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Queen's Speech — Debate (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:51 pm on 27th May 2010.

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Photo of Lord Rennard Lord Rennard Liberal Democrat 4:51 pm, 27th May 2010

My Lords, you see what is wrong with that when you look, for example, at the models of many other European countries, where there are fixed-term parliaments, multi-party coalitions, citizens' proportional representation, et cetera. If a Government fall there should always be the provision that it may be possible for another Prime Minister or other parties to form a Government. It is not necessarily logical that if one Prime Minister and one Government fall, you must assume that there will be a new general election. If you have terms of four or five years you must-as in Scotland and Wales, as noble Lords opposite legislated for 12 or 13 years ago-have provision for an alternative Government to be provided. If that is not possible, I accept that you must go to a general election.

My time is almost up and half of it has been taken up by noble Lords in other places. We will return to the very important arguments about the alternative vote referendum and to other points that need to be made in due course.