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Wales' New Political Map: Maths Matters, Communities Don't

11th January 2012
11 Jan 2012
Tags: 
wales
boundary review
constituency size
women's representation

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Wales' New Political Map: Maths Matters, Communities Don't

The Electoral Reform Society Wales has commented on the publication of new Welsh parliamentary boundaries. [1]

The Society has attacked the thankless task handed to the Boundary Commission for Wales. It is now calling on the UK Government to reassess the extremely tight variance of 5% between constituency sizes – which has meant many Westminster seats will cross and break up traditional communities in favour of large new artificial constituencies such as “North Powys”, and the “Heads of the Valleys”.

Unlike changes to Scotland’s political map, no Welsh seats have been protected under these proposals.

Stephen Brooks, Director of the Electoral Reform Society Wales said:

If Wales’ new boundaries seem to fly in the face of common sense then responsibility rests with the UK government.

The Boundary Commission for Wales was dealt a bad hand. The UK Government’s 'One Size Fits All' approach was never going to work for Wales. The UK Government chose to ignore the existence of our mountains and valleys in order to fit a bureaucratic formula. It’s a vision of equality where the maths matters but our communities don’t.

Key Points

  • The Boundary Commission for Wales has published detailed proposals reducing the number of Welsh MPs from 40 to 30.
  • No Welsh seats have been protected under the proposals. Exceptions have been made for two of Scotland’s seats - Na h-Eileanan an Iar (the Western Isles) and Orkney and Shetland.
  • The constituencies must now have a number of electors set at between 72,810 and 80,473 – the maximum ‘5% variance’. A wider variance would have allowed the Commission to be more sympathetic to geography and traditional communities. Conservative cabinet minister Baroness Warsi has already dubbed the revised constituency map of England both "mad and insane".
  • It is likely that the cut in the number of seats will disproportionately effect the proportion of women elected to parliament from Wales in the next UK general election.

ENDS

Notes to Editors
The Electoral Reform Society Wales aims to build a better democracy by ensuring that the electoral processes of Westminster & Wales are fair and accountable. ERS Wales’ report on the Conservatives’ “Reduce and Equalise” policy, including our own boundary proposals in the appendix, can be found here

Map Gwleidyddol Newydd Cymru: “Maths sy’n Bwysig, nid Cymunedau”

Mae Cymdeithas Newid Etholiadol Cymru wedi ymateb i gyhoeddi ffiniau seneddol newydd Cymru.

Mae’r Gymdeithas wedi datgan gwrthwynebiad i’r “dasg diddiolch” a osodwyd ar Gomisiwn Ffiniau i Gymru. Mae’r Gymdeithas nawr yn galw ar y llywodraeth i ail-asesu ei pholisi o adael gwahaniaeth o dim ond 5% yn maint gwahanol etholaethau – fformiwla hynod dynn sy’n golygu fod nifer o seddi San Steffan yn croesi ar draws neu’n torri drwy cymunedau i ffafrio etholaethau mawr artiffisial fel “Gogledd Powys”, a “Pen y Cymoedd”.
Yn wahanol i newidiadau ym map wleidyddol yr Alban, nid oes unryw un o seddi Cymru wedi’i amddiffyn rhag y argymhellion yma.

Dywedodd Stephen Brooks, Cyfarwyddwr Cymdeithas Newid Etholiadol Cymru:

Os yw ffiniau gwleidyddol newydd Cymru i weld yn mynd yn erbyn synnwyr cyffredin mae’r cyfrifoldeb ar Lywodraeth San Steffan.

Cafodd y Comisiwn Ffiniau i Gymru dasg diddiolch i’w gyflawni. Doedd agwedd “un maint i bawb” y Llywodraeth byth am weithio i Gymru. Dewisodd Llywodraeth San Steffan anwybyddu bodolaeth ein mynyddoedd a chymoedd i ffitio fformiwla biwrocrataidd. Mae’n weledigaeth o gydraddoldeb ble mae maths yn hollbwysig, ond nid ein cymunedau.”

