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Effective parliament for Democracy

Parliament or legislature is the key institution in democratic politics and effective parliament is a must for the success of democracy. In fact, democracy’s goals of greater accountability, transparency and participation are directly related to the primary functions of parliament. In parliamentary democracy, sovereignty of people rests in and is upheld through legislature. It works as the custodian of people’s sovereignty which makes legislature the most important organ of the state.
Both in constitution-making and enactment of various laws, legislature can ensure democracy if the wishes of the people, their hopes and aspirations are truly reflected in the constitution and enacted laws thereafter. Lord Bryce in his seminal work, ‘Modern Democracies’ recognized that legislatures constituted an indispensable of the machinery of the government in democracies, but felt that because of party caucuses and pressure groups the dignity and moral influence of representative legislatures have been declining.[1] But for having the practice of democracy, parliament has to be effective and relevant as a forum of political debate and decision-making ensuring participation of all political parties both in government and oppositions. For instance, in British political system, parliament is independent and effective legislative body which can performs its assigned function freely and fairly. ‘In form, parliament can challenge any part of the administrative work of the government and also can dismiss either the cabinet as a whole or the minister directly responsible.[2]

[1] Bryce, Lord , Modern Democracies.Part-1, London, 1921
[2] Muir, Ramsay, How Britain is Governed? London, 1938, p. 30.