MPs defections: a good career move which tends to form part of a wider political trend

MPs defections: a good career move which tends to form part of a wider political trend

 Douglas Carswell has defected from the Conservatives to the United Kingdom Independence Party. He has taken the unusual step of opting to trigger a by-election, in effect asking the voters of his Clacton constituency permission for his decision. Alun Wyburn-Powell argues that MPs who defect tend to enjoy an enhanced career, and that their defection […]

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The Commons Clerk row is more than just a parochial dispute and has larger implications for the workings of Parliament

The Commons Clerk row is more than just a parochial dispute and has larger implications for the workings of Parliament

 The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has recently come under fire from some critics for apparently supporting the candidacy of a supposedly under-qualified Australian to replace the outgoing Clerk of the House of Commons, Sir Robert Rogers. Louise Thompson argues that although the row is of minimal interest to the public, it […]

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20 things we learned about democracy in August 2014

20 things we learned about democracy in August 2014

Parliament was in recess throughout August, despite calls for its recall. Even so, none of this meant that British democracy stopped last month, with numerous interesting facts, factoids, and observations revealing themselves. Sean Kippin of Democratic Audit selects the best and most interesting. Similar PostsDemocratic round-up: the Salmond/Darling Scottish independence debate20 things we learned about […]

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Book Review: Agenda Setting, Policies, and Political Systems: A Comparative Approach, edited by Christoffer Green-Pedersen and Stefaan Walgrave

Book Review: Agenda Setting, Policies, and Political Systems: A Comparative Approach, edited by Christoffer Green-Pedersen and Stefaan Walgrave

Before making significant policy decisions, political actors and parties must first craft an agenda designed to place certain issues at the center of political attention. This agenda-setting approach comes under the spotlight in this new collection, with case studies from across Europe and the rest of the world. Sophie Lecheler finds that readers are offered a number of […]

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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 PostsBook Review: Agenda Setting, Policies, and […]

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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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