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Written evidence from Dr Jacob Eisler1 (TEC 14)

Written evidence from Dr Jacob Eisler1 (TEC 14)
Written evidence from Dr Jacob Eisler1 (TEC 14)
This paper addresses three topics queried by the Committee:
The governance of the Electoral Commission.
Public and political confidence in the impartiality and ability of the Electoral
Commission.
The international reputation of and comparators for the UK Electoral Commission.
In light of the importance of fair and unbiased oversight and enforcement of electoral regulation, this brief emphasises the desirability of ensuring that the leadership and operation of the Electoral Commission (EC) is non-partisan and insulated from political pressures in both reality and perception. Accordingly, the following points are made:
- In order to protect the neutrality of the EC, its leadership must be selected in a manner that is impartial with regards to political party affiliation, and this leadership must be ensured a degree of stable tenure.
- There are two ways of selecting neutral leadership: ‘partisan representation’, in which each major party is given the opportunity to select a Commissioner; and ‘non-partisan selection’, in which the selection of Commissioners itself is politically neutral and prioritises competence and lack of political bias in the selection process.
- The EC relies in part upon procedures of partisan representation. However, the
challenges of polarised politics suggest that non-partisan selection may be a
preferable method. This is based on an evaluation of the current selection processes of the EC, including through a comparison with the US Federal Election Commission (USFEC).
UK Parliament
Eisler, Jacob
a290dee3-c42f-4ede-af9a-5ede55d0135a
Eisler, Jacob
a290dee3-c42f-4ede-af9a-5ede55d0135a

Eisler, Jacob (2020) Written evidence from Dr Jacob Eisler1 (TEC 14) UK Parliament 3pp.

Record type: Monograph (Project Report)

Abstract

This paper addresses three topics queried by the Committee:
The governance of the Electoral Commission.
Public and political confidence in the impartiality and ability of the Electoral
Commission.
The international reputation of and comparators for the UK Electoral Commission.
In light of the importance of fair and unbiased oversight and enforcement of electoral regulation, this brief emphasises the desirability of ensuring that the leadership and operation of the Electoral Commission (EC) is non-partisan and insulated from political pressures in both reality and perception. Accordingly, the following points are made:
- In order to protect the neutrality of the EC, its leadership must be selected in a manner that is impartial with regards to political party affiliation, and this leadership must be ensured a degree of stable tenure.
- There are two ways of selecting neutral leadership: ‘partisan representation’, in which each major party is given the opportunity to select a Commissioner; and ‘non-partisan selection’, in which the selection of Commissioners itself is politically neutral and prioritises competence and lack of political bias in the selection process.
- The EC relies in part upon procedures of partisan representation. However, the
challenges of polarised politics suggest that non-partisan selection may be a
preferable method. This is based on an evaluation of the current selection processes of the EC, including through a comparison with the US Federal Election Commission (USFEC).

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Published date: November 2020

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Local EPrints ID: 445422
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/445422
PURE UUID: 7623fa6e-9b91-4061-9922-2a3879afeae8
ORCID for Jacob Eisler: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4422-5255

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Date deposited: 08 Dec 2020 17:31
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:38

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Author: Jacob Eisler ORCID iD

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