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 electoral system by which members of parliament are elected shapes how legislators perceive their roles. Furthermore, write David C.W. Parker and Caitlyn M. Richter, in the case of the Scottish Parliament, both the electoral system and the change implemented prior to the 2007 election, whereby candidate names were removed from party-list ballots, have an impact on how Members of the Scottish Parliament spend their time and resources.
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.