THE ETHICS OF A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT AND THE NATURE OF A REPRESENATATIVE MANDATE
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The ethics of a parliamentarian is 'sui generis' a qualified form of political ethics. However, political ethics and the ethics of a parliamentarian differ in that political ethics is, at least to a degree, legally defined and regulated. The legal framework of ethics of a parliamentarian may be assessed at least from three points of view. The first of them is legal constitutional nature of parliamentary mandate which, in fact, determines specific obligations of its holder shaping his or her behavior, which - in turn - in confrontation with the principles relating to general construction of mandate, may be assessed as ethical or unethical. The second point of view, which is directly linked to the previous one, is the relation between a parliamentarian and his or her own political parties, or - speaking more broadly - his or her powerbase. This relation, firstly, may significantly modify theoretical foundations of the mandate and, secondly, is distinguished by its own system of ethics - used in a peculiar meaning - which may not only complement theoretical foundations of the mandate, but also - even potentially - collide (or, at least, do not harmonize) with them. Finally, the third legal approach to the manner of regulation of ethics of a parliamentarian is the question of relations between a parliamentarian and other extra-parliamentary communities and groups of lobbying character, i.e. all types of pressure groups which - more or less - exert influence on the parliamentarians and parliament and, as a consequence, affect the decisions of the legislature. These three dimensions of ethics of a parliamentarian constitute peculiarly understood subsystems which make up appropriate ethics of a parliamentarian seen as a spectrum of acts that are permitted, required or forbidden and which result from the fact of exercise of the representative mandate. The demand for ethical behavior should require from of a parliamentarian to conduct himself or herself in such a way that respects the constitutional construction of the representative mandate on the one hand, and reconciles the interest of the general public with particular interests (including those of political parties and lobbying groups) on the other, since only such a conduct may give an optimum decision (in a given socio-political circumstances) elaborated by the national representative body. The decisions made by parliamentarians, involved by nature in conflict of various interests, should always result from the choice of priorities and their hierarchy throughout the country, and - in case of a potential conflict or, at least, lack of synchronisation of particular and group interests, the decisive voice should belong to the interest of the nation exposed by the holder of the parliamentary mandate.
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