BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 May 2005, 10:16 GMT 11:16 UK
UK voters' panel: David Jones
MEET THE PANEL
David Jones
Name:David Jones
Age: 58
Lives: Llansamlet, Wales
Works: Retired teacher
Voted: Plaid Cymru
In 10 words or less:
"Likes to travel, interested in current affairs, Wales rugby fan"

I would like to see the House of Lords abolished and replaced by a wholly elected second chamber using proportional representation.

It's a perverse electoral system that gives a party which polls only thirty-six percent of the votes a clear overall majority.

We've had a Labour government with a massive majority since 1997, but still have hereditary peers and political nominees making our laws.

Constitutional reform is long overdue. Let's have a democratic country, and put an end to cronyism and patronage.

I have deep reservations regarding ID cards.

VOTERS' PANEL: QUEEN'S SPEECH

I think they are a severe threat to our civil liberty, as well as being far too expensive, and unworkable in tackling terrorism, illegal immigration, crime and benefit fraud.

The Queen's Speech is of less relevance to Wales where we have a largely ineffective Assembly, lacking the power to make a real difference to our lives.

It has to go cap-in-hand to Westminster, where there is no time or inclination for passing Welsh legislation.

Primary legislative powers in Wales are urgently needed.


Your comments:

I agree that ID cards won't have any effect. But as someone also living in Wales, I would like to see the return of government wholly to Westminster. The assembly was founded on a very narrow majority, therefore doesn't have the support of the whole of Wales. The current situation is divisive, surely it's better to work as one Kingdom rather than several separate regions pulling in different directions.
Phil Jones, Neath, UK

But surely if proportional representation was used to elect a house of Lords, it would turn into a second house of Commons? What we need is a body of people who are not politicians or MPs, but understand how parliament works, and what the general public want. I would agree with David though that the voting system is perverse and outdated. Bring in proportional representation!
Emily S, Manchester, UK

I am happy in allowing the Welsh to have David's "Primary legislative powers", but only if the Welsh pay for the consequences. We in England are paying for the Welsh and Scottish chambers, and if they want to take their toys away and play in their own playpens, they should have to pay for their own toys. When England no longer subsidises Wales, I have no problem with David having his own legislature. Until then, he should remember - "No taxation without representation".
BF, London, UK

I agree that, on the face of it, the House of Lords is a very undemocratic institution. Trouble is, in practice, it seems time and time again as if the Lords are more in keeping with public opinion, whatever that really is, than the supposedly democratic Commons. I would worry that any elected second chamber would be just as open to control by the government of the day as the Commons is now, so I would rather stick with what works in practice rather than what sounds better in theory.
Jon G, Huddersfield UK





FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific