Problem

Contempt for democratic processes

Other Names:
Contempt for parliamentary deliberative procedures
Negation of parliament
Nature:
Parliamentary deliberation is the central process of democracy. Political speeches there can only be heard by a small number even though portions are increasingly broadcast. Considerable resources are expended on making such speeches available in written form form wider study. However very few people read such documents, even when their institutions can afford to subscribe to them. The high proportion of speeches which are repetitious and therefore predictable, lacking in significance, and hence uninteresting, contributes to lack of interest in the process. The situation is exacerbated by the tendency of members of parliament to prefer the use of press releases and interviews to make a point.
Incidence:
In the UK there has been a marked decline in news coverage of parliamentary debates over past decades. In 1993 it was estimated that two of the quality papers had deliberately reduced their coverage by as much as 75% compared with the mid-1980s.
Claim:
Lack of public exposure to parliamentary debate has a destructive effect upon the public understanding of the democratic process and discriminates against backbenchers who have few other means of getting their views to public notice.
Counter Claim:
Unless parliament can update its rituals and its language, improve its behaviour during its widely publicized (and televised) sessions, and strive for a level of debate worth listening to (as opposed to the rather childish level of charge and counter-charge typical of many debates), then it is inappropriate to expect wide public interest in its processes.
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Date of last update
26.04.2000 – 00:00 CEST