In its early days, some considered the internet to be the silver bullet that could deal with the deficits of representative democracy. Others had been less optimistic vis-à-vis its potential to foster democracy. In a blog originally posted on LSE British Politics and Policy, Hartwig Pautz looks at whether the e-democracy tool WriteToThem allows for meaningful communication between citizens and their elected representatives.
The Wright reforms have been widely credited with reinvigorating select committees. In a blog originally published by Democratic Audit, Stephen Bates, Mark Goodwin (University of Birmingham) and Steve McKay (University of Lincoln) take issue with this assumption. They found the reforms have made little or no difference to MP turnover and attendance, which are driven by the parliamentary cycle. When MPs are jostling for payroll vote positions and trying to keep up with constituency duties and votes in the Chamber, select committees are likely to suffer.