WESTMINSTER, United Kingdom - The British Parliament got its latest member today, Viscount Thurso, who won every single vote in the House of Lords by-election, all three of them. His win will now entitle him to sit in the Upper Chamber of Parliament for life and claim up to $500 a day in pay.
The odd system came about as a compromise in 1999 between the then Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Conservative Leader in the Lords, Viscount Cranborne. The men agreed that the hereditary peers (those Lords who inherited their seats from their fathers) should be abolished. But they would be allowed to elect 92 of their number to stay in the Lords temporarily.