Electoral Security And Mp Engagement

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The Power of the Question: Electoral Security and MP Engagement in the Anti-Discrimination Debate
Abstract: Why do politicians choose to address issues related to the fundamental right of protection against discrimination? This study uses a database of 95,500 parliamentary questions (PQs) tabled by U.K. Members of Parliament (MPs) between 2013-15. Based on the results of a series of multi-variate models, it was found that the competitiveness of a MPs district is what determines whether or not they raise discrimination related issues. Those MPs in more secure seats are more likely to raise these issues for two reasons. Firstly, because they tend to be either more contentious issues, or secondly because they tend to be less salient for the
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Discrimination is a violation of a person’s human rights (Thornberry & Estebanez 2002, 7-13; UDHR Preamble). To be clear, the violation of a person’s rights through discrimination is a violation of their human rights. International norms and legal standards are collectively agreed that all people are entitled to equal dignity and equal rights. Both the United Nations (UN) Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDNR) set clear standards of the fundamental freedoms that should be provided to every person. These rights include protection against discrimination by “race, sex, language, or religion” (Thornberry & Estebanez 2002, 12; UN Charter Article 1). Even in established democracies, a place many would be surprised to find, discrimination presents itself (Hunt 2015, 12-3). Why is discrimination so prevalent? Many countries see human rights as an international standard coming from outside their borders and therefore the state does not need to enforce them (Anker & Posner 1981-82; Hunt 2015). This coming from outside, dictated by international actors, is the lynch pin. Critics of these international norms and legal standards argue that since domestic policy makers had no role in determining these standards they should not be made responsible for implementing these rights protections (Anker & Posner 1981-82). Further, because
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