I must confess.
Today I voted in one of the most bizarre elections in the world. And I voted for someone who was eligible to be a candidate because he is the great grandson of Herbert Asquith, the former British Prime Minister. I was also one of an exclusive electorate, as members of the House of Lords were the only people eligible to vote.
But the Lords are not elected, I hear you cry! That is mostly true but not when it comes to the ones that are there by birth. Yes, this was the by-election for a vacancy for a hereditary peer (see my earlier blog), and on this occasion the whole House was eligible to vote (with convention saying it ought to be a Liberal).
I voted because I thought I should, but clearly this is the Lords at its most ridiculous.
By contrast I also picked up a copy of the Lords internal newsletter the Red Benches. This included a story telling me that they were testing a new system of recording votes using iPads. This is so that they can record them more efficiently and publish the results more quickly.
This is a very good thing for accountability.
All Lords divisions are published and are easily searchable. The public can then see how we all voted, very soon after we did. We have nothing to hide.
The Lords have been doing this for some time. It begs the question as to why the Commons don’t do the same…