International Day of Parliamentarism is observed on June 30 to honor the parliamentary systems of governance. First observed by a United Nations General Assembly Resolution in 2018, the day recognizes the unique and enduring system of parliamentary democracy as being the standard for political representation. The day also recognizes how a parliamentary system can conduct self-evaluations to take stock of progress, identify challenges, and formulate ways to address them.
History of International Day of Parliamentarism
The International Day of Parliamentarism is the annual celebration of the parliamentary system of governance. The day honors the founding values of a parliamentary system and the promise of political representation to billions of people. The United Nations General Assembly recognizes the role of parliaments in ensuring greater accountability and transparency of the people in power.
International Day of Parliamentarism marks the anniversary of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (I.P.U.). Established in 1889 as the formal representation of the parliamentary systems of governance, the I.P.U. is a global organization that works to promote democratic governance, human representation, democratic values, and the civil aspirations of a society. The I.P.U. does critical work for democracy, peace, gender equality, human rights, youth empowerment, political dialogue, and much more. The organization also issues toolkits to inspire the participation of women, minorities, young people, disabled people, and minorities in representative democracy.
Parliaments are the cornerstone of functioning democracies. The word originates from the French word ‘parler,’ which means ‘to talk.’ For millions of people, political representation is a far-fetched dream. The I.P.U. stands in solidarity with activists, social workers, and enthusiasts who wish to be governed by the structure and norms of parliamentary democracy. International Day of Parliamentarism also serves as a reminder for us to strive for better representation in the halls of power. The key goal of a parliament is to give your voice to the voiceless. The work is difficult, and can only be accomplished with the participation of the entire citizenry.
International Day of Parliamentarism timeline
Iceland becomes the first nation to convene a formalized parliamentary system.
The Kingdom of Great Britain adopts the Great Reform Act and establishes the standard parliamentary system with a broadened voting franchise.
Inter-Parliamentary Union is established to represent parliamentarians and parliamentary democracy from all over the world.
The United Nations honors the 129th anniversary of the Inter-Parliamentary Union by designating June 30 as International Day of Parliamentarism.
International Day of Parliamentarism FAQs
When was the first parliamentary government established?
The 1188 Decreta of Leon of 1188 is the oldest documented parliamentary system in the world.
Who started the parliamentary democracy?
The modern concept of parliamentary government is credited to the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Who is the father of democracy?
Athenian lawgiver Cleisthenes is considered to be the father of democracy for his role in the reformation of the constitution of Athens and bringing democracy into the country in 508 B.C.
How to Observe International Day of Parliamentarism
Participate in democracy
International Day of Parliamentarism calls on us to become active participants of democracy all year round. It serves us as a reminder that democracy shouldn’t be limited to voting, it also should be about taking cognizance of your leaders, paying attention to the legislative process, and taking account of the progress.
Write to your local representative
A perk of parliamentary democracy is the power vested in local and municipal leaders who can enact substantial policy change to improve our lives. If you’re being affected by a long-standing issue and want to do something about it — you can. Pen a letter to your local representative or municipal leader and get the dice rolling.
Global democracy is in peril. The consistent attacks on sovereign nations and the ensuing threat to freedom are at an all-time high. This is the precise time for the people to take it upon themselves to become champions of democracy and parliamentary systems.
5 Pros Of Parliamentary Democracy
The best chance for diversity
Legislative bodies in parliamentary systems are often more racially, ethnically, and ideologically diverse.
Less gridlock, fewer problems
Coalition politics introduces compromises far more than presidential democracy.
Everyone can win
Anyone can form a political party, contest elections, and win a seat.
Greater government accountability
Parliamentary systems follow a unique chain of command, which leads to greater accountability.
Limited societal polarization
Unlike the tribalistic impositions of the two-party system, the parliamentary system allows people to choose between multiple parties for their representation at levels of government.
Why International Day of Parliamentarism is Important
We get to appreciate global democracy
As the decade unfolds, the world has found itself wrapped up in one peril after the other. Millions of people every year are falling into the cracks of democratic governance, with nationalist and populist movements gaining momentum in almost every continent. Now more than ever, we must pledge our support towards robust free speech, authentic political representation, and transparent and accountable leadership.
Only the young should run
When it comes to youth representation in parliament, the numbers are grim. While being almost 39% of the population, individuals under 40 make up only 17.5% of M.P.s. In fact, one-third of all parliaments have no M.P.s under the age of 30. International Day of Parliamentarism understands that the pathway to making better, more futuristic policies starts by putting young people in charge.
We can do better
International Day of Parliamentarism educates the public on critical issues and equips them with tools of mobilization. People’s participation is the foundation of parliamentary politics. With the annual observation, we remind ourselves of the power of collective efforts in addressing global problems.
International Day of Parliamentarism dates