English Votes for English Laws
Devolution of power from Westminster to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland previously created a situation where Scottish MPs could vote on English matters whereas English MPs could not vote on Scottish matters. After Caroline handed a petition to the House of Commons proposals became law in October 2015.
Caroline voted for the necessary legislation to allow the public to have their say on the future of the electoral system which was held in 2011. Gosport Borough voted 75% to retain the current First Past the Post electoral system.
Having already held this referendum, Caroline does not support changing the electoral system as there seems to be very little public appetite for doing so. In addition, the current system allows for a very clear link between a constituency and their MP, creating clearer accountability.
Caroline supports the Boundary Commissions aim to reduce the number of MPs and to ensure that the current boundaries are equalised. In the final proposals Gosport constituency will not change as it falls within the range for constituency size. Reducing the number of MPs will ensure that the cost of politics is reduced, whilst ensuring overall fairness for the electorate and the country.
House of Lords
Caroline does not support plans to abolish the House of Lords and to replace it with an elected Senate. The House of Lords provides a vital revising and scrutiny role with many of its number experts in the fields that do enhance debate and consideration of legislation. Ultimately, decision making would be poorer without these specialised voices in public life.
However, the House of Lords is clearly too big. Therefore, she supports the efforts undertaken by the current Lords Speaker to reduce the Lords to 600 peers; cutting its size by a quarter. This will ensure that the Lords is no larger than the Commons.
Caroline strongly supports the ability of proxy voting for MPs on parental leave. In January 2019 the House of Commons supported a pilot of the scheme having considered it several times at the Procedural Committee and in debate. This will allow MPs on parental leave knowing that their vote will count in crucial debates.