Blogs

5 Sep 2016

Referendums are in vogue - so let's get them right

Referendums are becoming increasingly popular, internationally and domestically. Since the first UK referendum in 1975, the UK has held three nationally, and 11 in UK countries or English regions, with even more at a local level. And since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, two national referendums, a Scottish Independence referendum, and a Welsh devolution referendum have all been held. It […]
1 Sep 2016

Doing referendums differently

There’s no denying it: referendums have become a central feature of our politics. So it’s about time we started thinking seriously about how we should run them. Since 2011 we have had two UK-wide referendums (on voting reform and membership of the European Union), a Scottish independence referendum, and a Welsh referendum on devolution of powers. The UK is in an extended period of constitutional […]
25 Aug 2016

‘The Alternative’: Creative thinking for reformers

It’s only by working together that we can achieve the change we need. So it’s great to see that a healthy conversation has started on how to do this even better in the years ahead. Today sees the launch of a new book charting the way forward for progressive reform, featuring a wide range of democratic thinkers, activists and politicians. ‘ The Alternative: Towards a New Progressive Politics ’ , […]
17 Aug 2016

The House of Lords needs more than tinkering

Lords reform is back on the agenda. And given the frequency of scandals we see in the upper chamber, that’s no surprise. A couple of weeks ago, we revealed that David Cameron’s 189 appointments to the Lords have cost the taxpayer over £13m over the past six years, and his farewell gift of 16 Peers will set us back nearly half a million pounds per year. So it was good to see the Labour party […]
15 Aug 2016

Voter fraud: the nut and the sledgehammer

Last week, the Former Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, published his report into tackling electoral fraud in the UK. While we should of course take all instances of voter fraud very seriously, this report is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. The report was commissioned following the 2015 Tower Hamlets election court judgment, which saw the […]
8 Aug 2016

David Cameron’s Farewell Gift

Now that David Cameron has moved out of Number 10, the staggering bill he has left behind is starting to become apparent. Since 2010, he has appointed 205 new life peers to the House of Lords – unelected legislators who can change the very laws we all live under, yet remain entirely unaccountable to the British public. The final 16 who joined the second chamber on the former Prime Minister’s […]
2 Aug 2016

ERS Quiz the Green Party Leadership Candidates on Democratic Reform

The Green Party of England & Wales’ leadership (and Deputy Leadership) election is in full swing, with voting open until the 25 th August . At the ERS, we’re running Q&As with all the leadership and deputy leadership candidates – including for the upcoming UKIP leadership vote (plus, hopefully, a hustings for the Labour ballot – it’s all happening!). We’ve quizzed the candidates on voting […]
18 Jul 2016

Electoral Reform in Parliament again

Two of our issues are back in the House of Commons this week as Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, will be presenting her ‘Electoral Reform (Proportional Representation and Reduction of Voting Age)’ motion. Whilst ‘ Ten Minute Rule ’ motions of this kind rarely become law, they provide a chance for MPs to support a motion they care about and a chance for arguments of both […]
8 Jul 2016

Why electoral reform is a trade union issue

This is an article from Rory Scothorne and Josiah Mortimer ahead of the Unite union's policy conference starting this weekend. The text is from the ERS' new trade union leaflet ' Trade Unions and Electoral Reform ', and follows an overwhelming vote at last year's TUC conference to look again at the need for electoral reform. The image, from the British Library, is of a Chartist meeting held at […]
5 Jul 2016

Tactical Tories: The Conservative leadership election explained

Charley Jarrett is Policy & Public Affairs Officer at the Electoral Reform Society and Secretary of Conservative Action for Electoral Reform . On Thursday at midday nominations closed for the Conservative Party leadership contest. It’s been a week of high drama in politics – and many of you will have your views on the candidates (and those who aren’t candidates) – but how do Conservative […]