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Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: My Lords, that is an astonishing reply from a Government who in every other case argue vigorously in favour of a closed list system and against an open list system. So I do not think the noble and learned Lord has a very good

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case when he says that my amendment would put power in the hands of the party machine. The whole idea of the additional member system as it has been brought forward by the Government, with a closed list, puts power into the party machine.

The noble and learned Lord did not address--and I am not surprised--the whole issue of proportionality. I am not the person who is introducing proportional representation into the British electoral system. It is the governing party that is introducing it. The Government cannot, when it suits them, wriggle away from the principle of proportionality that they want and return to the first-past-the-post principles.

Of course the point made by the noble and learned Lord about the principle that we have adopted in many years in this country, of the Member of Parliament being a representative, is correct, because that member is directly elected by his or her constituents. His election may be for the party, on the party label, and most people may vote for that person as the party Member, but not all of them. There are a good few examples from each general election where an individual has clearly done better than his party because he is popular and, perhaps more often, an individual has done worse than his party because he is not popular or he has committed some misdemeanour of which the electorate do not approve. The first-past-the-post seats are entirely different. The arguments for the British tradition are ones on which the Government cannot stand, because they have departed from the British tradition of first past the post. They want the principle of proportionality. I am giving them that principle. I wish to test the opinion of the House.

5.27 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 16) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 60; Not-Contents, 132.

Division No. 2

CONTENTS

Aldington, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Beloff, L.
Belstead, L.
Berners, B.
Biddulph, L.
Blaker, L.
Burnham, L. [Teller.]
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carnock, L.
Charteris of Amisfield, L.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Coleridge, L.
Colwyn, L.
Craig of Radley, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Donegall, M.
Ellenborough, L.
Gainford, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Hemphill, L.
Holderness, L.
Home, E.
James of Holland Park, B.
Jopling, L.
Knights, L.
Lyell, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L. [Teller.]
Mackay of Drumadoon, L.
Marlesford, L.
Massereene and Ferrard, V.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Mersey, V.
Monteagle of Brandon, L.
Mottistone, L.
Mountevans, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Munster, E.
Onslow of Woking, L.
Orr-Ewing, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Rees, L.
Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Sempill, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Strange, B.
Tebbit, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Tugendhat, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wakeham, L.
Warnock, B.
Wise, L.

NOT-CONTENTS

Addington, L.
Amos, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Berkeley, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blease, L.
Borrie, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Burlison, L.
Calverley, L.
Carlisle, E.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carter, L. [Teller.]
Chorley, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Dean of Beswick, L.
Desai, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Elis-Thomas, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Fitt, L.
Gallacher, L.
Geraint, L.
Gilbert, L.
Glenamara, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Gregson, L.
Grenfell, L.
Hacking, L.
Hardie, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Hooson, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Hylton, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Islwyn, L.
Jacobs, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Kilbracken, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Kirkwood, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Ludford, B.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller.]
Mackie of Benshie, L.
McNair, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mallalieu, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Monkswell, L.
Montague of Oxford, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Nathan, L.
Newby, L.
Nicholson of Winterbourne, B.
Orme, L.
Paul, L.
Perry of Walton, L.
Peston, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Sainsbury, L.
St. Davids, V.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sefton of Garston, L.
Sewel, L.
Shepherd, L.
Simon, V.
Simon of Highbury, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taverne, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Macclesfield, L.
Thomas of Swynnerton, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Thurso, V.
Tordoff, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Whitty, L.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Wilson of Tillyorn, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

15 Jul 1998 : Column 300

5.37 p.m.

Clause 9 [Electoral region seats]:

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish moved Amendments Nos. 17 to 19:


Page 6, line 10, leave out from beginning to second ("the") in line 11.
Page 6, line 15, leave out ("that list") and insert ("the same list as the last person to occupy the vacant seat").
Page 6, line 32, leave out from beginning to ("there") in line 34.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 20:


Page 6, line 37, leave out subsection (8).

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, I have already spoken to this amendment. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 11 [Power to make provision about elections etc.]:

Lord Thomas of Gresford moved Amendment No. 21:


Page 7, line 18, at end insert--
("( ) for the printing of two ballot papers at an election to enable an elector to cast his constituency vote and to cast his electoral region vote separately,
( ) for the ballot paper for his electoral region vote to display upon its face the lists of candidates for each registered political party and the names of each individual candidate under section 4(3),").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I want to move this amendment formally, though as a result of the Division that took place earlier I cannot press it. The previous Division, which appears to have been supported by 90 more Conservative Peers than the last Division, was for the replacement of two votes with a single vote.

I feel as though I have been defeated by the Association of Conservative Peers' Garden Party, which has clearly now started. I am sure that the people of Wales will be interested to know that 90 did not turn up for the second Division this afternoon. I cannot pursue this matter at this stage. I beg to move.

Lord Harris of Greenwich: My Lords, I wish to say a few words on this amendment. My noble friend Lord Thomas of Gresford has been in communication with the noble Lord, Lord Williams of Mostyn, on the question of ballot papers and the high degree of importance that we attach to this matter. I assume that the noble Lord, Lord Williams, will give some indication of the Government's position on this question.

I say this without, I hope, striking any false note. We have consistently supported the Government on this Bill. I hope that they will prove that they are a listening

15 Jul 1998 : Column 301

government as they constantly say they are. But I want to leave them in no doubt that, given the fact that they are to produce an affirmative resolution at some stage in both Houses dealing with this question, there is absolute certainty that we will vote against the affirmative resolution if the matter is not resolved.

We take the view that it is totally undesirable and improper to have a ballot paper giving no indication of the names of candidates. We take this matter extremely seriously and I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Williams, will understand that.


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