• House of Lords (1)
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    A small British Senate is the best alternative to the bloated and undemocratic House of Lords

A small British Senate is the best alternative to the bloated and undemocratic House of Lords

House of Lords reform was scuppered in 2011 when the Conservatives opted not to back the Liberal Democrats’ plan in sufficient numbers. With David Cameron recently opting to appoint a new tranche of Lords and bringing the total size of the chamber to the highest level since 1999, talk of reform has returned. Stephen Barber argues that despite some welcome steps […]

  • Houses of Parliament
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    Elective dictatorship? The democratic mandate concept has become dangerously over-extended

Elective dictatorship? The democratic mandate concept has become dangerously over-extended

Against the background of a general breakdown of public confidence in the political elite, politicians on both left and right have seen themselves not as part of a broader governing elite but as outsiders, empowered by their democratic mandate to shake up government and make it more responsive to the wishes of the people. Nat le Roux argues that taken to its […]

  • constituency boundaries
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    How to balance the competing demands of arithmetic, continuity and geography in designing constituencies

How to balance the competing demands of arithmetic, continuity and geography in designing constituencies

The review of Parliamentary constituencies that ended prematurely in 2013 would have resulted in most of the 600 seats contested at the 2015 general election being very different from the current 650. Another review – again reducing the number of MPs to 600 – is scheduled to start in 2016, preparatory for the 2020 general election. But if the […]

  • House of Commons
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    If we wish to hold MPs to account through some form of recall, then we should at least identify what we think they should be doing

If we wish to hold MPs to account through some form of recall, then we should at least identify what we think they should be doing

With a Recall Bill featuring in the Queen’s Speech, now is the time to ask the question whether, in this case, no legislation is better than some legislation (given the specific provisions of this Bill). Two other options have their respective supporters inside parliament and are likely to feature in deliberations upon the Bill. David Judge argues that both […]

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 […]

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