Letter from Michael Foster DL, MP (LR
Thank you for your letter of 17 January. I am
pleased to respond to the Committee's request for "opinions"
on what should happen next.
I am conscious that I did not respond by 25
January but for what it is worth my opinion is as follows:
(a) I believe that the "wrong"
to be righted is in the hereditary system. I would however allow
the remainder of the hereditaries to remain and speak in the House
of Lords but with no right to vote;
(b) I am against any new body being directly
elected as I think it makes for an alternative seat of power in
conflict with the Commons.
(c) The simple option I prefer would be for
a significant ie the majority of the House being indirectly elected
at the time of the General Election, by proportional representation.
To summarise, proportional representation would
perhaps provide around two-thirds of the House and would represent
the Parties in the proportion of their vote in a General Election.
They would be subject to a list system but I see no problem with
that. The remaining members of the House would be appointed as
now, although no new appointments would be made until the existing
numbers had fallen through "natural wastage".
I do not pretend that these proposals are well
worked through but they are my gut reaction.
Finally, I always consider matters important
if I receive post or concerns from constituents. I received about
700 letters on fox hunting, 30 letters on Afghanistan but have
received none at all on the House of Lords!
Michael Foster DL MP
Hastings and Rye