Voter engagement in the UK - Political and Constitutional Reform Contents

1  A chance to engage

1. We believe that improving voter engagement is crucial to the long term well-being of democracy in the UK. Unusually, therefore, the following Report is an interim report—a draft—for public consideration, rather than the Committee's final word on the issue of voter engagement. Appropriately, we publish it in the annual Parliament Week since we wish it to be subject to wider discussion involving all those who care about the UK's democracy, including all those who submitted evidence to the Committee. All of our draft recommendations are open to possible change following public consultation.

2. As part of this process, we have been in discussion with the independent and impartial Hansard Society, which we understand may be looking at some of the issues considered in this report as part of its regular Audit of Political Engagement. We hope that the Hansard Society's findings in this area will inform our final judgment about the reforms which can be achieved in practice. We plan to issue a final report before National Voter Registration Day on 5 February 2015, to frame debate on these issues ahead of the 2015 general election. We hope that citizens feel we are being open and inclusive about the improvements which must be made. In that spirit we hope that everyone reading this Report plays their part by engaging and responding to it. We also propose to write to the political parties and their leaders requesting a preliminary response to our interim proposals. It is appropriate that as 2015 dawns the UK's history on the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta is celebrated by stepping up to meet the enormous challenges that face to the UK in renewing its democracy for the future.

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Prepared 14 November 2014