The Audacity of Nope: Meaningful fiscal accountability remains a pipe dream for Wales

Welsh Labour has hitherto refused to accept income tax devolution, arguing accepting such responsibilities would be economically detrimental to Wales without a reform of the Barnett funding formula. Recent comments made by Owen Smith, Shadow Secretary of Wales, however, leaves little doubt about the overall attitude of Welsh Labour to the first report of the Silk Commission and fiscal accountability: they don’t want […]

The Austrian experience shows that there is little risk and much to gain from giving 16-year-olds the vote

Sadiq Khan recently called for the voting age to be lowered to 16 in the UK. Markus Wagner and Eva Zeglovits examine arguments for and against, arguing that it is a reform that carries few dangers and can motivate schools to reach out to and motivate young people. On 24 January, Labour’s shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan called for the voting age […]

In Britain’s first past the post electoral system, some votes are worth 22 times more than others

Britain’s electoral landscape is dominated by safe seats, with very little competition for votes taking place within them. New research, presented here by Chris Terry of the Electoral Reform society, shows the enormous differences between the ‘cost’ of votes in different constituencies, calling into question the premise that all votes are equal. This article was originally published on the Democratic Audit blog. A […]

The Commission on Devolution in Wales: Considering what, if any, the next steps in Wales’ journey of devolution should be

In 2010 the coalition government established the Commission on Devolution in Wales, tasked with considering Wales’ constitutional arrangements. Paul Silk, Chair of the Commission, describes its recommendation for a degree of self-financing for the National Assembly. In the second part of their work, due out in Spring of 2014, the Commission is examining the powers of the Assembly more generally, with a view […]

Parliament bounces back – how Select Committees have become a power in the land

Much reformist discussion of the House of Commons views it as an institution in permanent decline, operating in a museum-building with stuffy and out-of-date processes that MPs stubbornly refuse to change. But Patrick Dunleavy and Dominic Muir show that the reforms pushed through in 2009-10 by Tony Wright have already made a dramatic difference. The media visibility of the Commons’ […]

Take a closer look at the House of Lords: it may not be quite what you think

The House of Lords is reputed as an antiquated chamber of old white men wearing strange robes. Meg Russell dispels common misconceptions, showing how the Lords is quite diverse relative to the Commons and better reflects the country’s vote distribution. It is also politically assertive, thanks to the 1999 reform that removed hereditary members, and no longer conservative in nature. […]

The constitutional mess that now undoubtedly exists demands urgent review and reform

Matthew Flinders finds that it is not that people don’t care about British politics and its constitutional arrangements but that they simply don’t understand where power lies or why.This has resulted from reforms having been implemented in a manner that is bereft of any underlying logic. There is an urgent need to look across the constitutional landscape in order to assess what exists […]

In Depth: The Conservatives will suffer electorally from the Liberal Democrats’ revenge over failure to support House of Lords reform

Ron Johnston, Charles Pattie and David Rossiter consider the background to and likely electoral consequences of the delay in implementing agreed changes to Parliamentary constituency boundaries. The Conservatives had anticipated their chances of  victory in 2015 would be enhanced by the reduction of the number of MPs and the introduction of new rules for defining equal-sized constituencies. Because of a […]

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This work by British Politics and Policy at LSE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.