Polish parliament (expression)
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Polish parliament (Swedish and Norwegian Polsk riksdag, Danish Polsk rigsdag, German Polnischer Reichstag) is an expression referring to the historical Polish parliaments. It implies chaos and general disorder, and that no real decision can be reached during sessions.
Poland (or Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) was a republic whereas most of Europe used to be ruled as an absolute monarchy. Freedom of speech in Poland was far greater than in other European countries. Moreover, any single member of the Polish parliament during the 17th and 18th century had an absolute veto (lat. liberum veto), so that complete consensus—which could be attained only with great difficulty—was required for every issue. Originally, the procedure was used for points of order and similar technical issues, however, it was later abused. Today the expression is mostly used to describe a situation where too many parties are present in a legislative assembly for meaningful and orderly debate and decision-making to take place.
The expression is found in several European languages, including all the Scandinavian languages.
- Åslund, Anders (2002). Building Capitalism: The Transformation of the Former Soviet Bloc. Cambridge University Press. p. 389. ISBN 0-521-80525-2. Retrieved 2010-01-10.
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