ERS Scotland

20 Apr 2016

Why the SNP are Scotland’s new predominant party

On Wednesday, ERS Scotland launched a major new report, One Party To Rule Them All: Does Scotland Have A Predominant-Party Problem? . That concept of a “predominant-party system” – popularised by the political scientist Giovanni Sartori - is a bit of a mouthful, but it’s an important one. It certainly doesn’t mean we’re turning into some kind of North Korea-style one-party state, as some of the […]
4 Mar 2016

Four Reasons Conservatives Should Support Electoral Reform

The Scottish Conservative Party conference kicks off today, and one of the highlights will be the launch of a new pamphlet, “Light Blue Ideas”, edited by Professor Alan Convery. Alan is a lecturer in politics at Edinburgh University, and has brought together a stellar cast of policy experts and academics to propose ways in which the Scottish Conservatives might modernise themselves to contend for […]
12 Feb 2016

Charities have nothing to fear from the Scottish Lobbying Bill

This is a guest blog - the opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Electoral Reform Society. MSc student Megan Elliot, who is conducting research on lobbying disclosure and its impact on small organisations, responds to fears that changes in lobbying transparency could cause a 'democratic chill' for small groups. This is reposted from CommonSpace. […]
7 Jan 2016

Scotland needs a stronger Lobbying Bill

Remember the phone-hacking scandal? It seems long ago, but we shouldn’t forget how much we learned about the ways big private interests try to influence policy. The Leveson Inquiry dug up all sorts of stories about News International’s lobbying of senior cabinet ministers involved in Murdoch’s BSkyB bid. In their book on lobbying, Tamasin Cave and Andrew Rowell describe the relationship between […]
17 Sep 2015

The Scottish people should be involved in the devolution debate

Yesterday (Wednesday 16th September) the Scottish Parliament debated ‘Scotland’s Future: Democracy and Devolution’. One year on from the independence referendum, and with the Scotland Bill due to go to report stage in the next few weeks, this debate offered parliamentarians the chance to reflect on the debate in the run up to September 18th 2014, and to consider progress on promised further […]
24 Aug 2015

Are the SNP about to break the Holyrood voting system (again)?

This article was co-authored by ERS Scotland's Juliet Swann and Danny Zinkus Sutton from Unlock Democracy Pollsters are perhaps not to be relied upon after their predictions for the General Election earlier in the year. Yet, despite scepticism, the polls for Scotland turned out to be largely accurate. And, as we reflected on in the week before the election, the predictions weren’t terribly […]
29 Apr 2015

What’s happening in Scotland?

If the polls are to be believed, next Thursday Scotland will vote to send more SNP MPs to the House of Commons than ever before. Why is what used to be a stable voting pattern seeing such a massive change? Since devolution, or rather since 2003 when they got to grips with voting in the devolved election, Scottish voters have behaved differently when voting for Westminster than for Holyrood. […]
27 Nov 2014

After Smith

Today's Smith Commission report will have a huge impact on the democratic landscape of the UK. It gives Scotland a whole range of new powers, as well as paving the way for a real improvement to Scottish democracy: votes at 16 for Holyrood elections. But it also raises fundamental questions about the future shape of the United Kingdom, and about where power should lie. We believe these questions […]
5 Sep 2014

A new Scotland

As a politically active individual and an elections geek you’d think I would be excited beyond reason about the independence referendum. In actual fact, I have found the debate to be depressingly repetitive, providing few answers and repeating political dogma. I wish it would end. But I do see a light at the end of the tunnel. And that light is the exceptional involvement of Scotland’s citizens […]
13 Sep 2013

An antidote to "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo"

We are grateful to Shelagh McKinlay for sharing this post which originally appeared at The Electoral Reform Society Scotland (ERS Scotland) has just published a report, “Democracy Max: an Inquiry into the Future of Scottish Democracy”. The report follows a year long process of discussion and deliberation which set out to explore a vision for a good […]