The Essentials of Parliamentary Democracy

The Essentials of Parliamentary Democracy

The Essentials of Parliamentary Democracy

The Essentials of Parliamentary Democracy

Excerpt

This book has been provoked by recent tendencies in British politics and by current controversies relative to the present working and future prospects of our system of parliamentary government. Its object is to elucidate or to re-state the conditions essential to the maintenance of parliamentary democracy. I have sought to explain what parliamentary democracy involves rather than to defend it, because I am convinced that the dangers with which it is threatened, in this country especially, arise more from failure to understand the necessary conditions of its survival than from any form of direct attack.

In concentrating my attention upon British political life and institutions, I have not been indifferent to the fate of parliamentary democracy in other countries. On the contrary, I believe that the future of democracy throughout the world depends in large measure upon the preservation and improvement of the British system of government. Moreover, our long and successful application of democratic methods suggests that an analysis of the British situation is most likely to bring out the essentials of parliamentary democracy.

The analysis attempted in the following pages may be justified on several grounds. To some minds, British political institutions are already in grave peril. I do not share that view, but it is none the less desirable to be on guard against complacency. Elements of . . .

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