Thursday, March 08, 2007

Why Did 95 Labour MPs Vote No to 80% and Yes to 100%?

In last night's Commons votes on reforming the Lords most people thought that the 80% option would come out on top, if any of them did. As we all know, the 100% elected option triumphed. But if you study the division lists it has become clear that more than 90 Labour MPs voted 'no' to 80% and then trooped into the 'yes' lobby for 100%.

It could be, of course, that they did it on principle and only voted for the option they really wanted. I suspect, however, that most of them did it to bugger up the whole process, as they knew it would then produce a lengthy Mexican stand-off with the House of Lords.


Desperate Dan said...

Perhaps they were thinking about the extra cash that could be generated by selling places on the candidates list for 100% of the seats.

Madasafish said...

It's waht I expect of MPs. (generic not party political).
And they wonder why they are held in contempt?

Many may be hard working and dedicated but the end result of operating under an archaic system where any political party with enough votes can change the Constitution at will is that parties do what they like when in power.

And Whips control most MPs..

So for MPs to show they are muppets by voting for 2 contradictory outcomes is par for the course imo: typical of a narrow minded myopic view of issues with no understanding of the spectacle they make.

This is NOT Party Political... the Conservatives managed to screw things up as mucgh as Labour : just differently.

Personally I would have thought logic dictates you have one vote and cast in favour of one option only.. but the Commons does not do logic.

It's pure muppetry.

Neil Harding said...

As only 28% of Tory MPs voted for an all elected chamber compared to 63% of Labour MPs that did, I think the Tories can hardly have a go at Labour on this. I am sure the voters are going to be interested to find out there is a majority against democracy in the Tory party (despite their shiny new image), boy Cameron didn't vote for democracy either.

Newmania said...

Well thats what the Telegraph says.

Chris Paul said...

kmxlThe more I read your analysis of such things Iain the less I trust it. Better to stick with the idea that they voted for the 100% option because that is where their socialist or social democrat heads are than to make them - without the slightest foundation - into wreckers conspiring against their own ingrained politics.

Of course there might be a few abolitionists in this group, but mostly they accept the idea of two chambers but require democracy.

If you are looking for wreckers consider the anti-reform forces who piled in for the 100% elected who actually favour the status quo, 100% appointed or some other undemocratic option. These people are mostly old and even "nu" Tories.

Note too that Blair, Brown, Cameron, Reid did not vote for the 100% option.

mark williams said...

Perhaps theye didn't want 20% appointments.

Anonymous said...

One MP was waving many other MPs through the 100% lobby saying that this was the same as a vote for a fully appointed House of Lords.

All those who voted for fully appointed knew that the 100% elected option would never get through the Lords so, they dashed through and voted for it.

Neil Craig said...

I think anything less than 100% makes the Lords an undemocratic talking shop (which is probably why so many in the Commons prefer ot - no competition).

A fully elected Lords done on a PR system would be & would quickly be seen to be more democratic than the Commons &could not play 2nd fuddle. Any other form of election would politicaly impossible.

Since the Lords currently costs £80 million annually & would be likely to go up to £400 million I think we would do better with abolishing it, getting a written constitution & getting the Commons a democratic voting system.

el tom said...

Twaddle, Dale. They did it because they don't want the government in the commons making decisions on who governs in the Lords, or 'packing the house'.

As you well know, for most of it's history Labour has been hostile to the very existence of the Lords.

glass house said...

Let me get this straight're NOT complaining about the fact that you own Leader refused to support your favoured option, but you ARE complaining about 95 Labour MPs who DID vote for your favoured option?

Have I got that right?

Iain Dale said...

Glasshouse, I am not complaining at all, merely questioning. Why would I complain? I got the result I would have voted for!

Anonymous said...

I think we should keep the 'Lords' as they are. I don't agree with people who say 'they've worked well' for 800 years etc.

They tried to scupper the Budget against the clear will of the House Of Commons in Lloyd George's time.

So they can't be allowed to have it all their own way. But they have done great work in curbing the excesses of New Labour. If only they had a veto on sending our troops to war...

JH said...

Madasfish: "This is NOT Party Political"

Agreed. If this has any chance of working we need to leave petit inter-Party conspiracy theories at the door.

That goes for bloggers too, not just people who have successfully become MPs.

bt said...

It'll all be another stitch-up, of course.

In the name of democracy they'll suggest bringing in stuff like proportional representation, party lists ( in effect indistinguishable from appointing party hacks and freezing out independents/crossbenchers) and making those elected even more obligated to the party machines than the current occupants. Possibly the worst option for the make up of what is intended to be a revising chamber.

Oh, and those elections will cost money - yet another lever for public funding for parties.

Madasafish said...

Thank you.. this is a CONSTITUTIONAL issue rather than party political..
I can understand the Labour Partry being anti HOL as for 99% of Labour's existence the HOL has been dominated by the Conservatives...

rallies said...

As with the first past the post system you get alot of non voters, making parties and MPs unrepresentative. So the HoL should be made into a fully electable, anything lest is undemocratic. Now the interesting point is that there are people who dont vote, or who would like a non of the above. Why not make it that the people who dont vote elect an independant to the HoL, or even better a non of the above on the vote. This would effectively stop any party no matter how popular with the first past the post system having power in the HoL and an effectice dictatorship. But this would be even better because it wouldnt have the main opposition party opposing in the HoL but independants, so you dont get the usual compaints from the Government about "the democratically elected commons". The only problem would be how you get the independants without the policical establishment.

David Boothroyd said...

There's a perfectly logical position which holds that the worst option is any form of 'hybrid House' consisting of part elected and part appointed. So it's entirely consistent for them to vote for an all appointed House, then after that was defeated, support an all elected one. This happened in the 2003 votes as well.

Matt said...

New Labour MPs?


Come off it Iain.