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The Independent Commission on Referendums: who, what, why and how, Belfast Seminar

In October the Constitution Unit launched an Independent Commission on Referendums, to review the role of referendums in British democracy and consider how their rules and practice could be improved. The Commission is meeting monthly, and intends to report in the summer of 2018. At this seminar the chair and members of the Commission will discuss their task, how they are setting about it, and the input they need from other experts and the public to ensure the Commission draws on the widest possible evidence base. They will make particular reference to recent Irish experience of referendums.

Starts: Apr 26, 2018 1:00:00 PM

Regulating debate in elections and referendums

There is wide concern about the quality of debate that precedes elections and referendums. Campaigners’ claims are often seen as false or misleading. Many voters feel they cannot find reliable information on the options before them. But what can be done to improve this situation? The Constitution Unit is currently undertaking a research project, funded by the McDougall Trust, to answer this question. 

Starts: May 15, 2018 1:00:00 PM

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Proxy voting in the House of Commons: how could it work in practice?

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

In February, the House of Commons passed by acclamation a motion to permit a system of voting by proxy for Members of Parliament who have recently adopted or given birth to a child. Ahead of the Procedure Committee’s report on the matter, former Clerk of Committees Andrew Kennon offers his view on how a system of […]

How online quizzes could improve information during election campaigns: lessons from Germany

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Ongoing Constitution Unit research is exploring how quality of information and public discussion during election and referendum campaigns can be improved. In recent years, voting advice applications have been promoted as a way of providing impartial, good-quality information on salient issues and parties’ positions thereon. Michela Palese outlines the debate on this topic and relates […]

Exploring Parliament: opening a window onto the world of Westminster

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

In February this year, Oxford University Press published Exploring Parliament, which aims to provide an accessible introduction to the workings of the UK parliament. In this post, the book’s editors, Louise Thompson and Cristina Leston-Bandeira, explain why the book is necessary and what it hopes to achieve. If you travelled to Parliament Square today you’d […]

The Good Friday Agreement at 20: what’s next for Northern Ireland?

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Yesterday, in the first of two blogs on the Good Friday Agreement, Alan Whysall discussed where the Agreement had gone wrong and the benefits it has brought Northern Ireland since it was signed in April 1998. In this post, Alan looks at the future of the Agreement, a document he was involved in negotiating and implementing […]

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