Member of parliament
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A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the voters to a parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, this category includes specifically members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title. Member of Congress is an equivalent term in other jurisdictions.
- 1 Westminster system
- 2 Other systems
- 2.1 Afghanistan
- 2.2 Austria
- 2.3 Azerbaijan
- 2.4 Bulgaria
- 2.5 Cambodia
- 2.6 Czech Republic
- 2.7 Germany
- 2.8 Greece
- 2.9 Iceland
- 2.10 Israel
- 2.11 Italy
- 2.12 Japan
- 2.13 Lebanon
- 2.14 Republic of Macedonia
- 2.15 Netherlands
- 2.16 Norway
- 2.17 Philippines
- 2.18 Poland
- 2.19 Portugal
- 2.20 Spain
- 2.21 Sweden
- 2.22 Switzerland
- 2.23 Thailand
- 2.24 Turkey
- 2.25 Ukraine
- 3 See also
- 4 Footnotes
The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system of government modelled after the politics of the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
A member of parliament is a member of the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Commonwealth (federal) parliament. Members may use "MP" after their names; "MHR" is no longer used. A member of the upper house of the Commonwealth Parliament, the Senate, is known as a "Senator".
In the Australian states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, a Member of the Legislative Assembly (House of Assembly in South Australia) or "lower house," may also use the post-nominal "MP." Members of the Legislative Council (upper house) use the post-nominal "MLC."
The Parliament of The Bahamas is the bicameral national parliament of Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The parliament is formally made up by the Queen (represented by the Governor-General), an appointed Senate, and an elected House of Assembly. It currently sits at Nassau, the national capital.
The structure, functions, and procedures of the parliament are based on the Westminster system.
Members of the Jatiya Sangsad, or National Assembly, are elected every five years and are referred to in English as members of Parliament. The assembly has directly elected 300 seats, and further 50 reserved selected seats for women.
The Parliament of Canada consists of the monarch, the Senate (the upper chamber), and the House of Commons (the lower chamber). Only members of the lower house are referred to as members of Parliament (French: député), while members of the upper house are called senators (French: sénateur). There are currently 105 seats in the Senate and 338 in the House of Commons. Members of Parliament are elected, while senators are appointed by the governor general on behalf of the sovereign at the direction of the Prime Minister of Canada. Retirement is mandatory for senators upon reaching the age of 75 years.
Each province (and territory) has its own legislature, with each member usually known as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). In certain provinces, legislators carry other titles: Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) in Ontario, Member of the National Assembly (MNA) in Quebec (French: député), and Member of the House of Assembly (MHA) in Newfoundland and Labrador. The provincial upper houses were eliminated through the 20th century.
A Member of Parliament is any member of the two houses of Indian Parliament, i.e., Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. As of 2018, Lok Sabha has 545 seats, of which 543 members are elected popularly by single-member constituencies via first past the post method in each of the 29 Indian states and 7 union territories, while the President of India may appoint 2 representatives of the Anglo-Indian community. As of 2018, Rajya Sabha can have 245 members, 233 of which are elected indirectly by the state legislatures using Single transferable vote method of proportional representation, and 12 are appointed by the President for their contributions to art, literature, science, and social services (Art. 80 of the Constitution). Each state is allocated a fixed number of representatives in each chamber, in order of their respective population. As of 2018, state of Uttar Pradesh has the greatest number of representatives in both houses. The person which secures the support of more than half the seats in the Lok Sabha forms the Government. To form the government, parties may form a coalition. The Lok Sabha is the lower house and the Rajya Sabha is the upper house of the bicameral Indian Parliament.
The term of a member of the Rajya Sabha is 6 years long, while the Lok Sabha members are elected for a term of 5 years, unless the house is dissolved sooner. Rajya Sabha is a permanent house, and is not subject to dissolution, and the members serve staggered terms - one-third of the membership retires every two years. Vacancies in both houses, whether because of death or resignation of a member, are filled with by-elections within six months of the vacancy - the newly elected member in which case serves only the rest of the pending term of the seat they are elected to. The number of seats in both houses is regulated by Constitution and parliamentary statutes.
A member of Parliament was a member of the pre-1801 Irish House of Commons of the Parliament of Ireland. Irish members elected to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland were also called members of Parliament from 1801 to 1922. Northern Ireland continues to elect MPs to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Following the formation of the independent Irish Free State in 1922, members of the lower house of the Oireachtas (parliament), Dáil Éireann (or "the Dáil") are termed Teachtaí Dála (Teachta Dála singular) or TDs and are called a Deputy. The upper house is called Seanad Éireann and its members are called Senators.
