Parliaments are representative institutions, and parliamentarians are representatives. But who are they, through what institutions and mechanisms do they enter Parliament, how do they behave, and how do they see their own role? And how does Parliament’s status and performance as a representative institution affect its operation and public standing?
The marginalisation of the House of Commons under Covid has been shocking; a year on, Parliament’s role must urgently be restored
The debate about remote participation in House of Commons proceedings raises critical questions about what constitutes a ‘good parliamentarian’, what ‘fair’ participation looks like, and who gets to decide. As things stand, the exclusion from much parliamentary business of pregnant women, among others, undermines equality of political representation.
Disputed parliamentary election results – often taking months to resolve – were a frequent feature of English political culture before the reforms of the 19th century. But how could defeated candidates protest the result of an election, and how were such disputes resolved?
Articles on themes including the development of Sweden’s now 100-year-old parliamentary democracy, strategic voting among Lib Dem supporters in the 2015 general election, policy areas associated with personal attacks at Prime Minister’s Questions, UK intergovernmental relations and spending after the Conservative-DUP ‘confidence and supply’ deal, and more.
Articles in this latest edition cover topics as diverse as political finance regulation, devolution, young people and the EU referendum, candidate campaigning in general elections, the policisation of abortion and the electoral success of women candidates, as well as reflections on the Turkish, Australian, Irish and EU Parliaments.
Holding a general election only six weeks before the new end-January Brexit deadline, and with a recess to fit in too, could mean the new Parliament facing a tight timetable. The challenge will be especially great for MPs elected for the first time on 12 December.