Wyobrażenia parlamentaryzmu: między dekoracją a realną władzą

Michał Śliwa


The analysis deals with the constant presence of parliamentary ideas in Polish political
thought of the 19th and 20th century. In the post-uprising reality it was the socialists that
presented the advantages of democracy and parliamentary representation. They also tried
to convince others of the possibility of building a new and just socio-political order on the
basis of the already existing state institutions. Independence provided the opportunity for
institutionalizing democratic and parliamentary values, however, soon after the March
Constitution was adopted this type of state organization became denied. The reasons for
such an aggressive criticism of the parliamentary system expressed by various political
environments stemmed from the socio-political and economic phenomena of the interwar
period. The clashing political movements of National Democracy and Sanation preferred
a centralized model of power. The process of restoring parliamentary democracy in Central-
East Europe countries (i.e. those under the political influence of the USSR) after World War
II was affected by different kind of difficulties and obstacles. Following the Soviet mode,
traditional parliamentarism was rejected as bourgeois and substituted with representational
system based on soviets and with no division of power. In Poland those solutions were not
consequently implemented and the strive for the revival of parliamentarism was visible in
the years of crisis, i.e. 1956, 1970, 1980, when discussions on the need for strengthening
and reinforcing the activity of Sejm sparked again and again. The claim for the revival of
parliamentarism came true only after the decline of real socialism. Nowadays the functioning
of parliamentary democracy and its institutions is a topic for populist criticism.
Key words: political thought, parliamentary democracy, parliamentarism, political culture

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