What are the options for House of Lords reform?

The options given in the open letter for House of Lords reform are:

  1. Replacement with a fully elected Senate: members of the reformed House of Lords would be elected. Options include the number of members, the electoral system (first-past-the-post, proportional representation, or another method), the length of the term (5 years, 10 years, or 15 years), and various other factors.
  2. Replacement with a fully appointed Senate: an independent commission would be set up to determine membership of the House of Lords. Options to consider would be the number of members, what criteria are used to appoint new members, and how the commission operates.
  3. Replacement with a fully allotted Senate: members would be chosen randomly from the electoral roll, ensuring that the Senate was a representative sample of the people. Options would include length of term (for example, 5 years, perhaps with one fifth of them being replaced every year), and exactly which factors would be considered relevant in determining representativeness (for example, gender, age, educational level).
  4. Some combination of the above three options: some people have proposed various combinations of the above options, for example, 80% elected and 20% appointed, or two thirds allotted and one third elected.
  5. Its abolition: some people believe the House of Lords should be abolished and legislation from the House of Commons should not be subject to a house of review.

Several other important issues are raised by the reform:

  • would the new positions be paid, and if so, at what level?
  • would they have staff, and if so, how many?
  • would the powers of the reformed House remain the same, be reduced, or be increased?

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