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 […]
17 Oct 2014

Rhodri Morgan on the constitution

"If we Brits could write a constitution for the Germans in 1947/8, why can't we do it for ourselves?" When it came to discussing our inaugural annual lecture themed around the next 15 years of devolution, it was pretty easy to decide who would be best suited for the task. Rhodri Morgan was First Minister of Wales for the majority of the 15 years of devolution. After a decade in office, his […]
29 Sep 2014

Cheryl Gillan on women in politics

This is a guest post by Cheryl Gillan, Conservative MP for Chesham and Amersham and former Secretary of State for Wales. The views, opinions and positions expressed within are those of the author alone and do not represent those of the Electoral Reform Society. When I was asked to write this blog, the invitation came as a result of my having been the first ever female Secretary of State for Wales […]
23 Jul 2014

Inside a rotten borough

This is a guest post by Craig Lawton, chairman of Swansea West Conservatives. The views, opinions and positions expressed within are those of the author alone and do not represent those of the Electoral Reform Society. A few weeks ago, while the majority of the population (or at least the majority of those that are interested in politics) had their eyes trained on the Newark by-election, a few […]
9 Jul 2014

The ailing dragon

There’s a crisis of confidence in politics, which cannot be allowed to continue. After countless scandals and inquiries, people are left thinking that politics isn’t working for them. The Hansard Society’s audit of political engagement found that ‘voters are disgruntled, disillusioned, and disengaged’. Low-turn out, falling levels of trust, and dramatically declining levels of party membership, […]
12 May 2014

One Direction for electing MEPs

We haven't had a high-profile defection in Welsh politics for a while, so it's unsurprising that the hearts of some were set aflutter when the former Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney, Amy Kitcher, was reported as saying that she intended to ‘lend’ her vote to Plaid Cymru in this month’s European elections. Amy’s position is yet another example of how our […]
18 Dec 2013

On dual candidacy, let's play nice

The UK Government has confirmed its intention to lift the ban on dual candidacy in its Draft Wales Bill . In a nutshell, dual candidacy is when an individual contests both a constituency seat and a party list (known in Wales as regional lists). Having a ban on dual candidacy is a curious situation stemming from Wales’s semi-proportional way of electing Assembly Members. Known as the Additional […]
24 Oct 2013

Wales and the Lobbying Bill

The potential effects of the Lobbying Bill on democracy at the UK level have been widely discussed, and it is difficult to cover the myriad problems the Bill poses in a single blog. This is a sign of the limitations of the Bill, not of bloggers. The specific issue I want to address is the danger that the Bill will have acute knock-on effects on the quality of democracy in the National Assembly […]
16 Oct 2013

Size Matters

How many politicians does it take to scrutinise a government? As it turns out, you need more than there are currently representing Welsh voters in Cardiff Bay. That’s why we are calling for an increase in the number of Assembly Members (AMs) from the current 60 to a more effective 100. Our new report, Size Matters (produced jointly with the UK’s Changing Union project), represents the first […]
17 Jul 2013

A multitude of voting systems

Guest writer Mike Hedges is Welsh Assembly member for Swansea East The voting system that we use has a major effect on the election result. Examples abound but the clearest is the National Assembly for Wales system. If the Assembly were to be elected solely by the First Past the Post (FPTP) electoral system by Welsh constituencies, the results would provide 28 Labour and 12 non-Labour members (6 […]