The Parliament of Jamaica is the legislative branch of the government of Jamaica. It is a bicameral body, composed of an appointed Senate and an elected House of Representatives. The Senate (upper house), the direct successor of a pre-Independence body known as the "Legislative Council" – comprises 21 senators appointed by the governor-general: thirteen on the advice of the Prime Minister and eight on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition.
The House of Representatives, the lower house, is made up of 63 (previously 60) Members of Parliament, elected to five-year terms on a first-past-the-post basis in single-seat constituencies.
Members of Parliament are styled Yang Berhormat ("Honourable") with the initials Y.B. appended prenominally. A prince who is a member of Parliament is styled Yang Berhormat Mulia. The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Tuns who are members of Parliament are styled Yang Amat Berhormat ("Most Honourable"), abbreviated Y.A.B.
The Parliament of Malta consists of the President of Malta and the House of Representatives of 69 members (article 51 of the Constitution), referred to as "members of Parliament" (article 52(1) of the Constitution). When appointed from outside the House, the Speaker is also considered a member of the Parliament. The Constitution lists the qualifications and disqualifications from serving as a member of Parliament.
Privileges of members of Parliament and their Code of Ethics are laid out in the House of Representatives (Privileges and Powers) Ordinance.
The Parliament of Nauru consists of 18 seats. Members of Parliament are entitled to use the prefix The Honourable.
The Parliament of New Zealand is made up of the monarch and the unicameral House of Representatives. A member of Parliament is a member of the House of Representatives, which has a minimum of 120 members, elected at a general election for a three-year term. There are 70 electorate MPs, of which seven are elected only by Māori who have chosen to be registered on a separate Māori electoral roll. The remaining members are elected by proportional representation from published party lists.
Before 1951, New Zealand had a bicameral (two-chamber) parliament. Members of the Legislative Council, abbreviated MLC, were appointed. Members of the lower house, the body that still exists, have always been elected. Since 1907, elected members have been referred to as 'Member of Parliament', abbreviated MP. From the 1860s until 1907 they were designated as Member of the House of Representatives, abbreviated MHR. Between the first general election, in 1853, and the 1860s, the designation was Member of the General Assembly, abbreviated MGA.
Member of Parliament refers to elected members of the Parliament of Singapore, the appointed Non-Constituency members of Parliament from the opposition, as well as the Nominated members of Parliament, who may be appointed from members of the public who have no connection to any political party in Singapore.
In Sri Lanka, a Member of Parliament refers to a member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka (since 1978), the National State Assembly (1972–78) and the House of Representatives of Ceylon (1947–72), the lower house of the Parliament of Ceylon. Members are elected in a general elections or appointed from the national lists allocated to parties (and independent groups) in proportion to their share of the national vote at a general election. A candidate to become an MP must be a Sri Lankan citizen and not hold dual-citizenship in any other country, be at least 18 years of age, and not be a public official or officeholder.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The United Kingdom elects members of two parliaments:
- the Parliament of the United Kingdom, with 650 members elected by the first-past-the-post system to the (lower) House of Commons, referred to as Members of Parliament, abbreviated to MP
- the European Parliament, with a maximum of 73 members out of a total of 751 members elected for a five-year term, called Members of the European Parliament (MEP)
and four devolved legislatures:
- the Scottish Parliament, with 129 members elected under the additional member system every five years, and each called Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP; Scottish Gaelic: Ball Pàrlamaid na h-Alba, BPA; Scots: Memmer o the Scots Pairliament, MSP)
- the Northern Ireland Assembly, with 90 members each known as Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA; Irish: Comhalta den Tionól Reachtach, CTR; Ulster-Scots: Laa-Makkan Forgaitherar, LMF). (Between 1921 and 1973, Northern Ireland was governed by the Parliament of Northern Ireland, whose members were known as Member of Parliament.)
- the National Assembly for Wales, with 60 elected members called Assembly Member (AM; Welsh: Aelod y Cynulliad, AC)
- the London Assembly, with 25 members elected under the additional member system every four years, called Members of the London Assembly (AM)
MPs are elected in general elections and by-elections to represent constituencies, and may remain MPs until Parliament is dissolved, which occurs around five years after the last general election, as laid down in the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.
A candidate to become an MP must be a British or Irish or Commonwealth citizen, be at least 18 years of age (reduced from 21 in 2006), and not be a public official or officeholder, as set out in the schedule to the Electoral Administration Act 2006.
