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This book is partly an attempt to give a contemporary picture of the initiatives which parliaments are undertaking as their own contribution to consolidating and strengthening democracy. At the same time the book is more than simply a record; it also has an aspirational purpose. In presenting what parliaments themselves see as good examples of democratic practice, it builds up a profile of what a democratic parliament actually looks like, and how it might better become so. The standards of such a parliament are not something externally contrived or imposed, in other words, but are developed from the practice of parliaments themselves.

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