Scotland

How majoritarianism endures in the structures of the UK’s devolved institutions

How majoritarianism endures in the structures of the UK’s devolved institutions

Scotland and Wales’ devolved political institutions, elected under proportional Additional Member electoral systems, were intended to produce a more consensual political culture. However, writes Felicity Matthews, although their electoral rules have increased the proportionality of representation, the structures of the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales have meant that a more consensual approach to policy-making has been more limited than might have been expected.

On the ballot: how electoral procedures shape the work of Members of the Scottish Parliament

On the ballot: how electoral procedures shape the work of Members of the Scottish Parliament

The electoral system by which members of parliament are elected shapes how legislators perceive their roles. Furthermore, write David C.W. Parker and Caitlyn M. Richter, in the case of the Scottish Parliament, both the electoral system and the change implemented prior to the 2007 election, whereby candidate names were removed from party-list ballots, have an impact on how Members of the Scottish Parliament spend their time and resources.

Brexit means a bleak future for UK public spending and probably for intra-UK governance relations

Brexit means a bleak future for UK public spending and probably for intra-UK governance relations

In the London-centric world of the UK-wide and English media, too little consideration has yet been given to what Brexit means for public spending (almost all of it bad), and for UK-devolved government relations. David Heald explains the need to focus on the long-term important issues.

The UK and Canada: democratic legitimacy could matter more than geographic representation in the upper chamber

The UK and Canada: democratic legitimacy could matter more than geographic representation in the upper chamber

Upper chambers have the potential to represent different geographic groups within a multinational state, and so accommodate minority identities. However, research by Mike Medeiros, Damien Bol and Richard Nadeau indicates that, though there is support for democratic reform of the House of Lords and Senate in Scotland and Quebec respectively, there is, in fact, greater support for central democratic reform than for subnational representation.

Beyond anecdotes on lowering the voting age: new evidence from Scotland

Beyond anecdotes on lowering the voting age: new evidence from Scotland

The question whether to lower the voting age in the UK has been the subject of ongoing debate. Jan Eichhorn (University of Edinburgh) writes that, although much of the discussion has been based around normative arguments and personal stories, it is crucial to review the evidence so that the empirical arguments prevail.

Just how much do voters trust Scottish parties’ social media posts?

Just how much do voters trust Scottish parties’ social media posts?

Do people believe the ‘facts’ circulated on social media by political parties? Graeme Baxter, Rita Marcella and Agnieszka Walicka showed Scottish voters five posts from different parties and asked them to rate their reliability. The Scottish Greens’ post was viewed as the most trustworthy, with participants identifying a wide gap between their experience of local politicians and the national debate. […]

Audit 2017: How democratic is the overall set-up of devolved government within the UK?

Audit 2017: How democratic is the overall set-up of devolved government within the UK?

Devolution in the UK encompasses a range of quite different solutions in three countries (Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland), plus lesser delegations of powers to London and some English cities. Designed to meet specific demands for national or regional control and to bring government closer to citizens, there are important issues around the stability and […]