Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Meet Less, Pay Less and have Fewer Members = Real Commons Reform

Looking for ideas for Commons reform? Try Texas as a taster.

The legislature meets in regular session in the January of each odd-numbered year and the state constitution limits the regular session to 140 calendar days. Here, the House of Commons met for 165 days in the last session and 146 days in the one before. We are not noticeably better governed.

There are 150 members of the Texas House of Representatives, each with districts of some 163,000 people. Here, we have 646 members of the House of Commons, each with constituencies averaging 95,000 people. Our voters don’t get a better service.

A Texas House of Representatives Salary is $25,000 (£15,600) p.a whereas an MPs salary is £64,766 ($103,625) p.a. We certainly don’t get value-for-money.

This might be a flip set of comparisons, but remember that while UK has the sixth largest economy in the world an independent Texas would rank at between 10th and 13th (depending on the measurement).

And while we have a growing, intrusive government based in Brussels, they have an equally out of touch congress in Washington.

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