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.
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.
By Alys Thomas and Stephen Boyce
The National Assembly for Wales has been in existence since 1999. However, its powers and constitution have undergone significant changes since then. Originally constituted as a single corporate body made up of both the legislature and executive, the Government of Wales Act 2006 effected a separation of powers, creating a separate executive made up of Welsh Ministers, and a legislature. Continue reading