Pwyntiau Allweddol

  • Mae Comisiwn Ffiniau i Gymru newydd gyhoeddi argymhellion manwl yn torri nifer ASau Cymru o 40 i 30.
  • Nid oes yr un sedd yng Nghymru wedi’i amddiffyn rhag y argymhellion rhain. Cafodd eithriadau eu gwneud i ddau sedd yn yr Alban – Na h-Eileanan an Iar ac Orkney a Shetland.
  • Mae’n rhaid i’r etholaethau nawr gael nifer o etholwyr rhwn 72,810 a 80,473 – y gwahaniaeth fwyaf bosib o 5% o’r maint cyfartal. Mi fuasai gwahaniaeth o ganran uwch wedi galluogi y Comisiwn i fod yn fwy ymatebol i ddaearyddiaeth a chymunedau. Mae’r gweinidog cabinet Ceidwadol, Barwnes Warsi, esisoes wedi galw’r map newydd yn Lloegr yn “mad and insane”.
  • Mae’n debygol y bydd y toriad yn nifer y seddi yn cael effaith anghyfrannol ar y nifer o ferched fydd yn cael eu ethol i Dy’r Cyffredin o Gymru yn yr etholiad nesaf.


Nodiadau i Olygyddion

Mae Cymdeithas Newid Etholiadol Cymru yn ymgyrchu i adeiladu gwell ddemocratiaeth drwy sicrhau fod prosesau San Steffan a Chymru yn deg ac yn atebol. Mae adroddiad CNE Cymru ar bolisi “Torri a Chysoni” y Ceidwadwyr, gan gynnwys ein argymellion ffiniau ni yn yr appendics, i’w weld yma.

Vote change will 'damage democracy and devolution'

22nd November 2011
22 Nov 2011
Tags: 
fptp
first past the post
welsh assembly
wales
research

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New figures released by the Electoral Reform Society Wales (ERS) show the extent to which Welsh Labour would disproportionately benefit if First Past The Post was exclusively adopted for future Assembly elections.

The figures are contained in a report² produced by the Society in conjunction with the Aberystwyth Institute of Welsh Politics and Prof. Roger Scully. The report details what the results in the 2011 Assembly election could have looked like under different voting systems.

The issue of electoral reform for the National Assembly is back on the agenda after the Secretary of State for Wales indicated she may change how AMs are elected.

The UK Government is likely to propose a reduction in the number of constituency AMs from 40 to 30, in line with the reduction in numbers of Welsh MPs³. To compensate, more AMs would be elected using the regional list system – 30, instead of the current 20.

Responding to this proposal, Welsh Labour has stated that it would prefer all AMs be elected by First Past The Post – two from each of the 30 constituencies with a system known as Two Member First Past The Post.

However, as ERS research reveals, Two Member First Past The Post would deny thousands of Welsh voters a voice in the National Assembly and disproportionately benefit Labour.

Steve Brooks, Wales Director of the Electoral Reform Society said:

Our research shows that Labour would have won nearly 70% of the seats in the National Assembly, had the last election been fought using Two Member First Past the Post. This is despite the fact that Labour secured around 40% of the vote.

“While this may be good news for aspiring Labour candidates, its bad news for Welsh voters. Two Member First Past The Post would rob thousands of voters of a choice and voice.

Over half of Welsh voters chose the Tories, Plaid Cymru or the Liberal Democrats in May this year, yet under Two Member First Past The Post, those parties would be left with less than a third of the seats in the Assembly. That would be damaging for democracy and damaging for devolution.”

The research from the Electoral Reform Society Wales also reveals how the different parties would fare if Wales used the Single Transferable Vote, the system used to choose MPs in Ireland.[4]

Professor Roger Scully, Director of the Institute of Welsh Politics, stated:

The Assembly voting system has already been discussed in detail by the independent Richard Commission. The Commissioners, chosen on a cross-party basis and looking at the evidence, came to the decision that 80-member STV was the most suitable voting system for a Welsh Assembly with legislative powers”.

Steve Brooks added:

Had the recommendations been implemented Labour would have secured 40 of the 80 seats. Voters would have had more of choice over who represents them locally, and who governs them nationally”.

Commenting on the row between the UK and Welsh governments on Assembly voting reform, Steve Brooks said:

A proportional system is part of the devolution package and it’s been endorsed in two referendums. How we choose our politicians is fundamental to how our democracy works. Any change to the voting system should be carefully considered, above day-to-day party politics. There needs to be a genuine cross-party dialogue with the people of Wales”.

ENDS

Download the full report here: Welsh Election Report (English language version) or here: Welsh Election Report (Welsh language version)

For more information or for interview requests you can contact:

Stephen Brooks stephen.brooks@electoral-reform.org.uk, 07525619622

Owain ap Gareth owain.apgareth@electoral-reform.org.uk, 07771661802

ERS London Media Office 020 7202 8601

Summary of Findings

The report examines the outcomes of 30 constituencies with two Assembly Members (AMs) elected in each under First Past the Post (FPTP), the Single Transferable Vote (STV) and the Additional Member System (AMS): See graphs and tables of the projected election results.

