Blogs

28 Feb 2017

‘Meet the Lords’ lays bare the scandalous situation in the upper chamber

This article was first published by politics.co.uk Another year, another round of Lords scandals. This time, it’s revelations that a peer left a taxi waiting outside Parliament while he went inside to register for his daily £300 allowance – and then return to hop in his taxi. This isn’t a claim coming from reformers: it’s from the former Speaker of the House of Lords, Baroness D’Souza. She says […]
20 Feb 2017

Lords reform shouldn’t be a threat – it’s a core part of ‘taking back control’

Lords have begun debating the Article 50 Bill . With 191 speakers lined up and plenty of amendments tabled, it’s a fascinating moment for democracy and Britain’s constitution. What we’re witnessing is this: legislation that resulted from a form of direct democracy (a referendum) – and which itself followed a battle over whether Parliament should get a vote on it at all – is now being debated (and […]
17 Feb 2017

Northern Ireland’s voting system allows for a more diverse, open politics

Last year’s Northern Ireland Assembly election saw some fascinating developments. From a 50% increase in women’s representation, to the growth of cross-community parties and some surprise upsets, it was testament to an evolving democracy, under a voting system that allows voters’ diverse views to be represented. For the ERS, it was an opportunity to look at how voters are using Northern Ireland’s […]
14 Feb 2017

The inquiry on cutting the Lords risks looking like a stitch up

Back in December, the House of Lords voted unanimously to back the statement "that this House believes that its size should be reduced, and methods should be explored by which this could be achieved". It was a positive move, even if the rationale seemed slightly worrying – namely, staving off further and more substantial reform (see my blog for more on that). On Tuesday we submitted our evidence […]
7 Feb 2017

100,000 names for PR: let’s get fair votes on Parliament’s agenda

Sign Petition Four months ago, an electoral reform supporter started a petition on the government’s e-petition site to introduce a proportional voting system for Westminster elections. Today, it has over 60,000 signatures – and is growing by the day. With eight weeks to go, this petition from Makes Votes Matter (and backed by us at the ERS) has a real chance of reaching the 100,000 needed to be […]
7 Feb 2017

How to shrink the Lords: have your say today

A double-decker Lords: on the cards if it continues to grow? (Pic: ERS) If you think the House of Lords is in dire need of a shakeup, it’s time to tell Peers what you think. An inquiry by the Lord Speaker's committee is looking at how to shrink our bloated upper chamber. This week the Daily Mirror launched a push for readers and members of the public to speak their minds on cutting the House of […]
3 Feb 2017

Diwygio yn y Senedd a system gyfrannol i lywodraeth leol: wythnos gyffrous i ddemocratiaeth Gymru

Blog available in English here Wrth i’r byd wleidyddol gael ei dynnu oddi ar ei hechel mewn mis cyntaf cythryblus yn 2017, gallai faddau i chi os ydych wedi methu rhai datblygiadau yn agenda diwygio etholiadol yng Nghymru. Cadwch o’n ddistaw, ond ar y cyfan, mae hyn wedi bod yn wythnos hynod arwyddocaol. Mae yna ddau ddatblygiad sylweddol wedi bod i’n achos - ac yn ganlyniad i ymgyrchoedd tymor […]
3 Feb 2017

It’s time to put ‘take back control’ into action

It’s been a slow path, but the government’s White Paper on Brexit is another step towards giving Parliament a role in the Brexit negotiations. It’s not been without a struggle, though. Because we are still a representative democracy (despite the injection of public votes on some of the big issues), it’s understandable that the immediate post-referendum focus would be on Parliament. But Britain’s […]
2 Feb 2017

Senedd reform and local PR: an exciting week for Welsh democracy

As the political world shifts from its axis in a tumultuous first month of 2017, you’d be forgiven for missing on some other developments in the electoral reform agenda in Wales. Whisper it, but all in all, this has been a remarkable week. Two developments are advancing our cause significantly – and are the culmination of ERS’ long-term campaigns. First, the Cabinet Secretary for Local Government […]
31 Jan 2017

It turns out voters have faith in democracy. But we can do better

Graphic by the Electoral Commission. This article was first published by Democratic Audit From Donald Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud in the US, to the government’s plans for voter ID trials in the UK next year, the (often shaky) notion of widespread abuse in our democratic system has been on the agenda this past few months. So it’s interesting to see new research from the Electoral […]