Lebanon is in the middle of a crisis. The proximity of fighting and the influx of refugees is challenging. Nonetheless proper political processes should be in place and holding successful local elections would be an important step for the country. While support to Lebanon to manage the refugee crisis and the defence issues is vital the international community should also encourage the development of local democratic institutions.
There remain significant disparities in registration levels between different demographics, for example, between those in social housing or private rented accommodation and owner-occupiers, or between older voters and 18-24s; up to a third of whom may not be registered. And we must remember that the gap between those who are eligible to vote, and those who have their names on the register, is growing. It's vitally important that politicians of all parties work together to address this issue. I believe this can be done through dedicated education efforts, and by continuing to prioritise the issue by stressing what needs to be achieved
With the Wales Bill making its way through Westminster, the ERS are laying down a challenge for parties to get behind proposals for revitalising democracy in Wales, with the launch of 'Breathing New Life into Politics'. It's the first of three manifestos being published ahead of May's Assembly elections.
The arguments for a political system that's genuinely democratic, that produces a government reflecting the will of the people that encourages a more constructive, effective politics are overwhelmingly strong. Britain needs to do this. It needs to do it soon. That requires parties, campaigners - the people - to get together and demand the change. Today's one step in that process.
It would be wrong for broadcasters in Wales to exclude the Greens and Ukip. Their support has grown significantly since the last Assembly elections. And both parties are in the race to secure their first Assembly Members this May. It's only right that they should face the scrutiny of the public and other parties.