In a new post based on a paper from our Making Sense of Parliaments conference, Aileen Walker, Associate at Global Partners Governance, discusses how to build public trust in parliaments.
By Mark Egan
What makes a parliament effective? What are the factors which make parliaments better at making laws or representing the people? These issues were discussed during the PSA Parliaments and Legislatures annual conference in October 2016. I spoke from the perspective of a parliamentary practitioner with experience of the UK and Jersey about the additional challenges faced by small parliamentary bodies in achieving the Holy Grail of effectiveness.
Politicians, the public, think-tanks, journalists and academics alike have increasingly focused in recent times on how parliaments and legislatures work and how to make them work better in terms of policy-making, representation, scrutiny and accountability. Yet, despite this focus, the evidence base for making judgments about the effectiveness of parliaments and legislatures is arguably not as extensive as it could be, perhaps partly because of methodological difficulties in assessing the influence, impact and power of these institutions.