27 Jul 2015

Does Proportional Representation break the constituency link?

The constituency link is a vital part of British political life; MPs represent local areas and are directly accountable to those areas for their continued careers. If MPs misbehave their constituents have the power to boot them out, and the fear that this might happen keep MPs on the straight and narrow. It is sometimes argued that there is something special about this link between an MP and […]
24 Jul 2015

Why calls for Liz Kendall to drop out are nonsense

The rise of Jeremy Corbyn has, it goes without saying, completely shifted the terms and nature of the Labour leadership debate. The panic in much of the Labour Party elite is palpable - whether it is Tony Blair calling for Corbyn supporters to “get a heart transplant”, or Margaret Beckett calling herself a “moron” for nominating Corbyn, the party’s upper echelons now seem to be growing […]
23 Jul 2015

Join the Great Gathering for Voting Reform

Two and a half months from the General Election, the issue of electoral reform hasn’t gone away. Hundreds are set to gather outside Parliament this Saturday to call for a fair voting system, after the most disproportionate election ever on May 7th. They’ll be joined by campaigners including our own Deputy Chief Executive Darren Hughes, as well as Peter Tatchell, Lib Dem MP Tom Brake, prospective […]
23 Jul 2015

Re-location, re-location, re-location: where should Parliament move to?

As Parliament breaks for the summer recess this week, there’s a bit of time to think about some non-legislative stuff for a change. One pretty pressing issue bubbling underneath is this: with the Palace of Westminster crumbling , where should our MPs and Lords go? Before you crack out the jokes (‘into the sea’, ‘as far away as possible’ etc. etc.) it’s a serious question. Westminster could soon […]
20 Jul 2015

Devolution needs democracy - politicians should back fair votes for local government

Tomorrow the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill has its Third Reading in the House of Lords – the final stage before it goes back to the Commons. It’s a Bill that will have a major impact on Britain’s constitution. It’s important to the ERS because so often when politicians, journalists and others talk about localism, they’ve focused on the additional powers that local politicians should […]
17 Jul 2015

The government would be wrong to reverse progress on votes at 16

This Wednesday, the House of Lords made an important step forward - they voted 221-154 in favour of allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote in local elections. It’s yet another win for the campaign for votes at 16. That Peers voted by a majority of 67 to support a fairer franchise – in a House where the average age is 70 – is clearly a sign of how far this debate has come, and how strong backing is […]
17 Jul 2015

"We need a constitutional convention," say ERS, academics and journalists

Today the ERS and 12 senior academics and journalists write in the Times to call for a citizen-led constitutional convention. Lord Purvis' Bill for a Constitutional Convention receives its Second Reading today in the House of Lords, debating the principles of the Bill. We think Peers, MPs and the public should get behind it. With Britain facing so many different constitutional debates, we believe […]
16 Jul 2015

Pobl ifanc Cymru o blaid Pleidlais yn 16 - ac Addysg ar Wleidyddiaeth

Ddoe, fe gyhoeddodd Comisiwn y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol eu arolwg ar bleidleisiau yn 16, ac mae pobl ifanc Cymru wedi lleisio’u barn. Ac mae'r neges yn glir - mae pobl ifanc eisiau pleidlais yn 16 oed. Gyda 10,375 o bobl ifanc wedi cymryd rhan yn yr ymgynghoriad, mae'r canlyniadau yn dangos 53% o o blaid pleidlais yn 16 oed; 29% yn erbyn; gyda 18% yn nodi 'ddim yn gwybod'. Canfyddiadau ymgynghoriad […]
15 Jul 2015

Young people in Wales back votes at 16 – and political education

[Gallwch ddarllen y blog yma yn y Gymraeg] As the Welsh Assembly publish their major report on votes at 16 today , the young people of Wales have spoken. And it is a clear message – young people want a vote. With 10,375 young people consulted, the results show 53% of young respondents in favour of votes at 16; 29% against; with 18% stating ‘don’t know’. These are the findings of a six month […]
10 Jul 2015

Time for a constitutional convention for the EU

The standoff between the European Union, the European Central Bank (ECB), and Greece is a crisis born at least partly from a problem with democracy. In the EU as at any other level we hope to be governed by consent. We expect those who rule us to do so with our collective permission. In this crisis the Greek people want one thing and the ECB and the EU want another. And while there is debate over […]