Cristina Leston-Bandeira and Louise Thompson examine the impact of a stage of the legislative process piloted by the House of Commons in 2013, during which the public were invited to comment on a bill undergoing parliamentary scrutiny. They explain why, despite an impressive response, the Public Reading Stage failed to make much of an impact.
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.
By Dr Catherine Bochel, Reader in Policy Studies, University of Lincoln
In a post-Brexit world, the way Parliament works and engages with the public is more important than ever.
By Kevin Davies and Cristina Leston-Bandeira
Over the last decade, public engagement has become a key role for parliaments. This is shown in the reinforcement of a wide range of types of activity, from expanding the scope of visits to parliament, developing educational resources about the institution, to introducing out-facing programmes actively seeking to engage communities with the work of parliament. Whilst this has represented a clear shift in the way parliaments engage with the public, most of this activity has tended to develop in parallel to actual parliamentary business – as an aside activity.