International Day of Parliamentarism

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2024 DateJune 30, 2024
2025 DateJune 30, 2025

International Day of Parliamentarism

International Day of Parliamentarism in
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International Day of Parliamentarism History

International Day of Parliamentarism is observed globally to celebrate the role of parliaments as a fundamental institution in democracies. This day highlights the importance of parliamentary governance in promoting peace, democracy, and sustainable development. In Canada, International Day of Parliamentarism holds significant importance, as the country has a rich and vibrant parliamentary tradition. The Canadian parliament serves as the heart of Canadian democracy and has been a critical institution in shaping the country's political landscape. This day allows Canadians to reflect on the role that their parliamentarians play in ensuring accountability, transparency, and good governance.

The Canadian parliament comprises two chambers - the House of Commons and the Senate. The House of Commons is the directly elected lower house with 338 members, while the Senate is the appointed upper house with 105 members. The Canadian parliamentary system operates on a Westminster-style model, which draws inspiration from the United Kingdom's parliament.

The first International Day of Parliamentarism was observed on June 30, 2018, and has since then gained worldwide attention. The United Nations General Assembly declared this day to build public awareness of the importance of parliaments in governance and politics. The day provides an opportunity for countries to share their parliamentary experiences, promote good governance practices, and uphold democratic values. International Day of Parliamentarism is observed annually on June 30th.

International Day of Parliamentarism facts

  • Parliamentary systems are typically either bicameral, consisting of 2 chambers, or unicameral, 1 chamber. According to the UN, out of 193 countries, 79 are bicameral and 114 are unicameral.
  • At the current rate of progress, gender parity in national legislative bodies will not be achieved before 2063.
  • About 60% of the world's countries operate under a parliamentary system, including Canada, Australia, India, Israel, Japan, and most Western European nations.
  • The International Day of Parliamentarism was created by the United Nations (UN) in 2018. As a member of the UN, Canada participates in this global event to honor democratic institutions and promote cooperation among parliaments worldwide.
  • The Canadian Parliament consists of the Monarch, the Senate, and the House of Commons. The day is a reminder of the vital role that each of these institutions plays in shaping Canadian society and policy.

Top things to do in Canada for this observance

  • Explore what makes a good parliament system.
  • Read about different countries' responses to Covid-19.
  • Watch a documentary to learn more about Parliamentism in Canada. Here are our recommendations:
    1. The Life and Times of Sir John A. Macdonald (1999): This CBC television documentary explores the life and political career of Canada's first prime minister, offering a glimpse into the early days of Canadian parliamentarism.
    2. Inside the House (2017): This six-part CBC series takes viewers behind the scenes of Canada's Parliament, providing an in-depth look at the daily workings of the House of Commons and the legislative process.
    3. Trudeaumania: The Rise to Power of Pierre Elliott Trudeau (2016): This documentary covers the early political career of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who went on to become one of Canada's most influential prime ministers.
  • Read a book to learn more about Parliamentarism in Canada. Here are our suggestions:
    1. Canadian Parliamentary Handbook by B. Thomas Hall
    2. Parliamentary Democracy in Crisis edited by Peter H. Russell and Lorne Sossin
    3. Tragedy in the Commons: Former Members of Parliament Speak Out About Canada's Failing Democracy by Alison Loat and Michael MacMillan

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