Improving voting and elections

Snap election a win-win for Theresa May: she’ll crush Labour and make Brexit a little easier

Snap election a win-win for Theresa May: she’ll crush Labour and make Brexit a little easier

How could Theresa May resist breaking her word? Tim Bale says a new cohort of Conservative MPs will boost her majority and enable her to return from Brussels with a softer Brexit. The Labour party, meanwhile, will be annihilated, and the Lib Dems can hope for at most 15% of the vote. Centrists may take […]

Book review | Why the UK Voted for Brexit: David Cameron’s Great Miscalculation

Book review | Why the UK Voted for Brexit: David Cameron’s Great Miscalculation

In Why the UK Voted for Brexit: David Cameron’s Great Miscalculation, Andrew Glencross offers an analysis of Brexit. While the pace of developments since the book’s publication inevitably makes some of its observations prematurely obsolete, this remains an important and historically sensitive account of this momentous event in the domestic and international political landscape, writes Chris Moreh.  […]

If you believe Brexit is a mistake, you have a democratic duty to oppose it

If you believe Brexit is a mistake, you have a democratic duty to oppose it

Is there a duty to implement the EU referendum result? Not if you believe it to be a profound mistake, argues Albert Weale. We cannot sensibly and intelligibly use the language of ‘the will of the people’ in respect of the referendum result. It is not simply a device for the registering of the preferences of […]

Gender equality in Parliament: how random selection could get us there

Gender equality in Parliament: how random selection could get us there

Would choosing the second chamber by sortition be an effective way to achieve a 50:50 balance between men and women? John Dryzek argues that the upper chamber – in Australia as in the UK, a deliberative forum – would be a good place to start, and looks at ways to ensure women sitting in deliberative […]

Now they’re on a roll: how to get the missing millions onto the electoral register

Now they’re on a roll: how to get the missing millions onto the electoral register

Individual electoral registration has not been kind to students. Previously, they were automatically enrolled by their universities; now they are not, and many have fallen off the electoral roll as a result. But an amendment passed in the Lords last night would let them register at the same time as they enrolled at university. Toby […]

Why do the French hate their politicians so much?

Why do the French hate their politicians so much?

The French distrust their politicians and democratic institutions – more so than other Western Europeans. Why? Emiliano Grossman and Nicolas Sauger, authors of Pourquoi détestons-nous nos politiques?, argue that the French presidential system raises unreasonable hopes and expectations that quickly lead to disillusionment among voters. Similar PostsEmmanuel Macron and En Marche! – left, right or […]

Politicians haven’t been honest with the public about immigration. They still aren’t

Politicians haven’t been honest with the public about immigration. They still aren’t

The populist surge that helped propel Brexit isn’t going to help the UK take control of its borders, writes Tim Bale. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives have been honest with voters about immigration policy, and that shows little signs of changing after a hard Brexit. The gap between rhetoric and reality has given politicians the opportunity to […]

Risk-takers and referendums: what happens when voters are better-informed?

Risk-takers and referendums: what happens when voters are better-informed?

Voting for change in a referendum is the riskier option. People who voted for Brexit were more likely to be risk-takers. But when people have more information at their disposal, are they more or less likely to stick with the status quo? Davide Morisi found that when voters were making up their minds about how to vote […]

The rich get elected – but it’s not because voters necessarily prefer them

The rich get elected – but it’s not because voters necessarily prefer them

We elect politicians who are far better-off than ourselves – in Europe, those who come from blue-collar backgrounds make up only a tenth of national parliaments. Is this because voters favour the rich? A new study by Nicholas Carnes and Noam Lupu suggests they are slightly more likely to opt for working-class candidates over business owners. Blue-collar candidates just don’t get onto […]

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