Well, I can agree with Labour on one thing, at least.
I would like to see an elected Senate, with members elected from the various regions of England by party list proportional representation as well as members elected from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland in the same manner. A general election for the Senate would be held alongside any general election for the House of Commons.
The House of Lords is a scandal and a joke and its abolition should literally be the first act by a Labour Government.
Concurrently with the abolition of the House of Lords should be the abolition of all hereditary and life peerages, except peerages held by the Royal Family.
Lords Reform has been ongoing for several decades now and it will continue but I hope to god that Labour do not make this a major plank of their manifesto in the next election.
The UK has far greater problems than the house of lords right now, that need the focus of Labour.
I do like the suggestions I have read of an elected body that serves for a single 10-15 year term. The Lords does play a critical role in the passage of bills and provides a counterbalance that is not concerned with constant
re-election or public opinion.
One of the downfalls of the US system is that we are constantly in an election cycle and every representative from day 1 of being elected immediately starts to look towards the next election. A lot of time, energy, focus and money is wasted because of this.
It might have been better had we never adopted the 17th Amendment in the first place, though there was still the problem of deadlocked State Legislatures and corruption. But all in all, the Senate has still been the place where legislation goes to die.
In any event, the inescapable fact is the 17th Amendment was adopted and the people as a whole would not stand for its repeal. Once the people were given the direct vote for Senators, that was it, no going back.
Politically IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.
It is fun to discuss theoreticals. But it will never happen in real life.
The system, as originally designed, purposely restricted democracy at the Federal level.
Indirectly elected President. Senate elected by States. The people only had direct control over the House of Representatives.
The Senate was expected to be the voice of the several States, in their sovereign capacities, not the people of those States. As such, it was expected to be a brake on whatever the unwashed masses might push through the House of Representatives.
The founders were obviously very wary of the unwashed masses. And given the clowns both sides have sent up (i.e. Trump, Biden, AOC, MTG, Cawthorn, Omar, et al) perhaps they were right to be wary.
There are several lines of thought behind it. I will here list two.
First off by directly electing Senators the nature of the relationship between the States and the federal was radically altered. The Senate was supposed to be the States’ house, their representation extending their influence over legislation, foreign relations, appointments etc.
Before the 17th, as a consequence, independent local and regional partys could more easily flourish because they could hope to translate local success in their State legislatures into the ability to influence national matters. This also applied to the two big partys because State political apparatus had greater national influence rather than now. After the 17th votes for independent partys locally became harder to justify, giving real rise to the whole wasted vote arguments. Third partys that had existed for quite some time, like the various Grange partys, were largely absorbed as a consequence and the regional distinctions they often embodied tossed in a proverbial blender and hit frappe as everyone had to play ball with party apparats from densely populated regions.
Aside and clarification: an independent party in the State lesuslature could throw their weight around without being the majority … having a potential parliamentarian effect as the selection of Senators was not necessarily a major party only issue without a super majority. So when I say they could hope for national significance on the back of local successes that also means their voters had that potential for representation too via the process in their legislatures.
Then there is the issue of Senators, having to seek election relatively infrequently and representing so many people, having become everything bad about the House (we have let House districts grow far too large, BTW) but only more so. That everything that conspires to make House members useless men (besides them often being lawyers) is far more present in the Senate.
Consider that the bigger the electorate the greater the practical ability to deceive the electorate.
Or to put it another way: it is simply easier for a much smaller body of peers in the State legislature to know your BS for what it really is. So incumbency depends on keeping that smaller band of folks happy with how you represent them … which is harder to do than pull the wool over a State’s population every 6 years.