the House of Lord?s power to veto legislation. ...read more.

Middle

Lords have the power to delay other bills for a maximum of one year, after which Commons can invoke the Parliament Act 1949 and simply override the Lords ? in other words, dominate them. For example, the Labour government invoked the rarely used Parliament Act to override the Lords and lower the gay age of consent to sixteen. There is also the Salisbury Doctrine, which means the Lords can?t override a manifesto issue. The Salisbury Doctrine, or "Convention" as it is sometimes called, emerged from the working arrangements reached during the Labour Government of 1945-51, when the fifth Marquess of Salisbury was the Leader of the Conservative Opposition in the Lords. ...read more.

Conclusion

Socially the House of Lords still represents the educated, wealthy and privileged. Although this produces effective statesmen it does not represent the population as a whole. The working class is under represented. Many peers do not turn up for debates or only turn up to collect their hefty expenses cheque. Also, the fact that there remain 26 Anglican clergy suggests that the system is not representative of multi-cultural and multi faith Britain. To conclude, although the House of Lords has its uses, there are many limitations on its power. It remains an ancient, but controversially unelected, second house which appears, to many, to be out of date with modern Britain and a throw back to history. The slow evolution of British democracy over time has left it transformed and with a limited range of real powers. ...read more.

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