Does the Manticoran Peerage allow Proxy Voting
Yes, they do, if they have formally executed the proxy form. The form requires them to specify the range of questions upon which their proxy may vote in their stead, and the only legal proxy must be a fellow member of the House of Lords.No single member of the Lords may hold more than one proxy, and there is also a provision (which has never been used) which allows a 3/4ths majority of the House to decide that someone voting as a proxy is voting contrary to the publicly and privately expressed opinion of the proxy-giver on a specific question. If sustained, the vote is set aside -- it is not transferred to the other side of the question. The exact constitutionality of this provision has never been tested, however.
From a post to Baen's Bar Honorverse dated December 12, 2002:
The House of Commons does not recognize proxy voting at all. There are informal arrangements sometimes between members who know they are going to be voting on opposite sides of a question in which both agree to abstain from voting (since they would only cancel one another out). This is usually done when one or the other of them has a schedule conflict at vote time -- a committee meeting, hearings on the members home planet, etc. -- and is generally handled by the party whips. There are no laws binding this procedure, but it is regarded as an integral part of the unwritten constitution and has never been violated, however critical the vote may be to one party or another.
This [San Martin (and in the future Talbott Cluster) geting it's rightfull share of peers and common representativs without packing both Houses so that actual work will become impossible] is a problem (in the long term), indeed. Of course, the Manticoran Parliament has some major advantages in terms of electronic interfacing denied to current political bodies, but the "brontosaurus syndrome" will assert itself if it continues much longer. It's a constitutional problem which will have to be worked out if -- if, I say! -- the SKM continues to expand. At the moment, there's no real problem, since there is still ample flex within the existing system for increasing membership in both houses. The Commons' seats will be redistricted on a slightly expanded proportional representative basis, which means that some Manticoran, Sphinxian, and/or Gryphon MPs will lose their seats to help make room for the San Martinos. The House of Lords will not be "redistricted," and that's where the biggest crunch is likely to come. One point which was agreed to in the Act of Annexation for San Martin is that the San Martino peers will not receive cadet seats. A couple of concessions were made in the House of Commons to offset this, and the fact that San Martin didn't have an hereditary aristocracy prior to its annexation made it an easier deal to close.
This whole problem of what to do with Parliament is one reason for the resistance of many of those opposed to expanding the SKM. Among those who see such expansion as good (or at least inevitable) there is a faction which is agitating for individual parliaments for each member planet (with a single one for the "Old Kingdom," consisting of Manticore A & B, Basilisk, and San Martin) and a single "imperial" parliament with much reduced representations -- say two or three MPs per planet and its own peerage, which would include many of the existing peers but by no means all or even most of them. The idea is to produce a "national" government which would be small enough to operate efficiently while providing the maximum degree of local autonomy consistent with that objective. Under most proposals, the PM of the imperial parliament would have to be a member of the HoL in both the "Old Kingdom" and the imperial parliament.