Nature & Wildlife

A write up on Parliament

A write up on Parliament
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  ROLE OF CITIZEN IN THE GROWTH OF NIGERIAN PARLIAMENT Parliament thus makes a vital contribution to democracy at many levelssimultaneously. Within the institutions of government it is the representative bodythrough which the will of the people finds expression, in which their diversity ismanifested, and in which the differences between them are debated and negotiated. Atits best, parliament embodies the distinctive democratic attributes of discussion andcompromise, as the means through which a public interest is realised that is more thanthe sum of individual or sectional interests. We can also say the role of the parliamentare: Examining and challenging the work of the government (scrutiny) Debating and passing all laws (legislation) Enabling the government to raise taxesWhile respect for these rights is the responsibility of all citizens, it is the particular responsibility of parliament as the legislative power to ensure that their formulationand mode of protection in practice conform to international human rights standards,and that they are not undermined by other legislation, including that applicable toresidents who do not have full citizenship. Nowadays, most citizens in Nigeria regardeconomic and social rights as being as important a component of their basic rights ascivil and political ones; how to protect these effectively for all sections of their  population is one of the main challenges confronting parliaments in the present age of globalisation, where there is an erosion of national sovereignty.In practice, of course, most people are unable to visit parliament in person. For  parliamentary proceedings to be open to the public, therefore, means in effect beingopen to the press and broadcasting personnel who act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the public as a whole.Informing citizens about the work of parliament is not just a concern for independentmedia, however, but is a responsibility of parliaments themselves. Over the past fewyears, Nigerian parliament has been making strenuous efforts to inform and educatethe public about their activities, and to engage their interest and attention. In this theyhave been helped by the rapid development of new forms of communication such asthe Internet, which also facilitates an interactive relationship between representativesand citizens rather than just a one-way communication. Citizens cannot hope toinfluence or contribute to the growth of parliament unless they are first fully informedabout what they are doing; neither will they be able to hold their representatives properly to account.A democratic parliament determines the laws and policies for society and securerespect for the rule of law. Within the traditional separation of powers – between theexecutive, legislature and judiciary – parliament as the freely elected body holds acentral place in any democracy. It is the institution through which the will of the people are expressed, and through which popular self-government is realised in practice.As agents of the people, parliaments represent them in dealings with the other  branches of government, and with various international and sub-national bodies. Howwell they fulfil this mediating role, and how representative of the people they are in alltheir diversity, is an important consideration for a democratic parliament.
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