Candidate selections for the General Election suggest that the political class is becoming younger and more diverse, but also more professionalised

Candidate selections for the General Election suggest that the political class is becoming younger and more diverse, but also more professionalised

There is a perception that Westminster politics is a self-serving career machine for the ambitions of a small cadre of self-reproducing politicians. To what extent is this view justified on the basis of the evidence? With six months until the 2015 general election Rosie Campbell, Chrysa Lamprinakou and Jennifer vanHeerde-Hudson assess the diversity of the parliamentary […]

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The Smith Commission must choose between a Union based on either separation or sharing

The Smith Commission must choose between a Union based on either separation or sharing

The Smith Commission is the body tasked with making recommendations on the future status of Scotland within the UK. Christine Bell argues that there is a critical choice for the Commission (and any subsequent political negotiations over devolution in Scotland and beyond). One the one hand there is the option to pursue a Union based on […]

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UK voters see divided political parties as less able to make sensible or coherent policies

UK voters see divided political parties as less able to make sensible or coherent policies

It is often said that ‘divided parties lose elections’, with the experience of the Conservatives in the 1990s cited as supporting evidence. But is this the case? Looking at evidence from the British Election Survey (BES), Zachary D. Greene argues that perceptions of party disunity does indeed play a role in how voters assess the […]

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The European Union must have a closer link to national politics if it is to retain its legitimacy

The European Union must have a closer link to national politics if it is to retain its legitimacy

This year has seen much discussion about the next President about the European Commission. Anand Menon writes that while much of this debate has focused on the merits of Jean-Claude Juncker and the other candidates, the real issue is a structural one concerning the future of the European Parliament. He argues that, regardless of the […]

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The Smith Commission must not ignore the status of state religion in Scotland

The Smith Commission must not ignore the status of state religion in Scotland

The Smith Commission is the body tasked with recommending proposals for the final status of Scottish devolution following the referendum on Scottish independence. Norman Bonney argues that state religion should not be left out of the equation, and the special constitutional status of Presbytarianism and the continued role of Bishops in the House of Lords […]

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‘A policy that kills’: The bedroom tax is an affront to basic rights

‘A policy that kills’: The bedroom tax is an affront to basic rights

Billed as a way to reduce under-occupation and encourage people back into work, the ‘bedroom tax’ has not met the goals set out by policymakers, writes Insa Koch. Instead it is creating hardship for many of the over 500,000 households affected by the tax, forcing many into a situation where they are forcibly evicted from their homes. Moreover, […]

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Social media may have the potential to truly enhance our democracy, but there is still distance to go

Social media may have the potential to truly enhance our democracy, but there is still distance to go

What role can social media play in our democracy, and will its potential to affect genuine change be effectively harnessed? In a recent event in the Palace of Westminster, Carl Miller and Alessia Tranchese of Demos scoped where social media is and can have an effect, concluding that we still have a long way to go […]

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Democracy is the biggest loser when parliament descends into farce

Democracy is the biggest loser when parliament descends into farce

 A recent House of Commons debate saw confusion reign over a Government motion on the European Arrest Warrant, with proceedings very quickly descending into farce. Louise Thompson argues that when this kind of shenanigans takes hold of Parliament, it is little wonder that people see MPs are being untrustworthy, partisan, and self-serving, with British democracy the […]

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The party leaders must ensure that the next set of election debates don’t focus solely on England

The party leaders must ensure that the next set of election debates don’t focus solely on England

In 2010, the three party leaders; Gordon Brown, David Cameron, and Nick Clegg, made very few mentions of devolution or of the devolved nations. Kristi Winters and Edzia Carvalho argue that the leaders this time around should take steps to ensure that the debates strike a more inclusive tone, ensuring that they represent a genuinely national […]

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The lack of gender balance in positions of power remains untackled

The lack of gender balance in positions of power remains untackled

Women continue to be under-represented in political positions of power, as well as in the upper echelons of the public sector more generally and in the media. Is this situation going to improve following the 2015 general election? Not likely, finds Nan Sloane. In this article she presents the findings of a report into gender equality […]

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