In the 2010-2015 UK Parliament, the House of Commons Committees took a variety of steps to strengthen links between parliament and its publics.
At the outset, the coalition government conceded more powers to chairs and members and created a more open atmosphere for committee work. This responded to recognition that the fault line between the formal system and its publics is wide and growing; also, that this divide threatens the policy making effectiveness and the overall legitimacy of the political system.
The committees experimented extensively with social media and with more informal approaches to inquiries. Individual committee’s adopted bolder, agenda setting themes which in some cases guided their work over the entire five years. The system is ‘managed’ by a Liaison Committee which involves all the individual chairs.
This seminar builds on a report which the Liaison Committee commissioned on the effectiveness of these efforts and of how they might be extended in the future. After four months from March to June this year interviewing around Westminster, Ian Marsh reports the results and implication for the Australian parliament here.
About the Speaker
Ian Marsh is a Visiting Professor at RegNet and at the Australian Innovation Research Centre, University of Tasmania.
From 2006 to 2010 he worked full time at the latter institution and has also been a Professor at the Graduate School of Government, University of Sydney, at the Research School of Social Sciences, ANU and at the Australian Graduate School of Management.
His most recent book (co-authored with Raymond Miller) was published in 2012: Democratic Decline and Democratic Renewal: Political Change in Britain, Australia and New Zealand (Cambridge University Press).