In a new Political Studies article David Judge and Cristina Leston-Bandeira identify non-elected officials rather than elected members as those who ‘speak for’ and ‘act for’ parliaments as institutions most often. In this post, originally posted on The Constitution Unit, they discuss this paradox and some of their key findings in relation to the UK parliament.
Do legislative gender quotas enhance the representation of women in parliaments and legislatures? Dr Anna Gwiazda shares the findings of her new article on gender quotas in Poland.
By Jacqui Smith and Kristen Sample
Women account for half of the global population, yet represent less than a quarter of the world’s parliamentarians. The causes behind this imbalance are myriad and multi-faceted, based on culturally rooted gender norms, political institutions, and economic disparities. In other words, a woman who is elected to parliament has beaten the odds.
By Richard Reid 
Prior to the 2016 federal election held on 2 July, the Australian Coalition government demonstrated a rare degree of collaboration with the Australian Greens and passed changes to reform the electoral process for the Senate. This post seeks to explain the reform and its intentions, and its complete failure in the wake of Australia’s double dissolution election. Further it argues that the debate about Senate reform should go much further than these changes, and the whole structure of the Senate’s composition should be opened up for debate in an effort to increase, rather than decrease, the representativeness of the Australian Senate.