Notes to Editors

1. The Electoral Reform Society Wales aims to build a better democracy by ensuring that the electoral processes of Westminster & Wales are fair and accountable. Find out more at www.electoral-reform.org.uk/wales
2. The report, written by elections experts, academic Prof. Roger Scully and ERS Wales’ researcher Dr Owain ap Gareth, the report compares projections of what the results could have looked like under different voting systems and questions the impact of the proposed Boundary Changes. The report strongly recommends that any proposed change to the voting system would also need to take into account whether it is necessary or desirable to link the National Assembly for Wales constituencies to Westminster constituencies.
3. The boundary changes instigated by the UK Government propose to cut the number of Welsh MPs from 40 to 30.

Scottish Democracy failing to realise dream of devolution

15th November 2011
15 Nov 2011
Tags: 
scotland
devolution
multi-party
stv
single transferable vote
voting systems

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Scottish Democracy failing to realise dream of devolution

With Scottish politics now dominated by two big parties, small parties under pressure and women’s representation on the wane, the Electoral Reform Society say action is now needed to ensure that Scotland’s political system can continue to meet the original aspirations and expectations of the advocates of devolution.

In their new ERS report, Prof John Curtice and Dr Martin Steven look at the election’s successes and failures and see what lessons can be learned for the future of Scottish democracy.

Professor John Curtice said:

The widespread expectation that the Scottish Parliament would be a multi-party parliament in which no party would ever have an overall majority has been dashed.

“In truth, although the electoral system bequeathed to the Scottish Parliament by Labour was far more proportional than First Past the Post, it was never one that was best fitted to the realisation of that original expectation. It still favours larger parties over smaller ones, who indeed are actually being discouraged from standing in the constituency contests.

“The fit between reality and expectation could be made closer with relative ease. The trouble is, such a step would require politicians in larger parties to be willing to help those in smaller ones – and perhaps that will still seem like a step too far?

Willie Sullivan, Director of Electoral Reform Society Scotland said:

Just because Scotland’s modern Electoral System makes Westminster look like a tribal council doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try and make it better.

“The concentration of power into two large parties in our parliament is of course better than power being concentrated in one. That’s what happened in Local Government under First-Past-the-Post before 2007.
“Concentrations of power are never good. We are convinced our democracy would work better with more parties in the system so that more voices are represented and heard and that power is shared, checked and balanced.

“The bias against smaller parties is one concern arising from this study of our election system in 2011 another is the power handed to party machines in deciding who goes where on the list and so in many cases who gets a seat. If a full move to STV is not available then we urge politicians to consider an open list system for that part of AMS’

The 2011 Scottish Parliament election by Prof John Curtice & Dr Martin Steven Is available for download here

The report is being launched at 6pm on 15th November 2011 in Committee Room 5 of the Scottish Parliament.
RSVP to Willie Sullivan, 07940523842 willie.sullivan@electoral-reform.org.uk
Professor Curtice will make a presentation on his findings, Chaired by Katie Ghose CEO of the ERS, followed by questions and discussion

Notes to editors

  • The AMS system is discouraging smaller parties from contesting single member constituencies.
  • In 2011, a majority of constituency contests were only fought by the four largest parties. Not only was this in sharp contrast to the position on the list ballot, but it meant that most voters had far less choice in their local constituency contest in 2011 than they had enjoyed in the general election in 2010.
  • Across Scotland, only 30 candidates from other parties stood on the constituency ballot. This was less than at any previous Scottish election, and was far lower than the 113 candidates that contested any one of the 59 Westminster constituency seats in 2010.
  • Women are now more reliant for their election on the list part of the system rather than the constituencies.
  • The level of defeat and retrial amongst female Labour MSPs in 2011 means that unless Labour reintroduces a strategy that secures gender balance in its con¬stituency nominations, any future recov¬ery in the party’s electoral fortunes could well be accompanied by a reduction in the overall level of female representation.
  • 2011 demonstrated that some voters are willing to take advantage of the fact that they have two votes to behave in accordance with the expectations of advocates of AMS.
  • Popular incumbent MSPs have developed a considerable personal vote that enables them to secure a substantially higher share of the vote than their party list manages locally – and this played a key role in enabling Labour to hang on to constituency votes and seats that it might otherwise have lost.
  • An incumbent Labour or SNP MSP, on average, managed to win some three per cent more of the vote in their constituency than on the list.
  • All 4 four Conservative Incumbents did better than their party.
  • Curtice and Steven show that a switch from the d’Hondt to the Sainte-Laguë method of allocating list seats, a method that is already enshrined in other aspects of the UK’s electoral arrangements, would have produced a more proportional result in which the SNP would not have won a majority despite winning well under 50% of the vote.

