Assess the arguments in favour of a largely or wholly elected second chamber.

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Assess the arguments in favour of a largely or wholly elected second chamber.

The House of Lords (HL), sometimes known as the revising chamber or upper chamber of parliament, is the second element of parliament and as such its consent (generally) is required to make law. There are two types of peer, Lord spiritual (the 26 most senior Church of England bishop, which now has 2 women in is ranks) and the Lord Temporal (of which there are three types; hereditary peers, life peers and law Lords).  Before the passing of the Parliament Act in 1911 the Hl held a veto over legislation passed in the Commons. That statue means that the Lords can only delay the passing of a bill and not defeat it totally. When New Labour came into power in 1990 one of their manifesto pledges was to reform the Upper chamber by abolishing the rights of hereditary peers to come to parliament and vote on legislation. This was always going to be hard to achieve and when the House of Lords Act 1999 was granted Royal Assent, due to the Weatherall (Speaker of the HC before Bercow) Amendments, 92 hereditary remained members of the lords. Despite a couple of half-hearted attempts to further reform the Lords since the HLA (House of Lords Act) this conditional anachronism remains part of the way we are governed. As the unelected body the HL is the junior House, it revises legislation and scrutinises government in a less heated and party partisan manner. However since 1911 the HL's role and more importantly its composition has undergone sporadic bouts of controversy. Since 1911 the HL has undergone reform but in a piecemeal incremental fashion, 1957 Life Peerages Act, House of Lords Act 1999 and the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 have all altered the composition of the HL. However arguments still rage from positives and negatives of having an unelected HL.

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The negatives of having an unelected HL is that, without being directly elected, the House of Lords lacks democratic legitimacy. One of the basic principle of representative democracy is that voters choose representatives who govern them and that voters have the opportunity to remove these representatives through elections. So it takes little sense that one of the two Houses of Parliament at Westminster is appointed. Election of the upper house is essential for its democratic legitimacy. Election would give the House of Lords the confidence to fully carry out its work as a scrutineer of government and of proposed legislation. ...

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