Political parties and the media should behave more responsibly if the people are to be integrated into a meaningful liberal democracy, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said on Wednesday.

“It is the quality of democratic behaviour of the electorate and political parties that creates a healthy atmosphere for proper functioning of democracy,” he said.

“In the USA the average polling percentage is only 38, but it is considered to be one of the most democratically conscious of nations. The number of voters turning out is an important component, but not all,” Mr. Chatterjee said at the launch of a website here.

Stating that the quality of democratic behaviour in India was not up to the mark, Mr. Chatterjee said that most political parties create disturbances in the Parliament.

“The Parliament or Assemblies have become places of political confrontation and people are losing interest in democracy and also in the voting process,” Mr. Chatterjee said.

“Unless this attitude changes it is very hard for the proper functioning of Parliament, Assemblies and democracy. If the people are to be integrated in mainstream Parliamentary democracy then political parties and the media will have play a major and sensible role,” he added.