Josiah Mortimer's blog

14 Feb 2017

The inquiry on cutting the Lords risks looking like a stitch up

Back in December, the House of Lords voted unanimously to back the statement "that this House believes that its size should be reduced, and methods should be explored by which this could be achieved". It was a positive move, even if the rationale seemed slightly worrying – namely, staving off further and more substantial reform (see my blog for more on that). On Tuesday we submitted our evidence […]
7 Feb 2017

100,000 names for PR: let’s get fair votes on Parliament’s agenda

Sign Petition Four months ago, an electoral reform supporter started a petition on the government’s e-petition site to introduce a proportional voting system for Westminster elections. Today, it has over 60,000 signatures – and is growing by the day. With eight weeks to go, this petition from Makes Votes Matter (and backed by us at the ERS) has a real chance of reaching the 100,000 needed to be […]
31 Jan 2017

It turns out voters have faith in democracy. But we can do better

Graphic by the Electoral Commission. This article was first published by Democratic Audit From Donald Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud in the US, to the government’s plans for voter ID trials in the UK next year, the (often shaky) notion of widespread abuse in our democratic system has been on the agenda this past few months. So it’s interesting to see new research from the Electoral […]
4 Jan 2017

Compulsory voter ID would only add to Britain’s democratic deficit

In true festive spirit, the government chose December 27 to respond to former local government minister Eric Pickles’ proposals to tackle alleged voter fraud in UK elections. Sadly, the response isn’t much of a belated Christmas present for our poorly balanced democracy. Let’s start with a bit of context. In August, Sir Pickles’s report, Securing the ballot: review into electoral fraud , was […]
20 Dec 2016

Our top 10 most read blogs in 2016

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 […]
7 Dec 2016

Cutting numbers can’t be the end of the road for Lords reform

It’s a sad but true fact that, in general, it’s not good news that brings the need for Lords reform to the fore in British politics. But on Monday, a packed chamber of Peers gathered to discuss the need to cut the size of the upper house. And while few would have followed the whole debate , it was by all measures a lively discussion, with nearly 60 Peers putting their names down to speak. Because […]
30 Nov 2016

Wedi Brexit, mae’n hen bryd cael Senedd mwy a chryfach

'Boed i chi fyw mewn cyfnod difyr' medd yr hen dywediad Tseiniaidd. A ni all neb gwadu ein bod yn gwneud hynny ar hyn o bryd: mae Brexit, systemau pleidiol mewn fflwcs, a chyfansoddiad mewn cynnwrf i gyd yn marcio amser newydd ar gyfer y DU. Ond gyda phwerau allai fod yn arwyddocaol yn debygol o fynd i Gynulliad Cymru wedi i Brydain adael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd, a gyda’r Mesur Cymru ar hyn o bryd am […]
29 Nov 2016

After Brexit, it's time for a bigger, stronger Senedd

‘May you live in interesting times’ goes the old Chinese curse. And few could deny that we do: Brexit, a party system in flux, and a constitution in tumult all mark new times for the UK. But with potentially significant powers going to the Welsh Assembly after Britain leaves the EU, and with the current Wales Bill set to shake up the Senedd, it’s interesting times especially for Wales. With […]
3 Nov 2016

Electoral reform is making waves across the Atlantic

There’s something in the air, it seems. As I write, electoral reformers in Canada and the US have a real chance of securing a fairer voting system. As US voters prepare to pick their next President, there’s another interesting vote happening which we’re keeping a close eye on. In the state of Maine, voters are heading to the ballot box in five days to decide whether to adopt ‘ranked voting’ (the […]
31 Oct 2016

Calling for ‘progressive alliances’ is brave. But it should never be necessary

This article was first published at LabourList Last week, three Labour MPs did something that takes courage. In calling for Labour to stand aside in Richmond Park, they were pushing for a more collaborative form of politics – one of pluralism and inter-party cooperation. On Wednesday, they wrote for LabourList: “If there is any chance of kicking Goldsmith out of Parliament, the vote against him […]