Caucusing

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Caucusing is the practice where a portion of the membership of a voting body agrees to vote as a political bloc, even if some members of the caucus might be inclined to vote the other way.

Caucusing is beneficial because it allows the members a body greater influence as part of voting procedures. All members of the bloc vote unanimously, disregarding their individual opinions on the issue. Usually, an internal discussion is held and the caucus members are allowed to voice their opinions and indicate how they wish the caucus to vote. Internal voting procedure is mostly regulated by the caucus itself and can be a simple majority ( half plus one) or a super-majority (two-thirds vote) or even a weighted voting structure.

In the most extreme cases it has the power to tip the voting balance in one's favor if the caucus makes up a large part of the voting body. If only a simple majority is required in the caucus, the caucus prevents the opposition from receiving votes on an unfavourable measure. For example, suppose that one-third of the members agree to always vote as a bloc. Once they decide how they vote, only a quarter plus one of the remaining voters are required for the measure to pass. This in the most extreme sense would mean that only five-twelfths of a consensus is required to pass the issue, which would have otherwise failed if left to an open vote.

The underlying motivation for voters to commit to a caucus and primarily contrary to ones own natural inclinations is the idea that support lended on an inconsequential issue, will help members when it comes to an issue of greater concern to themselves.