In this short volume of essays the leading think tanks debate the pros and cons of a range of approaches to putting democracy in the United Kingdom on a firmer footing. It features contributions from CentreForum, Demos, the Fabian Society, IPPR, Policy Exchange, Progress and Reform.

The scandal of MPs expenses has catalysed an important debate not only on the propriety of our MPs, but also about larger questions such as trust in our political system, the role of MPs and the power they have to influence change, the extent to which Parliament and MPs are accountable to the public, the way political parties are funded, and electoral reform.

IPPR approached colleagues in other leading UK think tanks to contribute their considered thoughts on these subjects. As think tanks and research organisations with differing values and standpoints, we are united in the importance of a healthy and well-functioning democracy and the power of politics to achieve change. We all believe that ideas matter and that politics benefits from high levels of participation and engagement by the public and that trust in politics and our politicians is crucial. Of course, we differ over the specifics, but there is a surprising amount of shared ground.