The widespread belief that politics is broken should not be allowed to go unchallenged

The widespread belief that politics is broken should not be allowed to go unchallenged

That politics is broken and rotten in the UK may well be the defining belief of our time. But is it broken at Westminster? Tony Wright disagrees with the pervasive assessment, writing that, though the system does require a range of political reforms, reform requires a realistic understanding of what is wrong; and a determination to work to put […]

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As Scotland decides its future, lie back and think of England

As Scotland decides its future, lie back and think of England

England is unique amongst the constituent nations of the United Kingdom in being directly governed from Whitehall and Westminster, with Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland all enjoying differing degrees of autonomy over their own affairs. Recent polling has showed that the English people are broadly in favour greater powers for England and Eunice Goes argues that […]

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There is much that can be learned from Scotland’s decision to lower the voting age for the Independence referendum

There is much that can be learned from Scotland’s decision to lower the voting age for the Independence referendum

The Electoral Commission this week began a publicity drive to ensure that people register to vote in the referendum. It has launched a dedicated website and is working with Facebook to target potential younger voters including 16 and 17 year olds who will be able to vote for the first time. Andy Mycock looks at the […]

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Prisoners should be allowed to share the responsibility of democracy through voting

Prisoners should be allowed to share the responsibility of democracy through voting

Prisoners continue to be disenfranchised, despite apparently being on the wrong side of a number of legal cases brought to the European Court of Human Rights. Helen Brown Coverdale argues that the Government should allow prisoners to vote, and that doing so would build legitimacy, benefit prisoners in their rehabilitation, and uphold human rights. Similar […]

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Checking presidential powers is key to successful democratic performance in new semi-presidential countries

Checking presidential powers is key to successful democratic performance in new semi-presidential countries

Numerous new democracies have adopted a semi-Presidential model which typically sees executive powers split between a President and a Prime Ministers. Presenting new research on the subject, Young Hun Kim argues that divided minority government is associated with higher levels of democracy, even though it can make political instability more likely.  Similar PostsThe Austrian experience shows that there […]

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A close inspection of the British Social Attitudes Survey shows that racial prejudice is in long-term decline

A close inspection of the British Social Attitudes Survey shows that racial prejudice is in long-term decline

The recent release of the 2013 British Social Attitudes report has triggered the usual bout of agonised soul searching about the state of the nation, writes Robert Ford. But despite much talk of the rise of far-right sentiment in the UK, a comprehensive dig into the data shows that in actual fact racial prejudice is on the […]

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Strategy is key in assessing the proportionality of the Single Transferable Vote

Strategy is key in assessing the proportionality of the Single Transferable Vote

The Single Transferrable Vote is in use in several countries, most notably Australia, Ireland, India, and Scotland. It is held up as one of the more proportional systems, and frequently advocated as an alternative to the First Past the Post system in use in the UK. But just how proportional is it? David Farrell argues that determining the […]

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On current trends the Green Party will have a significant, if not decisive, impact on the 2015 election

On current trends the Green Party will have a significant, if not decisive, impact on the 2015 election

With the rise of UKIP rightly garnering much attention, it is perhaps understandable that another small party who have seen their poll rating grow have been the subject of less press coverage and discussion. Here, Ian Warren (aka @election_data) shows that the Greens are performing strongly amongst certain demographics, and may well have an impact on […]

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Coalition governments which are formed in advance of elections have better survival prospects

Coalition governments which are formed in advance of elections have better survival prospects

The UK has been governed by a Coalition, with relative stability, since the 2010 General Election when a Hung Parliament saw the Conservatives appeal to the Liberal Democrats for their help in forming a majority government. But while the UK has been relatively stable during this period, coalition governments which are formed in advance of […]

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Scotland and Catalonia would face very real challenges in making a seamless transition to EU membership after independence

Scotland and Catalonia would face very real challenges in making a seamless transition to EU membership after independence

Independence campaigners in both Scotland and Catalonia have advocated retaining their EU membership post-independence. Merijn Chamon and Guillaume Van der Loo assess the legal basis on which subnational entities could maintain EU membership after declaring independence. They write that while the EU treaties make no explicit reference to this situation, it would be difficult for a seamless transition to […]

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