Citizens elect the parliament, but what contract takes place between citizen and parliament in between elections? The authors assess the extent and nature of that contact. To what extent are members of parliament accessible to the ordinary citizen? And what are the implications for the legislature? Can there be too much, or too little, contact?
Table of Contents
Preface -- Contributors -- General Introduction /Philip Norton -- 1. Introduction: Linking Parliaments and Citizens /Philip Norton -- 2. The United Kingdom: Building the Link between Constituent and MP /Philip Norton -- 3. Parliament and Citizens in Germany: Reconciling Conflicting Pressures /Thomas Saalfeld -- 4. Parliament and Citizens in Italy: A Distant Relationship /Vincent Della Sala -- 5. Belgian MPs: Between Omnipotent Parties and Disenchanted Citizen-Clients /Lieven De Winter -- 6. Still Persecuting Civil Servants? Irish Parliamentarians and Citizen /Eunan O'Halpin -- 7. Parliament and Citizens in Portugal: Still Looking for Links /Cristina Leston-Bandeira -- 8. The European Parliament: Of Barriers and Removed Citizens /Mark Shephard and Roger Scully -- 9. Conclusion: Developing the Links /Philip Norton -- Index.
Philip Norton (Lord Norton of Louth) is Professor of Government and Director of the Centre for Legislative Studies at the University of Hull.