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Hve non-elected ministers always played a role in government?
I find the idea quite amusing that we, the electorate, are not trusted to pick people with sufficient expertise to run the country, so the government places its unelected cronies in the House of Lords so that they can then join the government.

Has this always happened, or is this a relatively recent occurence? I'd always thought that ministers in the House of Lords were generally MPs who had been given a peerage, rather than just political activists.
asked in politics, peerages, House of Lords

Russel.West answers:

The house of lords sits to keep in check the laws and work of the elected house, however only a few years ago they changes the way the House of Lords is populated with the ending of handed down peerage to life peerage, there by ending the elitism of it's membership - sure the lower house of commons elects now representatives to move to the upper house but it is not by any means a perfect way of government - but it is the best way we have at present.

Supplement from 01/15/2009 01:57pm:

Non elected officials have played a major part in the cabinet and of course there are the civil servants who advise the government they are not elected and used to be very 'old school tie' I'm not too sure that is the case today.

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vultan answers:

This has always happened. During the second world war, Lord Beaverbrook played a celebraated part in boosting aeroplane production, and the armed forces Chiefs of Staff - unelected and not even ennobled - were also in the War Cabinet (plus, of course, the Prime Minister had never won a general election).

It's because of the system we have in this country. We elect a party to power, and the party is then at liberty to pick whomever it wants to occupy the important jobs (although they have to be peers or MPs). Ministers taken from the Commons are only elected in the sense that they're voted into parliament - the public don't get to vote on who gets to do which job. Probably just as well, it would turn politics into something like The X-Factor, but without the ghastly singing.

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