Taking the tablet….

Lord Norton

I began my academic career specialising in voting behaviour in the House of Commons, in particular intra-party dissent by Members.  This entailed manually checking every division list.  For my doctoral research, I estimate I read over 3,000 division lists, with the number of names running into seven figures, in order to identify any Members voting against their own side.  I also variously had to check the division list in Hansard with the figures recorded in the Votes and Proceedings: the latter provided the definitive list and that was not always the same as that in Hansard.

How times change.  Nowadays, proceedings, including division lists, are available online.  Not only that, but in the Lords we have started utilising electronic means of recording votes, with the consequence that the breakdown of how peers have voted can be published once the division has finished.  It used to be the practice when voting to give your name to one of the two clerks in the division lobby: each clerk had the list of peers’ names and would cross your name off.  The lists were then electronically scanned and the results published online.  The process is now even quicker.  There was a trial period where our names were recorded in the usual manner, but we then had to give our names to another clerk who had a tablet device and who recorded our names electronically.  Now, there are just two clerks with tablet devices.  As soon as you give your name, the clerk taps it on screen and your vote is recorded.

You can get the breakdown of divisions online hereHad such a facility existed when I did my original research, life would have been much easier..

3 comments for “Taking the tablet….

  1. tizres
    22/07/2015 at 2:48 pm

    Lord Norton, might this be of interest to you?


  2. MilesJSD
    22/07/2015 at 6:42 pm

    With all due respect here; but
    “—had such a monitoring-clerks’ electronics-tablets minimal facility existed when the noble Lord Norton did his first researching,
    “life” would have been much easier.” –

    Easier for which or whose “life” ?

    Ours, and the dual bio- nonbio- Environmenbt’s,
    from the “Bottom” up ?
    [upon which yours and the Top’s totally depends];
    centrally “Lord Norton’s and the enveloping privilege-ocratic and sedentarily stuck in the de facto conservative mud” Establishment’s ?
    Seriously ‘though, both the Whole British Democracy Governance System
    our Democratic Communications avenues, channels and networks,
    have lagged so far behind the Needs both of Earth’s Lifesupports and of All Peoples-On-The-Ground, that to be extolling a few ‘portablr laptop tally-ers” as being governancially-efficient and sufficient,
    is surely like “clutching at a straw” as if it were a raft on a storm-raging river, wouldn’t you (re)-think ?

  3. maude elwes
    13/08/2015 at 10:07 am

    Democray, Miles, JSD, is a concept I’m beginning to allow my mind to absorb as another con trick. Which is why so many of my fellow citizens refuse to play the game.

    So many of those I speak to about our political system and why they do nothing to support it, tell me it is I who needs a rethink not them. They feel the only rally they could possibly join, in order to establish genuine voters rights, would be to offer themselves up as a sacrifice in a massive revolution.

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