Results 141–160 of 163 for speaker:Baroness McDonagh

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Committee (7th Day) (10 Jan 2011)

Baroness McDonagh: In supporting the amendment, I will make two brief points on subsection (2)(b) of the proposed new clause on what the basis of how we set up representation in this country should be. I should be very hesitant to criticise one word of this excellent amendment, but reference to the European Parliament would also have been useful. MPs have to consider how they relate not only to local...

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Committee (4th Day) (Continued) (13 Dec 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: I thank the Minister for giving way. I wanted to give one point of information. To date, all voters in the UK are registered from the point when they are 16 years and three months. Would the Minister agree that that is why it is important to retain household registration and not move to individual registration? As I am on my feet, I shall ask a second question. Given that the noble Lord...

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Committee (4th Day) (Continued) (13 Dec 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: I see the issue in a rather different way. It is part and parcel of our long march to democracy. I take as a starting point the situation 537 years ago, with the enfranchisement of some men on a property basis. We talk of the Great Reform Act 1832, where we enfranchised only some 14 per cent of men. The great reforming Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel, represented a rotten borough that was...

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill — Committee (2nd Day) (Continued) (6 Dec 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: My Lords, my amendment would change the wording in the Bill, which asks: "At present, the UK uses the "first past the post" system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the "alternative vote" system be used instead?", to: "Which electoral system would you prefer to use for electing your MP to the House of Commons? Either- (a) the first past the post system; or (b) the alternative vote...

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill — Committee (2nd Day) (Continued) (6 Dec 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: Thank you. I think the noble Lord was giving way to me earlier. Can I ask you to go back a little bit to the issue of the campaigns that you touched on? It would seem to me that the way I am proposing it would be much better for campaigns-all the subjects would get aired rather than what is going to happen. You mentioned in your remarks that it will be the case for and against AV that will be...

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill — Committee (2nd Day) (Continued) (6 Dec 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: I thank the noble Lord. I intend to withdraw my amendment at this stage. I agree that the referendum should be held, and I think that it is right to have this debate, but I shall think about his comments. If we are not careful, we will have a very one-sided debate in the referendum. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment. Amendment 20 withdrawn. Amendment 21 not moved.

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Committee (2nd Day) (6 Dec 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: Taking Wales as an example, why does the noble Lord believe that more people turn out to vote in first past the post elections than under other systems there?

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Committee (2nd Day) (6 Dec 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: I am sorry but the noble Lord is saying that if we have a different form of voting system, more people will vote. That clearly has not happened in Scotland and Wales. Will he now change his opinion?

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Committee (2nd Day) (6 Dec 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: Is it not the case that, when we are debating this referendum, we also need to think ahead of other changes that may happen and whether they may work with this system? That is the point that my noble friend is alluding to.

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Committee (2nd Day) (6 Dec 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: I thank noble Lords who have come back to this issue of confusion. Can we knock on the head, once and for all, the suggestion that we are calling people stupid? People are not quite as obsessed by politics as we are and I always thought that it was the role of this House to look at legislation, to look at how it would work out in the country, in the community, in our experience, and bring...

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Committee (2nd Day) (6 Dec 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: I thank the noble Lord. He is right, and I never have a problem saying when I am in the wrong. When I laid the amendment, I did so to give us more time to debate it. I think the noble Lord is quite right, and I am happy to withdraw that amendment. The noble Lord, Lord Fowler, said that the fact that a number of us are tabling different amendments is causing confusion. If the Benches opposite...

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Committee (2nd Day) (6 Dec 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: The noble Lord did not answer my questions about whether there would be any mayoral or local referendums on the same day as this referendum.

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Committee (2nd Day) (6 Dec 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: That was not my question. My question was whether this May there will be any local referendums on whether an area has a mayoral election and a mayoral system. Twelve were due to take place in May in our largest cities, and the Government considered putting them off for a year. Some of that will be dealt with in the localism Bill, but no one knows when that Bill will enter the other House. The...

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill — Motion to Approve (30 Nov 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: I thank all noble Lords who have spoken, and I would like to refer to a couple of the points. I say to noble Lords opposite that the Motion would not discard Part 2 of the Bill and that every bit of work done up to now would remain. It would simply allow us the opportunity to have proper scrutiny. I also say to the noble Lord, Lord Strathclyde: please do not tell us that we do not wish to...

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill — Motion to Approve (30 Nov 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: My Lords, I declare an interest as a former General Secretary of the Labour Party and also, like many people of all political persuasions in this House and none, I have been a lifelong grass-roots community campaigner, passionate about how democracy works in our communities. That is why I was interested in this Bill and looked forward to examining it. I was slightly worried because, on the...

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Second Reading (2nd Day) (16 Nov 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: With respect to the noble Lord, his argument does not hold together intellectually. He is chastising us for a first past the post system when this party had in its manifesto a referendum on the alternative vote. He is repeating a falsehood: that the current make-up of constituencies leads to Labour getting elected on fewer votes than the Conservatives. It is not true. I am pleased that the...

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Second Reading (2nd Day) (16 Nov 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: I do not know why the noble Lord is shouting at us. Holding a referendum on the alternative vote was in the Labour manifesto.

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Second Reading (2nd Day) (16 Nov 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: I start by declaring an interest; I have been a professional election organiser since my teens, I was general secretary of the Labour Party and I am still proud to be a grass-roots activist, so I am really passionate about what I do. I also know that many Members of this House, from all political parties, are passionate about working in the community and on elections, so I was excited to see...

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Second Reading (2nd Day) (16 Nov 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: Exactly-but to create those local ties you have to be able to build from a local government ward and to recognise natural boundaries, county boundaries and other boundaries. That cannot just be put into the Bill without allowing those people whose responsibility it is to be able to draw communities; you are going to break wards. I was about to explain that when I see noble Lords taking people...

Media: Ownership — Debate (4 Nov 2010)

Baroness McDonagh: I want to join in heaping praise on my noble friend Lord Puttnam. He has continuously brought to our attention the importance of our creative industry. It is what defines us as a nation and gives a shared identity. It glues us together as a society and as citizens, for which of us here has not heard people talk about Ann Widdecombe's paso doble on Saturday night-or at least that's what I...


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