Archive for July, 2015

As a democratic representative for young women, Mhairi Black is exactly what parliament needs

As a democratic representative for young women, Mhairi Black is exactly what parliament needs

On election night, 20-year old Mhairi Black made national headlines for defeating Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander in his Paisley constituency. She has since been the subject of much media attention owing largely to her youth. Her well-received maiden speech has received attention for being passionate and coherent, and as Benjamin Bowman argues here, saw the making of a new political star who can be a voice of consequence for young people in general and young women in particular. 

The Government’s new EVEL timeline still isn’t sufficient to facilitate the necessary debate and deliberation

The Government’s new EVEL timeline still isn’t sufficient to facilitate the necessary debate and deliberation

In the immediate aftermath of Scotland’s vote to remain in the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister David Cameron proposed removing the rights of Scottish MPs to vote on ‘English only’ issues – a process which would be contemporaneous with the granting of new powers for Scotland. Katie Boyle argues that there are at least three main issues with the Government’s recent announcement of the way the change will be introduced, including what counts as a “devolved matter”, the financial overlap between devolved and non-devolved issues, and the break-neck speed of the process through which it was be introduced. 

‘English Votes for English Laws’ —a viable answer to the English Question?

‘English Votes for English Laws’ —a viable answer to the English Question?

Daniel Gover and Michael Kenny outline the government’s detailed proposals for introducing EVEL that were published last Thursday. They argue that, while incremental and modest in some respects, the proposals do raise wider points of constitutional principle which suggest English Votes could be the start rather than the end of a much longer process of finding viable answers to the English Question.
A road map for pluralistic and ‘asymmetric’ devolution in the UK

A road map for pluralistic and ‘asymmetric’ devolution in the UK

Devolution to a model set out by the centre is not devolution at all, writes Jonathan Carr-West. We need local authorities and groups of local authorities in cities and counties to come forward with detailed and realistic proposals on how they plan to grow their local economies and improve local services and what powers they need to achieve this.

Analysis of Twitter responses to Scottish independence debates indicates a preference for diversity in televised political debates

Analysis of Twitter responses to Scottish independence debates indicates a preference for diversity in televised political debates

In autumn 2014, during the last few weeks of the Scottish Independence Referendum campaign, researchers at Robert Gordon University explored the Twitter response to three live televised political debates, each of which involved high-profile participants. Graeme Baxter shares their findings. 

The Scottish Parliament is leading the way on the issue of lowering the voting age to 16

The Scottish Parliament is leading the way on the issue of lowering the voting age to 16

The voting age for UK elections – with the exception of the Scottish Independence referendum – is fixed at 18, however many campaigners and experts feel that the time has come to lower it to 16, in order to enfranchise young people while they live in settled communities, and to prevent a situation in which first time enfranchised young people can be as old as 23. In the wake of last September’s referendum, Scotland has fully embraced a lowered voting age, as recent events in the Scottish and Westminster Parliaments show, argues Josiah Mortimer.