Having unelected male religious leaders from one denomination in an unelected legislative chamber is unfair, inappropriate and contrary to the Christian message of equality and justice, an audience in parliament heard this week.
Different possibilities for electoral reform will come under the parliamentary spotlight today, with Lord Alton's debate on the wider impact of party list systems taking place in the House of Lords on Monday 11 January 2010.
Will the government introduce a piece of legislation within the life of this parliament that requires a public referendum on the introduction of an Alternative Vote electoral system for Westminster after the next election? Simon Barrow explores the current political terrain.
These days it isn’t just anxious looking MPs and peers, lobbyists, civil servants, journalists and security officials you’ll find wandering near Westminster, says Simon Barrow. Among other unexpected visitors have been Batman, a troupe of clowns, Basil Brush and his foxy friends, a group of zombies and a super-sized duck home
A public opinion poll by ComRes, commissioned by the religion and society thinktank Ekklesia, has challenged the Archbishop of Canterbury's suggestion that democracy will be damaged by the revelations about MPs expenses
* 78% say independents should stand where MPs have behaved ‘unethically’
* 63% believe British democracy would be strengthened if there were more independent MPs
* 53% say they would ‘seriously consider’ voting for an independent candidate at the next general election
The furore about MP’s expenses has temporarily overshadowed all other political issues, says Simon Barrow. But it is perhaps better seen as a symptom of a much wider disconnect between governors and governed.