Speaker's Conference (on Parliamentary Representation): Report, Together with Formal Minutes v. 1-2: Report and Extended Summary (HC)

 
9780215543141: Speaker's Conference (on Parliamentary Representation): Report, Together with Formal Minutes v. 1-2: Report and Extended Summary (HC)
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The House of Commons agreed unanimously in November 2008 to establish this Speaker's Conference. The Conference was asked to look into the reasons why women, members of the black and minority ethnic communities and disabled people are under-represented in the House of Commons, and to recommend ways in which the situation can be improved. Issues relating to the representation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities were also considered. Currently most MPs are white, male, middle-aged and middle-class: the House of Commons should reflect more closely the diverse society in which we live. "Speaker's Conference (on Parliamentary Representation): Final Report & Extended Summary ("HC 239-I" & "HC 239-II")" makes and draws 71 recommendations and conclusions. Individual chapters cover: the case for widening representation; citizenship and engagement; the importance of political parties; the role of the MP and how to become one; selection processes and barriers to selection; tackling supply-side barriers; and, changing the culture of Parliament. The Conference reports after a period of unprecedented diminishing of the House's reputation through the expenses scandal. This has combined with increasing dislocation between citizens and the democratic process. The need for change is recognized and this report outlines many practical steps that can be taken to correct under-representation. Broadening representation would also bring a positive benefit of improved effectiveness in the development of legislation and the scrutiny of Government performance.

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