Westminster wakes up to the Missing Millions: Voter Registration

4th November 2011
4 Nov 2011
Tags: 
ier
individual voter registration
voting
individual electoral registration
electoral roll
missing millions
campaign

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Westminster wakes up to the Missing Millions

The Electoral Reform Society has welcomed publication of

the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s report into Individual Electoral Registration (IER).

The Society, which gave evidence to the Committee in September, has predicted “catastrophic” results if legislation proceeds as planned. The Committee has backed the Society’s key recommendations.

Earlier this month the Society organised a cross-party roundtable which included local and national official’s working on registration, and key organisations representing groups facing exclusion from the register. The consensus is clear – these proposals must change.
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society said:
 
This report is welcome reading for anyone interested in our democracy. Westminster was sleepwalking towards a catastrophic drop in voter registration. We’re pleased politicians have finally woken up to the problem. These missing millions are avoidable, and the government must now take heed.”

“The Committee is right to support maintaining the annual canvass and the threat of penalty. The government’s proposals mean councils would have no carrot, no stick and no opportunity to target hard to reach citizens. If we want a complete and accurate register, then officials need the tools to get the job done.
 

 “The government was making it possible for citizens to ‘opt out’ from democracy. Being on the register is not just about rights, it’s about responsibilities. It determines how public services are delivered, underpins the right to trial by jury of your peers, and sets how political boundaries are drawn.
 
“If the government listens we have the chance to make voter registration work.”
 
As one roundtable attendee Michael Summerville, Electoral Registration Officer for London Borough of Hackney said:
 
We have spent years building up the register. We're concerned that all that work will be undone. We could be looking at a 20-30,000 drop from a register of 165,000."
 
"I don't see how we'll have the time to prepare for IER on the back of the 2014 Elections. We're already losing resources." 

 
Missing Millions: Roundtable on Individual Electoral Registration was held on Tuesday 18th October in the Houses of Parliament. A full report is available for download here…
 
Key Points on IER:
 
The report is a response to The Individual Electoral Registration White Paper, published on 30th June, detailing the process for replacing traditional household with individual electoral registration from 2014.
 
The government proposes providing an ‘opt-out’ from registration, and a removal of the threat of legal penalty for those failing to register. It is also planning to drop the full household Annual Canvass in 2014.
 
  • Currently there are an estimated 3.5 million unregistered voters in England & Wales – 10% of eligible citizens
 
  • As many as 10 million voters could fall off the register under the government’s plans to introduce Individual Electoral Registration - a decline to 35- 40% of eligible citizens according to Electoral Commission estimates.
 
  • This is likely to have a disproportionate impact on already under registered groups – Young people, people in social or rented accommodation and certain black and ethnic minority communities could easily fall through the net.
 
  • The current proposals will have a number of unintended consequences.
 
    • The electoral register is used for drawing boundaries and assisting Local Authorities with the planning and provision of public services.
    • It forms the basis for drawing constituency boundaries and for selecting people for jury service.
    • Political parties use it for campaigning. And it assists local authorities with the planning and provision of public services and social welfare.
 
By depleting the register the UK Government risks further excluding people who are already excluded.
 
  • The Next boundary review will be based on imprint of electoral register in December 2015. A severely depleted register will lead to even more radical in the 2016-7 boundary review.
 
The Electoral Reform Society’s top recommendations
 
The UK Government should:
 
  • Drop the proposal for individuals to ‘opt out’ from being asked to register within a specific period, and maintain the threat of legal penalty to individuals who fail to register;
  • Maintain the full household Annual Canvass in 2014;
  • Publish a plan on how the projected drop in the number of registered individuals, particularly in socially excluded groups, will be prevented.
 
