One Hundred Years Later . . .
Before I get into the substance of this post, I should mention that I’ve finished Chapter Two of Bingham book, which brings the story up to 1840. Hopefully I’ll have Chapter 3 (of 12) done next month.
2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the Parliament Act in the UK, which stripped the House of Lords of its power to block permanently a bill passed by the House of Commons. One interesting facet of this Act is it was intended as a temporary solution until the House of Lords could be reformed. Here’s what the Preamble of the Act says:
“[W]hereas it is intended to substitute for the House of Lords as it present exists a Second Chamber constituted on a popular instead of hereditary basis, but such substitution cannot immediately be brought into operation:
And whereas provision will require hereafter to be made by Parliament in a measure effecting such substitution for limiting and defining the powers of the new Second Chamber, but it is expedient to make such provision as in this Act appears for restricting the existing powers of the House of Lords.”
The charm of the British Constitution is in its gradualism, but this may be taking things too far.