Parliament and Democracy in the Twenty-First Century: A Guide to Good Practice

Key words: Representation – Transparency – Accessibility

What is the parliamentary contribution to democracy? What makes a parliament or legislature itself democratic? How might it become more so? These are the questions which this Guide seeks to answer. It provides a comprehensive and systematic account of the central role that parliament plays in a democracy, and explains what it means for a parliament to be truly representative, transparent, accessible, accountable and effective in its many functions. The Guide does this, not through a catalogue of externally generated prescriptions, but through examples of good practice contributed by parliaments from every region of the world, to illustrate distinctive aspects of their own activity. From these examples the Guide shows the diversity of ways in which the key elements of a democratic parliament can be realised in practice.

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