Tuesday, May 19, 2009

❄ Honourable Hostel of Commons?

The Speaker of the House of Commons has announced his intention to step down. He has been berated by members of the House—some would say scapegoated—embarassed by revelations of widespread abuse of expense accounts by members of Parliament.

The Question

How could the House have managed members’ felt need to live in London, as well as in their constituencies?


The approach of the House had been to provide an expense account from which members living outside of London could draw to house themselves in London.

I have a simple design suggestion. Provide every member with a deliberately small apartment, in one of a number of such hostels, within walking distance of the House. And rather than provide for 646 Members, the current number, reduce the number of constituencies by half, or two-thirds. The savings should pay for the accommodation.

Of course, the proposal could be more elaborate. Offer a number of larger apartments, for which those choosing would pay a fee. Offer a flat-rate cash payment to members declining the provided flat. Let your imagination run free!

[Political Design 2009.05.22. Post A20. http://www.learnworld.com/blog/design.html]