Who runs Britain?

20 Apr 2015

Taking your time

Some things can be done in a hurry, but forming a Government certainly shouldn't be one of them. In our recent report, Working Together , we set out the guidelines for forming power-sharing arrangements based on the experience of successful coalition and minority governments in Scotland, Wales and across the world. In 2010, the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives attempted to plan five years of […]
coalition governements
23 Mar 2015

Working together

What is the best way for parties to share power? How can you make minority government work? And how do you negotiate a successful coalition? These are some of the questions likely to be at the forefront of the party leaders' minds over the next couple of months. As we near a General Election which is almost certain to produce a hung parliament, now is the perfect time to draw on politicians’ rich […]
Keys to the house of lords
23 Mar 2015

Purchasing peerages

What many already knew about the Lords has just been confirmed by academics. A new working paper from the University of Oxford’s Department of Economics puts it simply: the “relationship between donations and nominations [for peerages] has been found to be significant”. The report has caused shockwaves. Entitled “Is There a Market for Peerages?...A Study in the Link Between Party Political […]
13 Mar 2015

Women in Westminster

One of the chief reasons why people are increasingly alienated from our politics is the fact that Westminster looks so little like the people it is there to represent. At the moment, barely one in five MPs are women, which simply isn’t good enough. We desperately need to see more women in Parliament, and a general election gives parties a chance to correct the imbalance. A new Electoral Reform […]
10 Mar 2015

Attack Ads

Primaries and presidential style television debates are two features of American politics which have already made their way to the UK (although it’s anyone’s guess if the TV debates are here to stay). So it’s no surprise that the well-established American culture of ‘attack ads’ - typically 30 second films that are mini character assassinations of a political opponent – is also taking hold, with […]
3 Mar 2015

Shrinking the Lords

The Lord Speaker of the House of Lords proposed an interesting idea in the Telegraph yesterday. In a comment piece for the paper, Baroness Frances D'Souza argues that the upper chamber should be ‘one in, one out’ to stop its further expansion – a sort of ‘stasis through retirement’ approach. She’s certainly right to note that the House of Lords is far too large. Appointments since May 2010 have […]
23 Feb 2015

Commit, don't cop out

Today saw the broadcasters agree – by lot – who would host each of the three upcoming televised General Election debates. It’s a welcome development in what has been a fairly chaotic few months for them, as they seek agreement on who will be on the platform, when to host them, who will moderate them, etc. But finally we have some closure. Or do we? Sadly the parties’ commitment to the debates […]
19 Feb 2015

Deal or no deal

The public are sick to death of party funding scandals. Over the last two weeks we have been exposed to yet more findings about the suspect dealings of party donors. It brings our democracy into disrepute, and we have to do something about it. Today the ERS publishes a report (called Deal or No Deal: how to put an end to party funding scandals ) which sets out the scale of public anger about the […]
13 Feb 2015

Scandal after scandal

Party financing scandals are in the news again – this time over parties' links to allegedly tax-avoiding party donors. Such scandals rarely surprise these days, but the impact can only be to further reduce people’s trust in democracy and the party system. And it’s already very low. Instead of pushing to tackle the dire state of donations however, the parties appear to prefer mud-slinging, […]
19 Jan 2015

Permission to share power?

When it comes to forming a coalition, is it better to get your party on side before committing, or to take the plunge without consultation? The Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps has recently said that Tory MPs will be given a role in any new coalition agreement after this May’s election. This decision has no doubt been influenced by experience of coalition over the last five years. Time […]