Should the Lords become an elected chamber? Partly-elected perhaps but fully elected and we could end up with the same political game-playing and circus entertainment we often get with the House of Commons? Is that democracy? The public seem very discontent with politicians so why are we calling for more by having the Lords electable?
Certainly, the upper house needs reform in a number of areas, not least to ensure that numbers do not balloon to ridiculous proportions.The answer though certainly does not lie in stripping away all that is good about the House of Lords and replacing it with a room full of elected, whippable Lords, who will do what their party tells them.
It is this debate that secularists, both religious and otherwise, are fighting for. The movement doesn't aim to destroy or dismantle religion, but to create a society where no one group is granted special privilege or power. A society which ensures that all beliefs are protected and welcomed equally. But this debate can only be had once you stop using "secularism" as a slur.
Lazy clichés, as a general rule, are best avoided by political hacks and commentators. Yet the likening of the current coalition government to a marriage has been a constant theme for analysts of all creeds in the last two years, and it has never resonated quite as strongly as it did at the end of this parliamentary session.
Even if people agree on what is wrong in the current arrangement, they never agree on a solution. But that is no argument for accepting, yet again, a status quo which combines a hereditary basis with one of patronage and which results in a chamber which is totally unrepresentative of the population for which it is legislating.