Technically, MPs have no right to resign their seats (though they may refuse to seek re-election). However a legal fiction allows voluntary resignation between elections; as MPs are forbidden from holding an "office of profit under the Crown", an MP wishing to resign will apply for the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds or the Stewardship of the Manor of Northstead which are, nominally, such paid offices and thus result in the MP vacating their seat. (Accepting a salaried Ministerial office does not amount to a paid office under the Crown for these purposes.)
The House of Lords is a legislative chamber that is part of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Although they are part of the parliament, its members are referred to as peers, more formally as Lords of Parliament, not MPs. Lords Temporal sit for life, Lords Spiritual while they occupy their ecclesiastical positions. Hereditary peers may no longer pass on a seat in the House of Lords to their heir automatically. The 92 who remain have been elected from among their own number, following the House of Lords Act 1999 and are the only elected members of the Lords.
"Members of Parliament" are members of the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe. Members of the upper house of Parliament are referred to as Senators.
Member of Parliament can be the term (often a translation) for representatives in parliamentary democracies that do not follow the Westminster system and who are usually referred to in a different fashion, such as Deputé in France, Deputato in Italy, Deputat in Bulgaria, Parlamentario o Diputado in Spain and Spanish speaking Latin America, Deputado in Portugal and Brazil, Mitglied des Bundestages (MdB) in Germany. However, better translations are often possible.
A Member of Parliament (MP) is a member of the Lower House of the bicameral Parliament National Assembly of Afghanistan: a member of the Wolesi Jirga (House of People) holds one of the in total 250 seats in the Lower House. The 102 members of the Upper House Meshrano Jirga (House of Elders) are called Senators.
A member of Parliament is a member of either of the two chambers of the Parliament of Austria (Österreichisches Parlament). The members of the Nationalrat are called Abgeordnete zum Nationalrat. The members of the Bundesrat, elected by the provincial diets (Landtage) of the nine federal States of Austria, are known as Mitglieder des Bundesrats.
In Bulgaria there are 240 members of Parliament (Bulgarian: Народно събрание / Парламент; transliteration Narodno sabranie / Parlament), which are called 'Deputati' (singular Deputat). Moreover, there are 240 MPs in the normal parliament and 400 in the "Great Parliament". The Great Parliament is elected when a new constitution is needed. There have been seven Great Parliaments in modern Bulgarian history, in 1879, 1881, 1886, 1893, 1911, 1946 and 1990. MPs in Bulgaria are called депутати – deputies.
The member of Parliament (Khmer: សមាជិកសភា) refers to the elected members of the National Assembly. There are 123 members of Parliament in total. They are also alternatively called member of the National Assembly. Parliamentary elections are traditionally held every five years with no term limits imposed. The 25 provinces of Cambodia are represented by the members of Parliament in the National Assembly. A constituency may have more than one MP, depending on the population.
A member of Parliament is a member of either of the two chambers of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, although the term Member of Parliament of the Czech Republic is commonly referred to Deputy of the Parliament of the Czech Republic (Czech: Poslanec Parlamentu České republiky) who is member of the lower house of the Parliament, Chamber of Deputies. For the upper house, Senate, the term Senator is used.
Member of Parliament refers to the elected members of the federal Bundestag Parliament at the Reichstag building in Berlin. In German a member is called Mitglied des Bundestages (Member of the Federal Diet) or officially Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestages (Member of the German Federal Diet), abbreviated MdB and attached . Unofficially the term Abgeordneter (literally: "delegate", i.e. of a certain electorate) is also common (abbreviated Abg., never follows the name but precedes it).
In accordance with article 38 of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, which is the German constitution, "[m]embers of the German Bundestag shall be elected in general, direct, free, equal, and secret elections. They shall be representatives of the whole people, not bound by orders or instructions, and responsible only to their conscience." An important though not constitutionally required feature of German parliamentarianism is a slightly modified proportional representation.
The 16 federal States of Germany (Länder) are represented by the Bundesrat at the former Prussian House of Lords, whose members are representatives of the respective Länder's governments and not directly elected by the people.
The Hellenic Parliament (Βουλή των Ελλήνων), is the supreme democratic institution in Greece, that represents all citizens through an elected body of Members of Parliament. It is a unicameral legislature of 300 members, elected for a four-year term.
In the Republican Parliament the current term is Deputato (that is deputy as appointed to act on people's behalf) and so the Lower House takes the name of Camera dei Deputati. Similarly to other countries, the Upper House is called Senato and its members are the Senatori. In the Republic of Italy there are 315 members of Senate and 630 members of the Camera dei Deputati. Both of them are elected by general elections every 5 years. The President of the Italian Republic can nominate for life 5 members of the Upper House. All former Presidents of the Republic are members of the Upper House for life. The two houses together form a perfect bicameral system, meaning they perform identical functions, but do so separately.
