Archive for April, 2012

What works in government – lessons from the other Washington

, 30 April 2012

As part of its investigation of a possible “What works in social policy” institute for the UK, the Cabinet Office invited Steve Aos, director of the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) to a roundtable at IFG last week. To many WSIPP is a blueprint for this type of body. It has been...

Posted in Better policy making | Comments Off

Lords reform – is a referendum the way to finally settle the issue?

, 24 April 2012

Labour under Blair and Brown tried and failed to forge a consensus over their 13 years in office. On one occasion, in 2003, the Commons (in)famously rejected all seven reform options, ranging from a fully appointed to a fully elected House. Later, in 2007, the government proposed a 50% elected chamber, only to see...

Posted in Parliament and the political process | Comments Off

Direct democracy and the mayoral referendums: more heat than light?

, 20 April 2012

Kellner criticised the quality of the debate in the run up to the AV referendum, describing it as ‘frankly pathetic.’ Perhaps most disappointing was the extent to which the arguments on AV centred around cost. Disappointingly, cost issues have also taken on a disproportionate prominence in the mayoral debates. Claims and counter-claims about million...

Posted in New models of governance and public services | 1 Comment »

Political parties need state funding

, 17 April 2012

Of the 15 “old” EU states, the UK stands alone with Luxembourg in not providing significant funding (defined as more than 25%) to political parties from state resources. Other Westminster model states, like Canada and Australia, have also moved in this direction. Political parties in the UK do receive some funds, but they accounted...

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Posted in Parliament and the political process | 2 Comments »

Pensioners, pasties and philanthropists: how to avoid further budget fiascos

, 12 April 2012

When is avoidance not avoidance? When it’s propping up the Big Society – and a cornerstone of the culture secretary’s strategy to save the arts from the impact of the spending cuts. That is the problem confronting the chancellor and the prime minister as they contemplate the last week’s furore over the impact of...

Posted in Better policy making | 4 Comments »

Better late than never

, 3 April 2012

All organisations should evaluate their policy successes and failures—the theme of a fascinating series of policy reunion seminars and events at the Institute for Government organised by Jill Rutter, who also hosted workshops for Treasury staff for this review. Understanding what works and what doesn’t is central to improving later performance. With the Financial...

Posted in A more effective Whitehall | Comments Off