The first Global Parliamentary Report, written by GPA Director Greg Power, was published by the IPU and UNDP at the beginning of April, focusing on the changing relationship between voters and politicians.
Parliaments now exist in 190 of 193 countries in the world. Almost all states – whether democratic or not – seem to need a parliament. Yet despite their prevalence, they are not universally popular. The report looks at how the publicâ€™s expectation of more accountability and responsiveness is changing the role of the Member of Parliament. It examines three dimensions of change. First, the way in which parliaments around the world is seeking to consult and engage voters. Second, how MPs need to account to voters more regularly and routinely than ever before. And, third it assesses the growth of constituency work and how MPs are coping.
The report concludes by stating that, compared with 50 years ago, parliaments are markedly more accountable, representative and responsive to voters. Yet the landscape in which they operate is more complex and faster moving than ever before. The challenge for parliaments and politicians is to keep up with the pace of change, by continuing to evolve, adapt and renew their relationship with the public.