Three reforms that would be more effective than adding a ‘None of the above’ option to ballot papers

My post for Democratic Audit (22 January 2015), considering the possible benefits of adding a ‘None of the above’ option to ballot papers at elections. I argued this would be only a superficial change, and that campaigning efforts would be better expended for reforms such as primaries, electoral reform or abolishing deposits.

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Better the Devil: A Response to Gus O’Donnell’s ‘Better Government’

Former Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell wrote an article shortly after his retirement from the Civil Service, criticising the ‘politicisation’ of policy-making. Craig Berry and I wrote a response for the academic journal Political Quarterly (7 April 2014), stressing that O’Donnell’s ideal depoliticised polity is in many ways a neo-liberal ideological construction that seeks to undermine voters’ ability to influence policy via the ballot box.

The Treasury’s depoliticisation agenda

My post for the SPERI blog (28 January 2014) responding to the government’s proposal to appoint a Chief Financial Officer. I argued this was little more than a symbolic gesture, designed to further denigrate the role of elected politicians in democratic decision-making.