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This weeks Guardian podcast examines the Police Commissioner elections with a particular emphasis on the general apathy that was expressed not only in these but also in the by- elections that took place this month. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/audio/2012/nov/16/politics-weekly-podcast-police-elections Advertisements

Freedom of Speech

As a liberal democracy Britain has long had the tradition of a free press. This article suggests that current coalition policies directly threaten this. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9696389/Call-a-truce-before-centuries-of-free-speech-are-brought-to-an-end.html

Votes for Prisoners

This piece in the Guardian has an excllent overview of the votes for prisoners legislation proposed in the Commons this week and the debate over votes for prisoners more generally. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/22/votes-prisoners-politics-editorial

Republicans, Immigration and a Blue Texas

The growing importance of immigration and the Hispanic vote is further highlighted in this piece from the New Yorker. It offers the slightly surreal prospect of a Democrat voting Texas as a potential outcome of Republican immigration policy. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/11/19/121119fa_fact_lizza


This piece in Foreign Affairs examines the inreasing importance of Hispanics in US politics. It also suggests that unless Republicans do more to win Hispanic vote their hopes of recapturing the White House are doomed. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/138430/ray-suarez/hispanics-and-national-politics

Will Boehner control Congress

An excellent piece in the current edition of the New Yorker examining whether or not Boehner will be able to control the Tea party faction within the Republican party. This is obviously excellent for the Unit 4 work on Congress that we will do after January but it is also good in terms of divisions … Continue reading

The Hispanic Vote

This excellent piece in Foreign Affairs examines the importance of the Hispanic vote in US presidential elections. It also suggests that unless the Republicans can find a way of winning over Hispanics they will struggle to win the Electoral College in the future. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/138430/ray-suarez/hispanics-and-national-politics?page=show

Our Undemocratic Constitution

The UK doesn’t have a codified constitution, however a set of British academics have endeavoured to construct the following spoof document. The contents of this document is correct- however it is presented in a mildly amusing way to highlight the ways in which the UK is not democratic. http://filestore.democraticaudit.com/file/1ff3da62839e77d8e09ab7326ea05978-1282573540/the-unspoken-constitution.pdf

Safe Seats

Safe seats are an undemocratic side effect of FPTP. The fact that British general elections under FPTP are decided by a few swing voters in marginal seats is not the most democratic way to elect our government. Neither does it encourage turnout in the safe seats. This Democratic Audit pamphlet examines how FPTP creates safe … Continue reading

Electoral Reform Revision

The LSE Politics Blog seems to know that you are all about to start revising electoral systems as it has a brilliant post this week outlining the workings of each of the electoral systems. If you are ensure of the mechanics of the five systems used in the UK this is an excellent place to … Continue reading


An excellent summary of recent immigration policy from the NY Times. http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/i/immigration-and-emigration/index.html

Black Candidates in 2012

The underrepresentation of African Americans in US politics is a key issue in the ‘Race and Ethnicity’ topic this excellent piece in the Washington Post examines the problems faced by African Americans in the 2012 Congressional elections. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/11/14/a-very-tough-election-for-black-candidates-not-named-obama/

Campaign finance

An excellent piece from the NY Times looking at the background of Citizens United and the implications of the new funding climate on the 2012 election. http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/c/campaign_finance/index.html

Tensions in the Coalition

Tensions within the coalition have been increasing in recent months and the friendly relationship evident in the Number 10 Rose Garden back in May 2010 seems like a life time away.   There have been a couple of good articles looking at the tensions in the coalition over recent months. This piece in the Telegraph … Continue reading

Election 2012

There have been so many articles published during the last 24 hours on every possible aspect of the US elections. Here are some of the articles that I have enjoyed the most: If you want to look at some electoral stats the Washington Post is an excellent place to start http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/election-map-2012/president/?hpid=z3 they also have an … Continue reading

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