How to improve electoral management

logoInternational IDEA and the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network have just published my case study on how to improve electoral management.

The article from my research on the use of performance standards in the UK.  It suggests that many electoral practitioners worldwide should consider using a similar scheme to improve the conduct of elections

Both established and emerging democracies often struggle to run elections smoothly.  Common problems with electoral management include low levels of electoral registration, miscounts, lost ballot papers and delays in the announcement of results.  A cause in some circumstances is the poor performance of electoral officials.  Officials managing the local implementation of elections, for example, might not have followed the guidance that their supervisors or international donors have provided or they might have not undertaken sufficient planning for an election.  Equally, systems might not be in place for electoral officials to share ideas for best practice between themselves so that they can improve their efficiency and the quality of delivery.

Fortunately, there have been many developments in the tools that governments have used to increase the monitoring and performance of public sector workers…..

Read the full article here

Toby James speaking at the British Leaders Launch

British Leaders Book Series launched at the House of Commons

Toby James speaking at the British Leaders Launch

Toby James speaking at the British Leaders Launch

Last week we launched a book series on British party leaders at the House of Commons, published with Biteback.

John Bercow kindly hosted the event in his State Office.  The three books, of which I co-edit two, all focus on the issue of how to assess party leaders.  Jim Buller and I provide a chapter in each that makes the case for the statecraft approach, a framework that we have been working on for some time.  Charles Clarke assesses the electoral success of each leader, before leading biographers assess each leader in turn.  In the final chapters, we interview seven of the past living leaders.

Extracts from the Tony Blair and Nick Clegg interviews were published in the Independent.

British Labour Leaders, Charles Clarke and Toby James (eds)

British Conservative Leaders, Charles Clarke, Toby S. James, Tim Bale and Patrick Diamond (eds)

Five tests for Jeremy Corbyn

corbynJeremy Corbyn was emphatically elected as the next leader of the Labour Party at the weekend.  In a blog in the Huffington Post last week, I suggest that he, as with any Labour Leader, faces five key tests:

‘Selecting a replacement for Ed Miliband has turned into an existential moment for the Labour Party, and become one of the most important crossroads in modern British politics. After Blairite candidates lined up to claim that the party needed to listen to ‘aspiration’ in the immediate aftermath of the general election result, the contest has taken twists and turns via the withdrawal of leading candidates because of the ‘pressure and scrutiny’ that came with being a candidate, Corbynmania and voter registration ‘purges’. Legal challenges and perhaps even MP defections may follow…..’

Read the rest here.