Blogs

25 May 2016

Today, we can build a better referendum debate

Let’s be frank: the EU debate so far has been fairly dire. Dominated by personality politics, party spats and contradictory statistics, it has failed to inspire – or properly inform - the public. But it doesn’t have to be like this. So we decided to do something about it. Today we’re proud to launch a new online toolkit to create a more informed EU referendum debate. ‘ A Better Referendum ’ is […]
24 May 2016

Extend the franchise for overseas citizens – but let’s have votes at 16 too

Last week’s Queen’s Speech – the legislative agenda for the next year - contained an interesting and largely overlooked reform in the ‘ small print ’ (see pages 62-63): the government is planning to scrap the arguably somewhat-arbitrary 15-year time limit on overseas citizens’ ability to vote. It’s being debated in the House of Lords today, and we think it’s a welcome intention - after all, there […]
23 May 2016

Democracy Matters: Why we need 'A Better Referendum'

This is a guest blog by Professor Matthew Flinders. The opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Electoral Reform Society. Life, it would often appear, seems dominated by a series of ‘gaps’. The ‘gaps’ between the young and the old , between rich and the poor , between North and the South , between educated and uneducated and – most importantly – […]
19 May 2016

How we’re opening up the EU debate

If you think the EU referendum debate so far has been focused far too much on the personalities and internal party spats than the real issues that affect you and the country, you’re not on your own. Of course, it doesn’t have to be like this - we can have a vibrant and lively EU referendum debate, looking at the real issues: from health and education to the economy and immigration. The Scottish […]
10 May 2016

8 things last week’s elections tell us about Britain’s changing politics

Last week’s ‘Super Thursday’ of elections was gold-dust for democracy lovers. It saw elections in Wales and London for their Assemblies, in Scotland for the Holyrood Parliament, in councils across England, in England and Wales for the Police and Crime Commissioners, and for Mayors in London, Bristol, Salford and Liverpool. Here are seven things we can learn from Super Thursday: 1. Politics is […]
28 Apr 2016

4 positive changes the government have made to the Union Bill

It’s taken a lot of campaigning, but this week the government made some major concessions on the Trade Union Reform Bill - which had its Consideration of Lords’ Amendments stage in the House of Commons on Wednesday. It’s welcome news that the government have listened and made some much-needed and substantial changes to the Bill. Here are our four top Union Bill concessions: 1. The government have […]
25 Apr 2016

Cynrychiolaeth menywod yn y Cynulliad yn crebachu

An English version of this blog is available here // Mae fersiwn Saesneg o’r blog yma ar gael yma Darllenwch ein hadroddiad newydd, 'Menywod yn y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol' yma Yn gyffredinol, mae amrywiaeth mewn Seneddau ar y cynnydd ar draws y DU a'r byd. Ond mae'n bell o fod yn anochel - a mae gwneud ein sefydliadau adlewyrchu'r cyhoedd maent yn eu cynrychioli yn waith caled. Felly mae'n anffodus […]
25 Apr 2016

David Torrance's guide to the EU referendum cuts through the spin

The following is an introduction to David Torrance's new guide to the EU referendum , which the ERS are supporting. Darren Hughes is Deputy Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society. As the UK’s longest-standing democracy organisation, the Electoral Reform Society has been standing up for voters’ rights since 1884. And this is no less the case than with the upcoming EU referendum. We’ve […]
25 Apr 2016

A stagnating Senedd?

Mae fersiwn Cymraeg o’r blog yma ar gael yma // A Welsh-language version of this blog is available here Read ‘ Women in the National Assembly ’ here In general, diversity in Parliaments is on the rise across the UK and the world. But it’s by no means inevitable, or uniform – and making our often archaic institutions reflect the public they represent takes hard work. So it’s always disappointing […]
20 Apr 2016

Why the SNP are Scotland’s new predominant party

On Wednesday, ERS Scotland launched a major new report, One Party To Rule Them All: Does Scotland Have A Predominant-Party Problem? . That concept of a “predominant-party system” – popularised by the political scientist Giovanni Sartori - is a bit of a mouthful, but it’s an important one. It certainly doesn’t mean we’re turning into some kind of North Korea-style one-party state, as some of the […]