Contacts:
Please contact the press office on 020 7202 8601 or Ashley Dé on 07968791684 or Sophie Langridge 07757743354

Email mediaoffice@electoral-reform.org.uk

Scotland's New Political Map – 'One Size Doesn't Fit All'

13th October 2011
13 Oct 2011
Tags: 
scotland
devolution
boundaries
boundary commission for scotland
constituency size

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Scotland’s New Political Map – 'One Size Doesn't Fit All'

The Electoral Reform Society Scotland has commented on the publication of new Scottish parliamentary boundaries. [1]

Publication comes little over a week after Conservative cabinet minister Baroness Warsi dubbed the revised constituency map of England both "mad and insane". [2]

The Society has attacked the "thankless task" handed to the Boundary Commission for Scotland. It is now calling on the government to reassess the extremely tight variance of 5% between constituency sizes – which has meant 16 Westminster seats will cross council boundaries, breaking up traditional communities such as Ayr and Dunfermline.



The Society has attacked the "thankless task" handed to the Boundary Commission for Scotland. It is now calling on the government to reassess the extremely tight variance of 5% between constituency sizes - as new rules mean 16 Westminster seats will cross council boundaries, breaking up traditional communities such Ayr and Dunfermline.

Willie Sullivan, Director of the Electoral Reform Society Scotland said:
If Scotland's new boundaries seem as "mad and insane" as England's then responsibility must lie with the British government.

"The Boundary Commission for Scotland was given a thankless task. This government's rigid 'One Size Fits All' approach was never going to fit Scotland - its cold mathematical vision of equality flies in the face of real communities, simple geography and common sense.

"The call for equal size seats dates back to the Chartists, but we doubt they would recognise the results. Instead the government risks making the constituency link a thing of the past."
 
Key Points
  • The Boundary Commission for Scotland has published detailed proposals reducing the number of Scottish MPs from 59 to 52.

  • Only two of Scotland’s seats - Na h-Eileanan an Iar (the Western Isles) and Orkney and Shetland – have been protected under the proposals.

  • The remaining 50 constituencies must now have a number of electors set at between 72,810 and 80,473 – the maximum ‘5% variance’. A wider variance would have allowed the Commission to be more sympathetic to geography and traditional communities.

  • The Boundary Commission has been forced to draw 16 proposed mainland seats that spread across two local authority boundaries. Ayr is now split between Kyle and Cumnock and North Ayrshire and Arran, Dunfermline is now split into Clackmannanshire and Dunfermline West and Dunfermline East.

  • Likely casualties include the seat of Scotland’s only Conservative MP David Mundell whose Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency has been split three ways.
     
For comment contact Willie Sullivan, Director of ERS Scotland on 07940523842
 
 
[2] See Lady Warsi: some proposed boundary changes are 'mad and insane', Patrick Wintour, The Guardian, 3 October 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/oct/03/baroness-warsi-boundary-changes-mad

LTE - First past the post bad for democracy

28th September 2011
28 Sep 2011
Tags: 
fptp
first past the post
single transferable vote
stv
excessive majorities

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SIR – It was disappointing to read Peter Hain’s comments resurrecting his idea that the Assembly should be exclusively elected by the first-past-the-post system (“Hain pushes for first-past-the-post voting for Assembly”, September 27).

Writing for WalesOnline during the AV referendum campaign, Hain stated that “as a democrat I cannot wish away the fact that first-past-the-post is no longer fit for purpose”.

What the Shadow Secretary of State must surely recognise is that his latter day conversion to first-past-the-post would not only be bad for Welsh democracy, but ultimately bad for Labour.

Under Hain’s plan, Labour, which secured just over two out of every five votes in this year’s Assembly election, would be rewarded with over two-thirds of the seats: a thumping supermajority giving the party a significant amount of power, and reducing the size of the opposition parties to a rump at the very time when new law-making powers calls for better scrutiny.
Click here to find out more!

Labour members should look again at Hain’s proposals as it runs contrary to Carwyn Jones’ aspiration that Labour should be a party for the whole of Wales.

2011 saw some spectacular results for Labour – but outside of South Wales the party still has much work to do.

Without the current Regional List system, Labour would have no representation and a weakened campaigning base across huge swathes of the country; areas with parliamentary seats once held by Labour and which the party must win back if it is to topple the Tories in 2015.

STEVE BROOKS

Director, Electoral Reform Society (Wales)
Published Western Mail

The Missing Millions – government needs to think again on voter registration.

16th September 2011
16 Sep 2011
Tags: 
ier
individual voter registration
voting
individual electoral registration
electoral roll
missing millions
campaign

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The Electoral Reform Society has urged the government to think again on potentially 'catastrophic' proposals on electoral registration.

The Society warned MPs this week that plans to scrap the 2014 canvass and drop the legal duty for citizens to register could have a dire affect on registration rates. It is now asking parliamentarians to throw their support behind Chris Ruane MP’s Early Day Motion and debate the full impact of IVR.

