Future changes issues for embs and for the code of good practice
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Future Changes Issues for EMBs and for the Code of Good Practice. Peter Wardle United Kingdom Electoral Commission 10 th European Conference of Electoral Management Bodies, Chişinău, Republic of Moldova 27 June 2013. Support for EMBs.

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Future Changes Issues for EMBs and for the Code of Good Practice

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Future changes issues for embs and for the code of good practice

Future Changes Issues for EMBs and for the Code of Good Practice

Peter Wardle

United Kingdom Electoral Commission

10th European Conference of Electoral Management Bodies,

Chişinău, Republic of Moldova

27 June 2013


Support for embs

Support for EMBs

  • Political/institutional understanding of/support for the independence and impartiality for EMBs

  • Lack of resources where public spending is severely constrained? – inadequate funds, staffing, training


The electoral process

The electoral process

  • Continue to look beyond the basic polling process

  • Increasing focus on other key components of well-run elections – for example:

    • Access to media

    • Regulation of political finance

  • The challenge of over-complex and/or outdated legislation


Electoral participation

Electoral Participation

  • ‘Established democracies’ – decline from 80%+ (1940s to 1960s), to around 75% (1990s)

  • ‘All other states’ – peak around 80% in 1980s but steep decline to around 70% (1990s)

    (IDEA)


Participation role of political parties

Participation: Role of political parties

  • Where parties mobilize effectively, turnout improves

  • Once contacted directly by parties/candidates, voters will be contacted again and again

  • Voters respond to being asked to take part (not just by parties/candidates)

    (Karp, Banducci & Bowler)


Participation change the electoral system

Participation: Change the electoral system?

  • Canadian study of varying turnout rates in 60 different countries since 1990

  • 12% higher - Compulsory voting (if enforced)

  • 10% higher - Multiple methods/opportunities to vote

  • 5-6% higher - Proportional/mixed compensatory voting systems

  • (No systematic effect - Voting on weekends/holidays)

    (Elections Canada)


Participation young people and the voting habit

Participation: Young people and the ‘voting habit’

  • Most significant related to turnout – age

  • Not new – but we now have a two-fold effect:

    • Simple age effect

    • Generational effect

  • Silver lining? The voting habit, once acquired, is stronger than the non-voting habit….


Participation wider attitudes

Participation: Wider attitudes

  • Declining level of political understanding/ interest

  • Efficacy

    • ‘what’s in it for me?’

    • ‘how can I influence politics through voting?’

    • ‘Parliament lives in a parallel universe’

  • People turning to other forms of political expression


Future changes issues for embs and for the code of good practice

What can we do?


Support for embs the next decade

Support for EMBs – the next decade?

  • Continuing need to support EMBs:

    • Strong international norms and standards?

    • Challenge observed threats to EMB independence or resources?

    • Study options to deliver elections more efficiently? International comparisons/ benchmarks?


The electoral process the next decade

The electoral process – the next decade?

  • Greater focus on the wider electoral process:

    • Access to media?

    • Transparency/regulation of money in politics?

    • Benefits of incumbency?

  • Principles for clearer legislation?


Electoral participation the next decade

Electoral Participation – the next decade?

  • Recognise we don’t have all the answers – but….

  • Electoral processes (eg voting methods)?

  • Young people/education?

  • More difficult:

    • Role of political parties

    • Electoral systems


Future changes issues for embs and for the code of good practice

Thank You

[email protected]

www.electoralcommission.org.uk


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