Can the European Parliament create a parliamentary Europe? #eu2014

There’s a short speech by Neelie Kroes up on the EC’s website. The next paragraph should probably come with a blood pressure warning for UK Eurosceptics: If the people are not by our side, us politicians and intellectuals, then our project is bound to fail. The next European Parliament elections are an opportunity to give […]

Eastleigh, Quickleigh

The by-election in Eastleigh (following the resignation of Chris Huhne) is going to be on 28 February. One of our lovely members asked us on Twitter just now why it was such a short campaign compared to a General Election. Good question. The by-election timetable is indeed very short. It’s up to the party that […]

This is the most democratic government since universal suffrage

Norman Geras has a go at Deborah Orr, for saying that the Government has a thin democratic mandate. He’s right. Accusations about legitimacy are an outgrowth of the majoritarian mindset our politics creates – the idea that Strong Governments win outright and then do what the hell they like for five years. The Government is […]

Sierra Leone elections in November

There are elections in Sierra Leone this November, and the Canadian NGO Journalists for Human Rights has a campaign running around it. They say: This November Sierra Leone will hold its second national election since the end of their civil war. And while the war may be over, the risk of violence remains. In the days […]

Election year, not just in the US

According to Foreign Policy, in 2012: A third of the world’s nations will be holding local, state, or national elections; a number of Arab Spring countries will be putting their democratic aspirations into action; and four out of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — the United States, Russia, China and France […]

Is there a point to politicians?

Chris Dillow argues Politicians are becoming meaningless people doing meaningless posturing. in the light of their inability to fix the problems of the Eurozone, or to reverse declining turnout at elections. Hopi Sen, in an unrelated post, points out that people’s interest in politics has remained relatively stable, but their propensity to vote, and their belief that […]

Spain: “On road to the election, drive in 140 characters”

So, it’s the Spanish general election on Sunday, and while many are saying that it’s a foregone conclusion…. well, yes, it probably is a foregone conclusion. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t interesting things happening in the campaign. An article by El País (en Español, Google Translate) has an overview of the online campaigning so […]

A little bit of politics, Danish style

I happened to be in Denmark on election day last week, and was lucky enough to have some Danish friends to both show us around and talk politics. A few things struck me strongly from dipping my toe into Danish politics. Firstly, turnout – Deep in conversation about what polling day is like in Denmark (much like […]

The Busy Enough Already Society

Mutuals? Nein Danke. Image via Wikipedia A little example of the reaction to Big Society mutualisation proposals (at least when they come from public service agencies), from my local paper The Argus. It concerns a local nursery for the kids of council workers, threatened with closure after withdrawal of subsidy (disclosure: one of my children […]

Bishops in da House: Lord help us

Here’s a bad argument about the reform of the House of Lords: “Does the ‘Big Society’ include bishops in the Lords?“.

I don’t want to be mean to Paul Woolley, director of Theos, whose argument it is, but it is pretty much identical to every other argument against full democratic reform of the Lords. It runs “democracy isn’t just about electoral mandates, it’s about [people I agree with] having a say over legislation”.