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society said:


We welcome the government’s plan to move on Individual Voter Registration, but we’re convinced the switch will cause a catastrophic fall in registered voters unless action is taken now. 

The government risks disenfranchising millions – including some of the most underprivileged and hardest to reach Britons who need a voice in parliament.

According to the Government’s own Impact Assessment the transition to Individual Voter Registration could mean 20% or 7 million voters will drop off the register. This is equivalent of the entire population of Greater London no longer having a say in our democracy. And it’s not good enough.

Chris Ruane has already tabled an Early Day Motion calling on the government to think again.  It deserves the full support of all democrats in the House.

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society said:
Notes to editors:

New report from the Counting Women In campaign

3rd June 2011
3 Jun 2011
Tags: 
women's representation
research
report
gender
equality
quotas
rights
women

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A new report from the Counting Women In campaign has found that

  • Representation of women in local government remains stagnant after May elections.
  • At current rate of change we face another 150 years before women have an equal say
  • Political parties key to getting more women into town halls.

The report; Representative Democracy? Women in the 2011 Local Government Elections in England examined a third of the local authorities that held elections in May 2011 and found:
 

  1. There was a net increase across over 3,500 seats of just 20 women councillors
  2. At the present rate, it will be more than 150 years before there are equal numbers of men and women elected to English local councils
  3. There were 318 wards where all the main three party candidates were male, 14 times as many as the 22 wards where all candidates were female.
In a genuinely representative democracy women would not be regarded as an added extra
Nan Slaone, Report Author

Nan Sloane, report author and Director of the Centre for Women and Democracy, said:
 

Only 31 per cent of councillors are women, and this isn’t improving. If the annual increase in women councillors stays as it is – just 20 across the sample of 3,500 seats we looked at – it will be many generations before women have an equal voice in local decision-making. This is shocking, and goes against all the rhetoric that we hear so often about the need for more women in public life.

Since over 90 per cent of councillors belong to one of the big three parties, their candidate recruitment processes are key. But we also think that it’s astonishing that nobody has responsibility for the diversity of democracy nationally, and we shall be taking steps to ask government, the Electoral Commission and elections officers to do this, both in terms of providing support for the identification and training of candidates through a Democracy Diversity Fund, and by monitoring who is standing for election in the first place.

In a genuinely representative democracy women would not be regarded as an added extra. They’re 51 per cent of the population, they’re more likely to be both the users and the providers - as employees - of local services, and they pay equal taxes. It’s high time they were equally represented.'

ENDS

Notes to editors:

The Electoral Reform Society, the Fawcett Society, the Hansard Society and the Centre for Women and Democracy have joined together to form the Counting Women In campaign to address the lack of women in politics. We believe the under-representation of women in Westminster, the devolved assemblies, and town halls around the UK represents a democratic deficit that undermines the legitimacy of decisions made in these chambers. Together, we will be fighting to ensure women have an equal presence and voice within our democratic system.

(1) In the 100 authorities surveyed, details of which can be found on page 23 of the report

(2) If, as is reasonable to assume, this sample is taken as representative of the overall trend.

(3) More details on page 3 of the report.

Democrats need to show resolve on Lords Reform

17th May 2011
17 May 2011
Tags: 
reform
democracy
second chamber
lords reform
house of lords
constitutional reform
elected lords

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Democrats need to show resolve on Lords Reform

Responding to the government’s announcement on House of Lords Reform Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society said:

We welcome this government’s first steps on reforming the Upper House, but we have been here before. Lords Reform will remain unfinished business until real determination exists to see it through.

“The last decade of debate has shown cross-party consensus is possible. Certainly all three main parties went into the last general election with manifesto pledges to reform the upper house. Now all democrats must be prepared to show their resolve.

“We can break the deadlock, but it will require concerted action from all parties to bring this Medieval Chamber up to date.”

ENDS

All together now

21st April 2011
21 Apr 2011
Tags: 
alternative vote
av
referendum
voting reform

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All together now

With the date of the referendum approaching fast the campaign is really heating up.

We know that this is our one chance to change the rules by which MPs get and stay in power and in the last couple of weeks there is all to play for.

Local campaigners and volunteers across the country have been pulling out all the stops at events, street stalls, banner drops and in phonebanks UK-wide to get people excited about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change politics for the better.

If you have some time over the bank holiday weekends why not see how you can get involved and help push for that all important Yes vote on 5 May."

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society and Chair of Yes to fairer votes