The Youngest Female House of Lords Member Wants to See It Abolished

Carmen Smith, 28, is the youngest member of the House of Lords and one of the first to want it to cease to exist. 

Two Houses of Parliament Govern the UK

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There are two houses of Parliament in the UK: The House of Lords and The House of Commons. The House of Lords is made up of appointed members and forms the upper house of the Parliament.

The Role of the Upper Parliament

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Being the upper Parliament, the House of Lords revises legislation proposed by the House of Commons and ensures the government is held accountable when deemed necessary. 

House of Lords Members Appointed

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The House of Lords members are appointed based on certain criteria and not elected. The Prime Minister advises the monarch and they appoint the Life peers as such. They play a crucial role in the legislative process and overall governance of the United Kindom. 

Fate Changed After Meeting Plaid’s Leader

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Smith grew up in a small village in north Wales called Llanfaes. She wasn’t necessarily interested in politics as a career, but at 15, she met Plaid’s leader, Leanne Wood, and her unpolitical stereotype inspired her. 

The Average Age of the House of Lords Is 71

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At 28 years of age, Smith is an unlikely member, in contrast to the upper chamber, which has an average age of 71. However, she is addressed as a peer and yet campaigning herself right out the door. 

An Independent Wales on the Cards

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Baroness Smith makes no mistake in stating what she wants. She is a member of the Welsh nationalist party and fully believes in an independent Wales and dissolution of the House of Lords.  

Scrutiny Has Been Harder Than Anticipated

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The scrutiny that has followed since Smith’s appointment has been harder than she anticipated. There has also been speculation that she was chosen because the party needed a female peer. 

Smith Was Second to a Man

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The party members’ vote placed Smith second after a man, but she was the one who was appointed. Smith said, “ I knew I’d be targeted for my age and being a woman. However, I didn’t know how it would feel until it actually happened.”   

Being Female Makes You a Target

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Baroness Smith believes her gender has contributed to the negative reactions to her appointment. In contrast, the appointment of a man, Lord Kempsell, who was a year older than her at the time of his appointment, received very little negative feedback. 

Chambers at 70% Male

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Despite the Baroness’s disapproval of the overall election means, she defends the process by which she was nominated as it improves the representation of women in a male-dominated chamber. 

The People Should Have a Voice

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Smith emphasizes that she doesn’t agree with an unelected chamber and believes that where decisions are made regarding the people of the UK, it is them who should be involved in the process, stating, “It must be people that are representative of them that are part of making those decisions.”

Shaking Things Up From the Get-Go

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Smith will use her position to give the chambers a new perspective, “I’m going there to shake things up.” 

Traditions on the Back Burner for Smith

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In light of her shaking things up, for her introduction ceremony, she will wear fake fur robes instead of the usual ermine robe and will take her oath in Welsh. 

High Hopes for Change

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The Welsh Baroness wants to use her platform to advocate for the people of Wales because decisions that affect them are made in her chambers. She also wants to be a voice for the groups that aren’t heard when laws are passed. 

Coal Tip Safety Is Close to Her Heart

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One of the many issues Smith hopes to focus on is coal tip safety. This is paid for by the Welsh government, even though mining communities contribute to the whole of the UK. 

Plaid Cymru Elects Their Nominees

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Smith is part of Plaid Cymru, one of two parties that elects its nominees for the Lords. The other is the Greens. 

Five Years Will Offer a Review

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In five years under the party’s nomination system, she will be under review for a reselection. Members get a chance to voice whether they wish her to proceed or not. 

Review Will Offer a Degree of Democracy

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Smith is fond of this reselection process as it makes an unelected chamber more democratic. 

Sit in the Lords for Life

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Having been deemed a life peer, Baroness Smith is entitled to sit in the Lords for her entire life, but she says this won’t be the case. 

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The post Brave or Stupid? The Youngest Female House of Lords Member Wants to See It Abolished first appeared on Edge Media.

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