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Government & Politics Publications
The UK should become a global hub for ‘GovTech’, with digital technology offering the chance to transform the relationship between the state and the citizen, and create a more efficient, responsive and innovative state, says a new Policy Exchange report The Smart State.
Judging the Public Interest examines the Supreme Court’s quashing of the Attorney General’s decision to block disclosure of the Prince of Wales’ correspondence with ministers. The report argues that, in doing so, the judiciary confused the rule of law with the rule of courts and overstepped its constitutional limits. It recommends that Parliament act swiftly to overturn this wayward judgment, reaffirming the rule of law and Parliamentary authority.
Despite their overwhelming importance, “squeezed middle” voters – those in the C1/C2 socio-economic classes – across England’s most marginal seats feel overlooked and unrepresented. Overlooked but Decisive examines the values and political attitudes of this group and develops a detailed profile of this groups values and beliefs.
Electoral Omission highlights how the administration of elections in the UK remains dangerously inefficient and open to fraud and predicts that there will be up to 15.5 million errors on the UK’s electoral registers at the time of next year’s General Election. The report recommends the introduction of targets for the maximum number of omissions and errors in the electoral register and annual checks to measure accuracy, along with small council tax rebates to encourage people to complete and return their voter registration forms.
Is there a north-south divide political divide? A major study into public attitudes – Northern Lights – examines the new political and social geography of England. The research finds that the way people vote is less and less determined by their social class, and more by how they think the government is performing and their attitudes to controversial issues like migration and crime.
Reforming Public Appointments shows that equality policies set up under the last government are failing to promote people from working class communities to public office. It calls for an extension of the entire equalities policy to increase representation of people from routine and manual occupational backgrounds, and for greater transparency about the membership of interviewing panels for public appointments.
Traditional thinking aligns economic growth with happiness. Conclusion: we’re in for a long dose of unhappiness. But the outlook for Britain need not be depressing. If governments, organisations and individuals responded with a new way of thinking, it would boost happiness and well-being.
This new research note surveys existing work on the subject to show that the Alternative Vote system would create far more problems than it has a hope of solving.
This report tests the Alternative Vote in six key areas: proportionality; safe seats; decisive results; wasted votes; tactical voting and MPs being elected on less than 50% of the vote and finds that in only one (the latter) does it constitute an improvement over First Past the Post.
Local Seats for Local People? finds that the Boundary Review process in the UK is inefficient and produces undemocratic results. The report sets out proposals which will drastically reduce the time taken to conduct a review, depoliticise the process and ultimately improve representation.