Which conservatives voted against May’s Brexit deal?

This week’s “meaningful vote” in the House of Commons marks one of the most remarkable losses a British prime minister ever had to experience. 68.1% of all representatives voted against the deal negotiated by May’s government with the European Union. Even within her Conservative party, the prime minister experienced considerable opposition with 37.6% of the MPs voting against the EU (withdrawal) Act. In this brief blog contribution, I aim to identify which conservative MPs were most likely to vote against their own government’s Brexit proposal. Were representatives with certain social characteristics and contextual settings in their districts more likely to vote ‘no’?… Read More Which conservatives voted against May’s Brexit deal?

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Compulsory voting and ethnic diversity increase invalid voting while corruption does not: An analysis of 417 parliamentary elections in 73 countries

Voting is the most fundamental way for citizens to influence who gets to govern their country. At the same time, voting comes with certain costs for the individual, from gathering information about the different candidates all the way to the time and effort it takes to go turn up at the voting booth. Despite the meaning of voting and the costs it involves, significant numbers of people cast ‘invalid votes’. Invalid means that these votes are either blank, meaning that the person has not made their tick for any of the candidates, or they are spoilt. People spoil their votes by filling out the ballot incorrectly, by writing in candidates that do not run in their constituency or ‘none of the above’, and some spoil their ballot by drawing pictures or writing obscenities on their ballot.… Read More Compulsory voting and ethnic diversity increase invalid voting while corruption does not: An analysis of 417 parliamentary elections in 73 countries

New publication: How to measure the substantive representation of traditionally excluded groups in comparative research?

In her recent publication in the Journal of Representation, Corinna Kroeber answers the question of how researchers can measure the substantive representation of ethnic minorities and women in comparative studies? Most research studying to what extent representatives and parliaments are considerate of traditionally excluded groups’ political interest focuses on single countries. This makes it difficult to study important questions such as whether or to what extent electoral incentives moderate the motivation of belonging legislators to advocate for their group’s political interests. Or, in which manner women’s or minority organizations outside parliaments promote feminist or minority-friendly legislations. To close these and similar research gaps, it is necessary to compare traditionally excluded groups in different country contexts.… Read More New publication: How to measure the substantive representation of traditionally excluded groups in comparative research?

Are proportional electoral systems as favorable for the initiation of minority-supported legislation as we think they are?

Following New Zealand’s electoral system change from first-past-the-post to a mixed member proportional, the representation of the country’s indigenous people has improved considerably. More Maori gained seats in the parliament – outside the special constituencies reserved for the group – the Maori Party was founded and has even come to exercise governmental responsibilities by supporting… Read More Are proportional electoral systems as favorable for the initiation of minority-supported legislation as we think they are?