The UK is facing a number of structural weaknesses that threaten future growth and productivity. Tackling those structural weaknesses requires looking at the institutions, processes and incentives that underpin the formulation of policy, writes Miguel Coelho. His research finds that the performance of the UK Westminster model is, in some respects and compared to some other countries, disappointing, and that the outlook for […]
The Constitution Unit has published a new report arguing that the time has come to regulate prime ministerial appointments to the House of Lords – to prevent the chamber’s size escalating further, and prevent government manipulating its membership. The report argues that, despite large-scale Lords reform being awaited, this step is urgent ahead of the general election in May […]
With the SNP surging in Scotland and the break up of the union as plausible as it has ever been. What are the different options for configuring the UK state? In this article, Andrew Blick writes about what the constitutional future might look like.
Inbuilt within the United Kingdom is the potential for instability. It is a multi-nation state, like Belgium, Canada, Spain […]
Democratic pressure is building, cracks and fault-lines are emerging and at some point the British political elite will have to let the people speak about where power should lie and how they should be governed. ‘Speak’ in this sense does not relate to the casting of votes — the General Election will not vent the pressure — but to […]
The coalition introduced the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act in 2011, reducing the ability of incumbent governments to schedule elections at discretion and for electorally opportunistic reasons. As a result, some Conservative MPs want to repeal the Act. But fixed-term Parliaments are good for UK democracy and the Act should stay, argues Petra Schleiter.
When the current coalition government introduced the Fixed-term Parliaments Act […]
Lower the voting age to 16? Yes please, but only if accompanied by civic and democratic education and a commitment to take young people’s concerns seriously
Ed Miliband promised that a Labour government would extend the franchise to 16 and 17 year-olds within one year of the general election. The Conservatives, meanwhile, oppose lowering the voting age. In this article, and following on the heels of our recent podcast on the issue, Bart Cammaerts, Michael Bruter, Shaku Banaji, Sarah Harrison and Nick Anstead summarise research they conducted regarding the voting age. They argue […]
Greater Manchester will become the next urban area in the UK to directly elect a mayor, following Bristol who first elected a mayor in 2012. One of the frustrations in the debate around directly elected mayors, however, is the lack of empirical evidence around which to evaluate their impact. Here, David Sweeting presents some early analysis of data from both before and after […]
The United Kingdom is a democracy, but nonetheless has an unelected and hereditary Head of State in Queen Elizabeth II. Eventually, she will give way to her son, Prince Charles. Richard Ridyard argues that this state of affairs cannot be justified, and that the continuing presence of a monarch – particularly an influential one – is incompatible with democratic maturity.
The spectacle […]