Tag Archives: hansard society

What Simon Hughes said about coalition politics in 2008

In 2008 – when the general assumption was that the Tories would win an overall majority – the Hansard Society published a collection of essays on the impact of a balanced parliament on British politics, titled No Overall Control.

One of its contributors was Simon Hughes, then the Lib Dems’ shadow leader of the House, now our deputy leader. So how does what Simon said over two years ago about a hypothetical future measure up to what’s happening in the current reality?

Pretty well in most respects is the answer. While arguing that a balanced parliament was a less-than-likely eventuality, …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

David Howarth on Parliamentary Reform

In case you missed it, David Howarth MP gave a speech last week, as part of the Hansard Society’s Parliamentary Reform Lecture Series.

The speech includes a discussion of the various systems that need reform: the government, the judiciary, political parties and the media.

David Howarth also covers Lords reform, electoral reform and the loss of trust in our political institutions. He emphasises the need to restore power to local government. He cautions that the General Election will not be enough to end this crisis, which has partly been brought about by MPs’ misuse of expenses.

He ends by saying:

These reforms would not

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

Opinion: Could low voter registration cost the Lib Dems seats?

The Hansard Society’s latest Audit of Political Engagement has added to the view that there is likely to be another risible turnout at the impending General Election. The study finds that only 54% say they are certain to vote.

The Hansard Society have offered some ideas about how to boost turnout. They suggest that more should be done to target groups such as the ‘disenchanted and mistrustful’. Apparently, a quarter of adults, mostly young and working-class, fall into this category of voters who distrust politicians but not yet entirely hostile.

But a report from the Electoral Commission would suggest that efforts to get these …

Posted in Election law, General Election and Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

Hear David Howarth give lecture on Parliamentary reform

As party of the Parliamentary Reform Lecture Series organised by the Hansard Society, David Howarth MP (Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Solicitor General) will give a talk examining the Liberal Democrat’s priorities for reform of Parliament.

It’s at 6pm on March 15th. It’s being held at the Houses of Parliament and is open to the public. Please email [email protected] to register.

The talk is one of a series the Hansard Society is running (one each from each of the main parties) to draw attention to the fact that there is still much progress to be made in the area …

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What do the public want politicians to get up to online?

The Hansard Society has a new report out which asks the public what they want out of politicians and the political system online.

Although many studies have looked at what politicians do or don’t do online, those looking at what the public actually wants are rather rarer. That makes this a particularly welcome report and is based on:

Two samples, the first is a national survey of individuals who are already online and the second a group of ‘digital leaders’; individuals with a strong interest in social media and politics. The first group is representative of digital Britain and the second group are the ‘early adopters’ of social media and digital technologies.

In many ways the report paints a positive picture, concluding that the country has:

An online population who are actively involved in civic and political life and who see the internet as beneficial for this.

However, this optimism should be tempered with the knowledge that other research has often seen people draw a distinction between being interested in issues and seeing the connection between them and voting, political parties or election results. Although the report has apparently very healthy figures for the proportion of people who have got engaged with the political system, this includes registering to vote – an important and welcome step, but one whose inclusion boosts the headline figures.

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

First-Past-The-Post: the ‘safe seats’ system that breeds lazy, corrupt MPs

Calls for the First-Past-The-Post voting system to be abolished in the UK were given a real kick-start last year after it became clear – thanks to the work of Lib Dem blogger Mark Thompson – that it was MPs with large majorities who were more likely to be implicated in cheating the expenses system.

It’s obvious if you think about it: if you were given life tenure in a safe seat where the Labour/Tory majorities are weighed not counted, how concerned would you be with the irksome business of being transparent and accountable? To put it bluntly – as …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 21 Comments

Two new reports into online politics

First up, there’s a report from the Hansard Society which has surveyed MPs and their use of the internet (“A study into how MPs use digital media to communicate with their constituents”):

Usage of internet by MPs - Hansard Society graph

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , , , , , and | 1 Comment

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