TITLE

Impetus for Parliament's Change: Comparative Approach - Macedonia and Switzerland

AUTHOR(S)
Hristova, Olimpija
PUB. DATE
January 2012
SOURCE
Papers from the 7th Annual Conference on European Integration: E;2012, p133
SOURCE TYPE
Conference Paper
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Can the work of parliaments improve and become what it is meant to be: a place of genuine representation of citizens in the modern democracies? It is of vital importance that political scientists address this question, since many indicators point to the democratic deficit in the European countries. The decline in electoral turnouts, lack of participation in public deliberation and party membership all the more pronouncedly challenge the future legitimacy of the democratic institutions of the political system. However, if one carefully follows the current trends in democratic research, namely, quality of democracies and democratic deliberation; Switzerland remains a prime example of a small European consensual democratic state, where states with similar configuration of the political system could look for ideas. In this paper I look at the growing relevance of the Swiss Parliament apparent in its increased quality of deliberation, due to greater research activities and professionalized knowledge backing of the Swiss Parliament's activities on one hand, and the direct democratic practices on the other as the backbone of its political system. The paper presents a comparative study of particular findings in the work of the Swiss and the Macedonian Parliament regarding their increased importance as democratic institutions, calling attention to the lessons that Macedonia can draw from the Swiss practices for improvement of its institutional capacities. The tentative conclusion is that Macedonia has to invest more in research activity concerning the parliamentary deliberation and legislative procedures in order to increase its relevance as a representative institution, reinforced by revitalizing the direct democratic practices.
ACCESSION #
102211340

 

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