Author Archives: Mathew Lawrence

The Independent View: Political inequality threatens constitutional holy cows

ipprIt is time to put some holy constitutional cows out to pasture. The traditional liberal reform agenda remains necessary, but it is no longer enough to reanimate our democracy. Too many of its solutions remain insensitive to how class and demography intimately shape how our political system operates; structural political inequalities in who participates and has voice will not end with a codified constitution and a more proportionate electoral system. Liberals of all party stripes and none need a new political agenda squarely aimed at reversing ingrained political inequality, a phenomenon that threatens the integrity of British democracy.

Last week, President Obama said: “it would be transformative if everybody voted. If everyone voted, that would completely change the political map in this country.” He’s not wrong. “The people who tend not to vote are young, they’re lower income, they’re skewed more heavily towards immigrant groups and minority groups,” he said. “There’s a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls.” America is already a divided democracy, and the UK is headed in the same direction.

Political inequality is where despite procedural equality in the democratic process, certain groups, classes or individuals nonetheless have greater influence over and participate more in political decision-making processes, with policy outcomes systematically weighted in their favour. As such, it undermines a central democratic ideal: that all citizens, regardless of status, should be given equal consideration in and opportunity to influence collective political decision-making.

Posted in The Independent View | Tagged and | 16 Comments

Independent View: Cable should revisit Mill’s Principles of Political Economy

John Stuart MillCable should revisit Mill’s Principles of Political Economy

With new analysis this week showing as many as 50,000 women lose their jobs each year while taking time off to have a baby, insecurity appears to be the new normal for British workers.

From mothers losing out whilst on maternity leave, to the rocketing growth of zero hour contracts on which as many as 1m people are now employed, millions of people face instability at work. These bad employment practices combined with the on-going squeeze on wages means that over half of people say they struggle to keep up with bills. As conference approaches, Vince Cable would do well to consider these issues as matters of pressing importance.

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Tagged and | 11 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMichael BG 31st May - 2:04am
    Ed Davey suggested doubling Statutory Sick Pay to £220 a week and increasing out of work benefits “to £150 per week for a single person...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 30th May - 11:45pm
    Peter Martin, this ft article explains why a sharp fall in sterling has seen no improvement in the trade balance https://www.ft.com/content/615ae7ba-b2b8-11e9-bec9-fdcab53d6959 "Currency is just one...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 30th May - 11:17pm
    @ Joe B, I'm not opposed to capital spending per se. If the Govt needs to build a bridge or a railway then that's what...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 30th May - 11:06pm
    Indeed, David, thank you - I have hopes that Sir Ed may already have come out as a left-leaning Liberal, in view of the letter...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 30th May - 10:54pm
    The issues of social care have been brought firmly into public attention by the sad neglect of sufficient protection of care and nursing home residents...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 30th May - 10:43pm
    @ Joe B, "A trade surplus might result from a country attempting to depreciate its exchange rate ..." "Might"?? When doesn't that happen with a...