When democratic activists speak of “us the people” whom do they mean? The mass of ordinary voters who know little to nothing about life beyond the particular and parochial? Or the legion of opinion makers in the media and intelligentsia?
The people are not a panacea, they are just an amorphous collection of families, friends and individuals. We have an elected Commons because the Commons represents the consent of the governed. The Lords represented the great nobles of the realm; now because of botched attempts at reform combined with political place-holding, it represents very little.
The Commons holds primacy and that should be sufficient in our system. The government is chosen from the Commons and as such has the consent of the governed to be governed.
The Lords by contrast should be chosen not from the political parties, which are only representative of the governed when directly elected as MPS. A “Senate” formed from a PR list of the political parties would have no inherent consent and each Senator would merely be a political placement.
In a democratic system, we cannot have (as a norm) elected politicians who do not belong in a political party, yet we cannot have another chamber of Parliament dominated by the political parties.
A House of Lords chosen by a neutral selection committee with a ten year term for each Lord (which could be withdrawn on grounds of corruption or criminal behaviour), each of whom is chosen for knowledge, expertise and contribution to public life would possess more legitimacy than either the current average Lord or a PR-list “Senator” because they would be bringing something invaluable to Parliament.
The problem with democratic utopianist sentiments is that such statements are Rousseauesqe, imputing a non-existent virtue to the mass of the common people. It also assumes an agenda held by the speaker is held in common with the people but only identifies the people as an extension of his own sense of virtue.
Hobbes was a far better judge of human nature than Paine or Jefferson.