Monthly Archives: August 2010

Democracies with proportional voting systems are ‘good citizens’ in global institutions. So will changing its electoral rules make Britain behave better in international forums?

Some liberal democracies are better international citizens than others. New research by Stephanie Rickard shows that the more proportional a country’s voting system is, the more likely it is to fully honour its international commitments on world trade issues. If the British public approves a shift to Alternative Vote elections in the May 2011 referendum, it may not very […]

Britain’s trade depends on the sea. In the coming public expenditure cuts we cannot afford to ‘sign off’ from maritime security and naval defence

The defence review is occurring at a time of extreme financial pressure at home and considerable military risk in Afghanistan. Gwyn Prins and Sir Jeremy Blackham argue that geopolitics prescribe a primarily maritime framework for the Strategic Defence Review. The core strategic challenges remain naval ones, yet the Royal Navy has become dangerously weak. Urgent steps must be taken […]

Australia’s hung parliament, and the IFS weighs in on the budget – round up of political blogs for 21 – 27 August

Chris Gilson and Paul Rainford take a look at the week in political blogging.


Dr Madsen Pirie, guest blogging at the Adam Smith Institute’s blog, reviews the first 100 days of the coalition government and finds that it has ‘outperformed most expectations’, while Paul Linford finds the government to be an heir to Blair and to Thatcher, and Paul […]

An end to ‘tenancy for life’ in the social housing sector will not solve current acute shortages. The UK simply needs more homes for social housing tenants

Social housing is still an important part of the way we live in the UK – more than one in six homes in Britain are owned by local authorities or social landlords. However, the system has been gradually eroded over the past three decades, and we are now at a point where demand for social housing greatly exceeds supply. […]

Tactical voting can still occur under the Alternative Vote, and it may lead to unexpected outcomes

Next spring UK voters will get the chance to introduce the Alternative Vote system for Westminster elections. A commonly repeated claim is that the system would do away with the tactical voting that many voters resort to under the current First Past the Post system. Yet Roger Mortimore demonstrates that this received wisdom is not true. Instead new forms […]

Cameron’s shoving back of the state

The relatively short history of the new coalition government is already one of radical change. Massive changes to the NHS, public spending, cuts in regulation and a move to localism all point to a a smaller state and less top-down intervention in the future, writes Tony Travers. This article first appeared in the Financial Times on the 17th […]

Every key ‘Westminster model’ country now has a hung Parliament, following Australia’s ‘dead heat’ election

The Australian general election held under the Alternative Vote has produced an evenly divided Parliament where a handful of independent MPs from the outback now hold the balance. As a result there are now no large ‘Westminster model’ countries left in the world with single party majority governments. Patrick Dunleavy reviews the lessons for the UK and for the […]

A big week for Clegg and 100 days for the coalition– round up of political blogs for 14 – 20 August

Chris Gilson and Paul Rainford take a look at the week in political blogging.


Paul Linford thinks that the coalition will collapse before the right re-aligns, and Though Cowards Flinch has a critique of contemporary Conservatism, while Carl Packman at Liberal Conspiracy says that David Cameron will ‘fail’ to revive Conservatism.

Sam Dale at Labour Uncut wants Labour to […]