Public attitudes and engagement
One of the programme's priorities is work examining the public attitudes towards politics and considering how engagement between the people and our democratic structures can be enhanced. Through our Audit of Political Engagement we track levels of public interest, knowledge, participation and satisfaction with the political process, we examine the reasons behind patterns of change and continuity and encourage debate on the critical issues relating to democratic engagement.
Audit of Political Engagement (2004- )
We monitor and assess attitudes to politics via our annual Audit of Political Engagement. The Audit series began in 2004 and has proved an effective way of tracking changes in public opinion and actions related to politics. The survey work for each Audit is conducted in November/December, with the report publication the following March.
Parliament and the Public (2008)
The Parliament and the Public
report examined the public's knowledge of and attitudes towards
Parliament, using a specially commissioned opinion poll survey. It
found that just 32% of the public say they 'have a good understanding
of the way Parliament works', only 19% agreed that Parliament is
'working for them', and only one in two members of the public are
confident that Parliament is not the same thing as government.
Opinions on Lords reform (2007)
We have polled the public on Lords reform and placed our findings within the context of recent changes to the Second Chamber. Our briefing paper, published in early 2007, shows that only 6% of the public support an all-appointed Lords.
Your Parliament (1951-2008)
One of the earliest Hansard Society publications was an educational booklet called Your Parliament, which provided an accessible explanation of what Parliament does and how the political system works. By 1970 it had been revised three times and over 100,000 copies had been produced.
In 2004 the Parliament & Government programme produced a revised pamphlet for the Houses of Parliament to give out free to visitors, and an updated version of this was published online-only in 2008, entitled Your Parliament: Make it work for you.