Baroness D’Souza gives us an unusual definition of democracy

It’s been a staple argument of despots and dictators for decades, even centuries. They’re not undemocratic you see. They’re actually far more democratic than those decadent people who rely on elections. Because democracy isn’t about elections after all, is it?

Such arguments, even when dressed up by sticking the word “democracy” into a country’s name, have rightly and widely been given short shrift. You’d have thought, therefore, that arguing that democracy doesn’t require elections would be an argument a Parliamentarian these days might steer clear of.

But no.

Step forward Baroness D’Souza:

I do not believe that elections are the only form of democracy. I do not think you can argue that this House [of Lords] is undemocratic.

Arguing that the House of Lords is undemocratic but that doesn’t matter is one thing. But arguing that it is democratic in its current state? Excuse me whilst I rescue my jaw from the floor.

By the way, she’s not a fringe peer with an eccentric view of democracy. She’s convenor of the Crossbench Peers.

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