It’s been a busy year for the ERS – from a big set of elections in May, to the EU vote, Lords scandals (an annually-guaranteed affair, it seems), voter registration drives, party funding spats, and – very positively – steps forward along the path to PR.
But what were you, our dear reader, most interested in this year? Here’s our top 10 count-down…
10. First up, our unreformed House of Lords remained a big talking point in 2016, with our report ‘House of Lords: Fact vs Fiction’ still sparking interest, despite it being written last year. Leaving out 2015 blogs then, our Q&A with this summer’s contenders to lead the Green Party came in at number 10.
9. This year we stepped up our work to get trade unions on board with fair votes. Our article ‘Why electoral reform is a trade union issue’ lays out why it’s time for the labour movement to get behind PR.
8. While it dropped off others’ radars, we continued to shine a light on the changes to parliamentary boundaries and the number of MPs. So in September we laid out seven reasons why ‘This boundary review risks skewing our democracy. It’s time to think again.’
7. We had a summer of party leadership elections in the UK – the Labour Party being no exception. We spoke to both Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith about their plans for democratic reform should they win. A good blog to return to now that the contest is over!
6. Our comprehensive take-down of 2015’s woefully disproportionate General Election proved a popular hit again this year. ‘A System in Crisis’ lays out what we found when we shined a light on First Past the Post last May – and it ain’t pretty.
4. We conducted a huge amount of polling and research in the run-up to the EU referendum – much of which proved essential reading for anyone following the vote and its democratic defects. In this blog, we revealed that at the end of February, 76% of people said they had not been contacted at all about the EU referendum – plus some other interesting titbits…
3. Our landmark report on the EU referendum, ‘It’s Good to Talk: Doing Referendums Differently After the EU Vote’, caused a good stir, and got people talking about what went wrong in the Brexit debate and what we can learn for the future. What can be done? Well, you’ll have to read the blog…
2. You might be spotting a trend now – the EU vote was a biggie, for the ERS and, obviously, Britain. But we noticed a serious risk that politicians would say, ‘now that the vote’s over, let’s leave it all in the PM’s hands’. We say that’s nonsense. Here’s why ‘the referendum can't be the end of the road for public engagement.’
1. Aaaaannnnnd finally: the biggest democratic event of the calendar across the pond was always going to be a hot topic for us too. So, Trump won the Presidency, right? Well, sort of. Hillary Clinton actually got more than 2.8m more votes than him, but was blocked through a pretty archaic constitutional process. To fittingly finish our round up, here’s our most-read of the year: ‘How Trump won the Presidency despite not winning the most votes.’
Thanks for reading and sticking with us this year! Here’s to an equally productive and democratically-jam-packed 2017.
If you want to support our work next year, please consider donating. Every donation helps us to build a better democracy in Britain.
Finally, a big merry happy Christmas and New Year from the whole ERS team!