Improving voting and elections

It’s even worse than North Carolina: American elections rank last among all Western democracies

It’s even worse than North Carolina: American elections rank last among all Western democracies

In recent weeks, the claim that North Carolina could no longer be classified as a democracy has sparked significant debate. Pippa Norris, director of the Electoral Integrity Project, explains how perceptions of electoral integrity in 50 US states and worldwide were assessed by political scientists. She also presents independent evidence from V-Dem which confirms EIP’s claim that, […]

If your parents didn’t vote, chances are you won’t either – unless you move up the social ladder

If your parents didn’t vote, chances are you won’t either – unless you move up the social ladder

 You are less likely to vote if your parents didn’t go to the polls. But new research by Hannu Lahtinen, Heikki Hiilamo and Hanna Wass suggest this effect is at least partly overcome if you move up the social ladder yourself. The more social mobility a society can achieve, the smaller the gaps in turnout between […]

Pick of 2016: the best of Democratic Audit

Pick of 2016: the best of Democratic Audit

2016 was an extraordinary year. With Donald Trump’s presidency less than three weeks away, Article 50 due to be invoked in March, local and mayoral elections in the UK and ground-shifting votes in Europe, 2017 promises more seismic change. Here’s a selection of some of Democratic Audit’s most thought-provoking pieces from 2016. Similar Posts

Voter ID is a risky reform when 8m people are already missing from the electoral register

Voter ID is a risky reform when 8m people are already missing from the electoral register

In a 2018 pilot, voters in a few areas will have to show some sort of identification at the polls – a major change to voting arrangements. Yet voter fraud is not widespread in the UK. Toby S James welcomes the fact the plans will be extensively piloted, but warns they will lead to more voters being turned away […]

How ‘the story’ subsumed ‘The Vote’: we have no meaningful direction about the terms of Brexit

How ‘the story’ subsumed ‘The Vote’: we have no meaningful direction about the terms of Brexit

What did the 52% who voted to leave the EU want? In the first part of a lecture delivered at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, David Kershaw argues that pro-Brexit politicians and media have presumed to interpret the vote as a mandate to ensure Brexit results in the controls on free movement which are likely to […]

Why do voters back corrupt and dishonest politicians? Interview with Milan Vaishnav

Why do voters back corrupt and dishonest politicians? Interview with Milan Vaishnav

A candidate with criminal allegations hanging over them will repel voters – or will they? Not necessarily. In India, a third of the MPs elected in 2014 faced an ongoing criminal case. Milan Vaishnav, the author of a new book about the nexus of crime and democracy in India, talks to Ros Taylor about the appeal […]

Breaking with the past: how voting reform could reinvigorate Australian politics

Breaking with the past: how voting reform could reinvigorate Australian politics

Spoiled ballot papers and the lowest turnout since voting became compulsory in 1925: young Australians are increasingly disillusioned with traditional politics, and with the two main parties in particular. Adele Lausberg says it is time to overhaul the way the House of Representatives is elected to give smaller parties more of a voice. Both the House […]

Votes at 16: do mock elections make a difference to adults’ attitudes?

Votes at 16: do mock elections make a difference to adults’ attitudes?

Mock elections help 16- and 17-year-olds understand how elections work. But do they make adults more likely to back lowering the voting age to 16? Erik Gahner Larsen, Klaus Levinsen and Ulrik Kjær looked at the 2009 local elections in Denmark, when a number of municipalities held mock elections alongside the real ones. They found that they […]

Referendums, informed voting and the trouble with a ‘truth commission’

Referendums, informed voting and the trouble with a ‘truth commission’

Following the EU referendum, there have been demands for a ‘truth commission’ to be set up to oversee future referendum campaigns. Paul Kildea argues that there are significant practical difficulties to the establishment of such a body. These include the possibility of a ‘chilling effect’ on speech, the fact that the accuracy of many controversial […]

The ultimate test for anti-Brexit MPs: will they resign their seats?

The ultimate test for anti-Brexit MPs: will they resign their seats?

MPs who feel strongly enough about a particular issue – whether Heathrow expansion, the Anglo-Irish Agreement or increasing pre-trial detention – have sometimes resigned their seats and stood again as independents or for another party. Will anti-Brexit MPs adopt this strategy? Sean Swan says it is fraught with risks, but resigning en masse would be the […]

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