Scotland and Wales’ devolved political institutions, elected under proportional Additional Member electoral systems, were intended to produce a more consensual political culture. However, writes Felicity Matthews, although their electoral rules have increased the proportionality of representation, the structures of the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales have meant that a more consensual approach to policy-making has been more limited than might have been expected.
The Scottish Parliament’s Commission on Parliamentary Reform, established by the Presiding Officer last year, reported in June. Its recommendations include that committee conveners should be elected by the whole Parliament, changes to First Minister’s Questions, the extension of the legislative process from three stages to five and the establishment of a new backbench committee. In a post originally posted on the Constitution Unit blog, Ruxandra Serban summarises the report and notes that several of the most substantive recommendations would bring the Scottish Parliament’s procedures closer to those of the House of Commons.
By Paul Cairney and Phil Cowley
There is an interesting set of stories, by David Leask and colleagues in the Herald, about the background of MSPs. We take an interest as part of a team of scholars comparing backgrounds in Westminster and devolved assemblies and examining how parties decide between many sources of representation, from sex and race to employment and locality.
In this post we examine the latest data on education as a proxy for class. It suggests that there would be little difference between Holyrood and Westminster if they had the same balance between parties.