E-petition misconceptions persist

From the BBC, we learn that 99.9% of e-petitions on the UK Government’s e-petitions website fail to reach the magic 1000,000 signatures target needed to have the petition referred to the Backbench Business Committee, according to a research team from Oxford University: Nearly all e-petitions are doomed to become “digital dust”, they write. “After 24 hours, a petition’s fate is virtually set,” the team concludes. While the article itself is interesting as it explains the research’s team methodology, I did spot a few errors. I have written a number of posts trying to clarify certain misconceptions surrounding how the UK e-petitions scheme works. The biggest misconception that persists to this day is that if a petition reaches 100,000 signatures, it […]

Revisiting Rebuilding the House – Managing the rest of the House’s time

Background: The UK House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee (PCRC) released its Third Report of Session 2013-14, Revisiting Rebuilding the House: the impact of the Wright reforms. The Wright reforms are those recommendations put forward by the Select Committee on Reform of the House of Commons (aka the Wright Committee, after its chair, Dr Tony Wright). In the spring of 2010, the House of Commons voted to approve and give effect to many of those recommendations, which took effect at the start of the new Parliament following the May 2010 general election. I am providing a brief overview across a number of posts of the report’s main findings. This is the third installment, looking at Section 4 – […]

Revisiting Rebuilding the House – The Backbench Business Committee

Background: The UK House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee (PCRC) released its Third Report of Session 2013-14, Revisiting Rebuilding the House: the impact of the Wright reforms. The Wright reforms are those recommendations put forward by the Select Committee on Reform of the House of Commons (aka the Wright Committee, after its chair, Dr Tony Wright). In the spring of 2010, the House of Commons voted to approve and give effect to many of those recommendations, which took effect at the start of the new Parliament following the May 2010 general election. I am providing a brief overview across a number of posts of the report’s main findings, beginning with the section on Select Committees. This is the […]

Revisiting Rebuilding the House – Select Committees

The UK House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee (PCRC) released its Third Report of Session 2013-14, Revisiting Rebuilding the House: the impact of the Wright reforms. The Wright reforms are those recommendations put forward by the Select Committee on Reform of the House of Commons (aka the Wright Committee, after its chair, Dr Tony Wright). In the spring of 2010, the House of Commons voted to approve and give effect to many of those recommendations, which took effect at the start of the new Parliament following the May 2010 general election. The PCRC launched its inquiry in order to assess to what extend the Wright reforms have succeeded in making the Commons matter more, in particular vis-à-vis the […]

Despite leadership spills, party discipline in Australia is still strong

Back in 2012, I wrote a post about an attempted leadership spill in Australia, as former Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd challenged, unsuccessfully, the leadership of Julia Gillard, who herself had challenged – successfully – Rudd’s leadership prior to the 2010 general election. Of course, if you follow the news at all, you will know that Kevin Rudd again challenged Ms. Gillard’s leadership at the end of June, this time successfully, and is now, again, both leader of the party and Prime Minister. Such leadership changes are possible in Australia because it is the party caucuses which choose their leaders, as I explained in that 2012 post. Because the caucus can withdraw its support from the leader and cause a […]