International Day of Parliamentarism

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2024 Date30 June 2024
2025 Date30 June 2025

International Day of Parliamentarism

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International Day of Parliamentarism History

The International Day of Parliamentarism is celebrated to honor the critical role of parliaments and their members in making decisions that impact the lives of citizens. It aims to promote the values of democracy, transparency, accountability, and inclusion, highlighting the importance of parliamentary systems as a cornerstone of good governance. In the United Kingdom, the International Day of Parliamentarism is a significant occasion as the country has one of the oldest and most influential parliamentary systems in the world. The British Parliament, also known as the Mother of all Parliaments, has been the driving force behind several democratic movements and reforms, including the Magna Carta, which established the principle of rule of law and the right to a fair trial.

The UK Parliament has two chambers - House of Commons and House of Lords - which work together to create and pass laws, scrutinize government actions, conduct parliamentary inquiries, and represent the interests of the citizens. The International Day of Parliamentarism in the UK is an opportunity to raise awareness about the crucial work of parliamentarians and their commitment to upholding democratic values and protecting the rights of the people.

The day is also marked by various events, including public lectures, debates, and educational activities, aimed at encouraging young people to engage in the democratic process and consider a career in politics. 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 UK's Parliament is one of the oldest in the world, with its origins dating back to the 13th century.
  • The UK's Parliament is a bicameral system, composed of two Houses: the House of Commons (consisting of elected Members of Parliament, or MPs) and the House of Lords (comprising appointed and hereditary peers). A key feature of the UK's parliamentary system is the relationship between the executive and the legislature, where the government is required to have the confidence of the House of Commons to remain in power.

Top things to do in the UK for this observance

  • Explore what makes a good parliament system.
  • Read about different countries' responses to Covid-19.
  • Watch a documentary to learn about Parliamentarism in the United Kingdom. Here are some suggestions:
    1. Inside the Commons (2015) - A BBC documentary series offering an insight into the workings of the UK's House of Commons and the daily life of its Members of Parliament.
    2. Meet the Lords (2017) - A BBC documentary series that goes behind the scenes of the UK's House of Lords to see how it operates and its members' role in British politics.
    3. The Iron Lady (2011) - Although a biographical drama film about the life of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, it provides a good insight into the parliamentary system as Thatcher navigates her political career.
  • Watch a documentary to learn more about parliamentarism in the United Kingdom. Here are some recommendations:
    1. Parliament and Congress: Representation and Scrutiny in the Twenty-First Century by William McKay and Charles Johnson
    2. The British Parliament: A Very Short Introduction by Robin Harris
    3. A Short History of Parliament: England, Great Britain, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Scotland by Clyve Jones

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