To mark the 2017 French parliamentary and presidential election, this special issue of Parliamentary Affairs looks at the realignment of French politics and revival of the presidency, the demise of the Left, and how policy choices for the Front National influenced its electoral success.
- Rethinking the Franchise Party: Adding the Ideological Dimension—The Irish Case
Sean D McGraw
- Representing Diversity in Mixed Electoral Systems: The Case of New Zealand
Fiona Barker, Hilde Coffé
- Amateurs versus Professionals: Explaining the Political (in)Experience of Canadian Members of Parliament
James T Pow
- Digital Media, Ground Wars and Party Organisation: Does Stratarchy Explain How Parties Organise Election Campaigns?
- Parliamentarisation as a Two-Way Process: Explaining Prior Parliamentary Consultation for Military Interventions (editors’ choice)
Daan Fonck, Yf Reykers
- Do Party Lists Matter? Political Party Strategies in Legislative Candidate Nominations
Yüksel Alper Ecevit, Gülnur Kocapınar
Special collection: the 2017 French presidential and parliamentary elections
Guest editor: Raymond Kuhn
- French Revolution? The 2017 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections
- Crowning Jupiter: The 2017 French Electoral Series in Perspective
- Left and Centre-Left in France—Endgame or Renewal?
- Electoral Performance and Policy Choices in the Front National
- Structure Versus Accident in the Defeat of France’s Mainstream Right, April–June 2017
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Lord Frost’s appointment as Minister of State in the Cabinet Office to lead on UK-EU relations brings some welcome clarity about future government arrangements in this area. However, it also raises challenges for parliamentary scrutiny, above all with respect to his status as a Member of the House of Lords.
There was controversy on 9 February over whether the government had used procedural trickery to swerve a backbench rebellion in the House of Commons on a clause inserted in the Trade Bill by the House of Lords. Apparently, it was something to do with ‘packaging’. What does that mean, and was it true? The answer is all about ‘ping-pong’.
The contrasting post-Brexit fates of the two Houses’ EU-focused select committees have come about through processes in the Lords and the Commons that so far have differed markedly. This difference reflects the distinction between government control of business in the Commons, and the largely self-governing nature of the Lords.
Before Brexit, mechanisms for inter-parliamentary relations and scrutiny of inter-governmental relations in the UK were unsatisfactory. Post-Brexit, the need for reform has become urgent. There should be a formal inter-parliamentary body, drawn from all five of the UK’s legislative chambers, with responsibility for scrutiny of inter-governmental working.
The end of the transition period is likely to expose even more fully the scope of the policy-making that the government can carry out via Statutory Instruments, as it uses its new powers to develop post-Brexit law. However, there are few signs yet of a wish to reform delegated legislation scrutiny, on the part of government or the necessary coalition of MPs.
Parliament’s role around the end of the Brexit transition and conclusion of the EU future relationship treaty is a constitutional failure to properly scrutinise the executive and the law. As the UK moves to do things differently after 1 January, MPs must do more to ensure they can better discharge their responsibilities regarding the making of UK treaties.