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Parliament: our principal democratic institution?

"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom"

By Graham Brady  

Should we reform how parliament works?

An Englishman who played a key role in both the American and French revolutions, if Thomas Paine were alive today, he would recognise in our Parliament the last bastion of the patronage state from which he sailed 240 years ago. Whereas the American colonists built a constitution which consciously sought to place democratic checks on the power of the executive; in the mother country we made the prerogative powers of the monarch seem more palatable by vesting them…

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