A Level Politics

Improving your grade

Improving social representation in Parliament

Posted by Matt Walker on October 21, 2009

Blair 'Babes' 1997 Parliament is a representative institution. It’s aim is to represent the different views and diverse communities that exist throughout the UK. Ideally, it should be a microcosm of British society: the social make-up of the UK should be replicated within Parliament. In other words, it should be socially representative.

And yet, in 2005 only 23% of the House of Commons  were women, despite making up over half the UK population. Furthermore, ethnic minorities constitute only 2.3% of the House of Commons, despite being 9% of the entire UK population. On a variety of social indicators, Parliament is definitely not socially representative.

On Tuesday, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, and Nick Clegg all spoke at the Speaker’s Conference to discuss the means of improving this situation. Brown suggested that politicians should tackle prejudice, whilst Nick Clegg talked about the need for MPs to represent ‘modern Britain’.

David Cameron went further. He explained that if the Conservatives win the next election there will be many more women in the House of Commons because the selection of  Parliamentary candidates has been altered to ensure that more women will be candidates at the next election.

As always, it would be worth printing off the article linked below, and adding it to your folders.

Cameron ‘plans all-women lists’

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One Response to “Improving social representation in Parliament”

  1. Will Hazell said

    Not directly relevant to the blog, but still quite interesting where public participation is concerned.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/01/do_we_care_about_party_politic.html

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