I don’t know how true the next statement is, but I’ve been planning to write something on this issue ever since I heard that the House of Commons has only 450 seats in the debate chamber, although there are currently 646 mandates. Therefore, first and foremost, I humbly ask my readers to confirm as plain truth or deny as malicious myth the above piece of information. I didn’t find supporting evidence online, nor did I – to my shame! :-( – use the opportunity to verify this when I had the chance (as Chevening Fellow).
Taking the risk of this episode being rather a ‘silly bit’ than a ‘witty bit’, in case that the above information is false, I’ve still got another serious aspect to refer to. The total number of Members of Parliament (MPs) in the UK is absolutely huge, when compared to all ‘big democracies’ of the world, whilst being the greatest in the EU!
With a population of 309 million people in 2009, the USA has a Congress made up of 435 representatives, and 100 senators (+ 1, the Vicepresident).
All members of the House of Representatives are changed every two years, and a third of senators are changed every three years (although a senator stays six years in office), I personally believe it’s a pretty good parliamentary system.
Undeniably, there are voices complaining that today’s American citizens are underrepresented in their Congress, but what could the Indians say then?! There are only 802 (552 + 250) MPs elected to the Parliament of India, for a population of 1,198 billion people.
Well, if you asked Britons about their confidence in Parliament, I’m sure you’d get many people saying they feel ‘unrepresented’. Nevertheless, the figures would disagree with them, as merely feeling unrepresented cannot deny the fact that the Brits are better represented than other (most?!) nations of the world.
There are 646 MPs in the House of Commons + 757 (unelected!!!) members of the House of Lords. This makes a total of 1,403 parliamentarians having a great time on the recession stricken taxpayers’ expense :-(
I find it useless to add any of my comments, as long as I can quote some data, illustrating that there are considerably more MPs in the UK than in any other ‘big democracy’ of the EU. For instance, in Germany, the Bundestag has only 611 members, not 646 like the House of Commons!
Moreover, there are only 69 unelected members in Germany’s Bundersrat, a federal council with some (but not all!) characteristics of an upper house. In the UK’s House of Lords, there’s no limitation on the number of peers who can be part of it!
Let us not forget that Germany’s population is 82,1 million, not 61,1 million like the population of the UK. This means that there is one MP for every 121,000 German citizens, while one British MP (at least theoretically) ‘represents’ 43,500 inhabitans.
[For all the episodes of this series, and all the posts on this blog go to/Pentru toate episoadele din această serie şi toate postările de pe acest blog mergi la: Contents/Cuprins]