UK's Clegg proposes elected upper chamber

AP News
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Posted: May 17, 2011 4:46 AM
UK's Clegg proposes elected upper chamber

Britain's government says it will offer new plans to reform the country's centuries-old House of Lords, including the first direct elections for members.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on Tuesday published proposals for debate _ including a plan to make the 700-year-old upper chamber entirely elected.

The House of Lords currently has 792 active members, a mix of appointed, hereditary and religious peers.

Clegg will propose a slimmed-down chamber with 300 members, serving fixed 15-year terms. Members are currently appointed for life.

House of Commons lawmakers voted in favor of sweeping reforms in 2007 under the previous government, but progress stalled.

Britain's upper chamber does not make laws, but has the power to amend legislation.