Parliament: The Backbone of Democracy Quiz

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12 Questions

What is the primary role of parliaments in preventing abuse of power?

Engaging in extensive discussions on national issues

Who typically chairs sessions and oversees the administration of the parliament?


What is the role of the Speaker in parliament procedures?

Maintaining order in the chamber

How do parliaments help ensure that the government remains responsive to public needs?

By representing diverse views of the public

What is the importance of parliamentary rules and procedures?

To maintain order and fairness

In what way does parliament serve as a forum for political debate and public discourse?

By engaging in extensive discussions on national issues

What is the origin of parliamentary systems according to the text?

United Kingdom in the 13th century

Which of the following best describes the composition of parliaments?

Two chambers, one with appointed members and one with elected members

In a parliamentary system, which chamber is usually more powerful?

Lower house with elected members

What is one of the primary responsibilities of parliaments mentioned in the text?

Deciding on the country's budget

How did parliaments evolve over time according to the text?

They evolved into systems of representative democracy by the 19th century

What distinguishes the upper house from the lower house in a parliament?

Upper house has appointed members, lower house has elected members

Study Notes

Parliament: A Cornerstone of Democracy

Parliament, a term used to describe the legislative branch of government in many countries, is a crucial component of democratic societies worldwide. The concept of parliamentary systems originated in ancient Greece, but today's parliaments bear little resemblance to their ancient counterparts. Instead, they have evolved into complex institutions that serve as forums for debate, decision-making, and representation.

Origins and Evolution

Parliaments first appeared in the United Kingdom during the 13th century as assemblies of representatives of the nobility, clergy, and burghers, known as the Estates General. Over time, parliaments spread throughout Europe, and by the 19th century, they evolved into systems of representative democracy, with members elected by the public to represent their interests.


Parliaments are typically composed of two chambers: an upper house and a lower house. The upper house, also referred to as the Senate or House of Lords, is made up of members who are usually appointed for life, not elected. The lower house, or House of Commons, is the more powerful chamber, with members elected directly by the people.

Powers and Responsibilities

Parliaments have the power to create new laws, change existing laws, and decide on the country's budget. They also have the authority to amend or repeal legislation initiated by the executive branch. By holding the executive accountable, parliaments help to prevent abuse of power.

Parliaments also serve as a forum for political debate and public discourse. Members of parliament (MPs) or senators engage in extensive discussions on important national issues, allowing the public to follow ongoing debates and to hold their elected representatives to account.

Leadership and Officers

Parliament is typically led by a Speaker, who regulates the proceedings and maintains order in the chamber, and a President, who chairs sessions and oversees the parliament's administration. Other officers, such as clerks and sergeants-at-arms, assist the Speaker and President in their duties.


Parliament operates according to a set of rules and procedures that govern its conduct. These rules ensure that debates are conducted in an orderly and fair manner, and that everyone has a chance to express their views. The Speaker has the power to control the debates and maintain order in the chamber.

Importance to Democracy

Parliament plays a crucial role in democratic societies by providing a platform for open debate and discussion, by allowing the public to hold their elected representatives to account, and by ensuring that the government remains accountable and transparent. By representing the diverse views and interests of the public, parliament helps to ensure that the government remains responsive to the needs and concerns of the people.

In conclusion, parliament is an essential component of democratic societies. It serves as a forum for debate, decision-making, and representation, and it helps to ensure that the government remains responsive to the needs and concerns of the public. By understanding how parliaments operate, we can better appreciate the role they play in shaping our societies and the importance of active citizen engagement.

Test your knowledge about the origins, evolution, composition, powers, and responsibilities of parliaments worldwide. Learn about the leadership structure, procedural rules, and the crucial role that parliaments play in democratic societies.

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