Skip to main content

Electoral Commission Committee

Volume 514: debated on Tuesday 27 July 2010

The hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission was asked—

Democratic Process (Engagement)

10. What recent proposals the Electoral Commission has made to engage people in the democratic process; and if he will make a statement. (11101)

The Electoral Commission informs me that its work in this area focuses on encouraging voter registration and making sure that people have the information they need to take part in elections. It believes that it is for political parties and candidates to give people a reason to turn out to vote on polling day.

The last general election was the most rule-bound, hidebound, bureaucratically hamstrung election for all of us as candidates. We had to fill in more papers, swear more oaths and write more notes to the electoral registration officer than ever before. When will the Electoral Commission get back to its core role of really trying to excite people to register, and to vote and thereby participate in our democracy?

I was not sure whether the hon. Gentleman, who is greatly respected in this House, was describing the Electoral Commission or the previous Government. He will have seen a report that has just been filed by the Electoral Commission that recommends significant changes to our electoral system along the lines he suggests. We very much hope that the Government will be listening to this excellent report.