In Japan, both houses of today's national parliament, the National Diet (Kokkai), are directly elected, and although the two chambers differ in legislative and political authority, term length and age restriction of eligibility, the members of both houses are generally equal in personal status (financial compensation, immunity, etc.). There are currently 717 members of the National Diet (Kokkai giin, 国会議員): 475 Members of the House of Representatives (Shūgiin giin, 衆議院議員) and 242 Members of the House of Councillors (Sangiin giin, 参議院議員). The former are elected in general/by-/repeat elections of members of the House of Representatives (Shūgiin giin sō-/hoketsu-/sai-senkyo), the latter in regular/by-/repeat elections of members of the House of Councillors (Sangiin giin tsūjō-/hoketsu-/sai-senkyo). Under the postwar constitution, the prime minister is elected by the National Diet and must be a member of the National Diet, as must the majority of other ministers; by practice, all prime ministers since 1947 have been members of the House of Representatives so far.
Under the constitution of the Empire of Japan, the Imperial Diet (Teikoku-gikai) was a bicameral legislature of two houses generally equal in legislative authority, and while the members of both houses received the same financial compensation – between 1920 and 1947: 7500 Yen for the two presidents, ¥4500 for the two vice-presidents, ¥3000 for all other members of both houses except Imperial princes, dukes and marquesses –, their status was different by definition: the upper house consisted mainly of hereditary nobles and lifetime-appointed peers, the lower house of elected commoners. In the 1st Imperial Diet in 1890, there were initially 551 members of the Imperial Diet (Teikoku-gikai giin, 帝国議会議員, or in contemporaneous script 帝國議會議員): 251 members of the House of Peers (Kizokuin giin, 貴族院議員) and 300 members of the House of Representatives (Shūgiin giin); of the House of Peers members, 10 were members of the Imperial family, 31 were hereditary members from the two upper nobility ranks, 104 were members elected in mutual elections from the three lower nobility ranks, 61 were lifetime-appointed members (many of these from the bureaucracy) and 45 were members elected by the 15 top taxpayers in each of the 45 prefectures. But the number of noble and appointed members of the House of Peers was not fixed and varied gradually over time as members died or new peerages were granted; the number of elected top taxpayer seats, Imperial Academy seats (introduced in 1925), members appointed from the colonies Chōsen/Korea and Taiwan/Formosa (introduced in 1945), and the size of the House of Representatives was fixed by law, but was also changed several times over the decades. The last, 92nd Imperial Diet of 1946–47 had 839 members: 466 members of the House of Representatives and 373 members of the House of Peers. As the regulations establishing the cabinet (naikaku) and the cabinet's prime minister (naikaku sōri-daijin) were decreed before the Imperial constitution, the prime minister didn't have to be a member of the Imperial Diet, but after the establishment of the Imperial Diet in 1890, many prime ministers were appointed from the House of Peers, only very few were members of the House of Representatives (Takashi Hara, Osachi Hamaguchi, Tsuyoshi Inukai).
The Parliament of Lebanon is the Lebanese national legislature. It is elected to a four-year term by universal adult suffrage in multi-member constituencies, apportioned among Lebanon's diverse Christian and Muslim denominations. Its major functions are to elect the President of the Republic, to approve the government (although appointed by the President, the Prime Minister, along with the Cabinet, must retain the confidence of a majority in the Parliament), and to approve laws and expenditure. The name of a deputy in Arabic is Naeb (نائب). The plural of Naeb is Nuwab (نواب).
Republic of Macedonia
In the Republic of Macedonia there are 120 members of parliament (Macedonian: Sobranie) which are called 'Pratenici' (singular Pratenik).
The Parliament of the Netherlands is known as the Staten-Generaal, States General. It is bicameral, divided in two Kamers (English: Chambers). The Senate is known in Dutch as the Eerste Kamer (First Chamber) and its members as senatoren, Senators. The House of Representatives, known in Dutch as the Tweede Kamer (Second Chamber), is the most important one. The important debates take place here. Also, the Second Chamber can edit proposed laws with amendments and it can propose laws itself. The Senate does not have these capabilities. Its function is a more technical reviewing of laws. It can only pass a law or reject it. Both chambers are in The Hague which is the seat of parliament but not the official capital of the Netherlands, which is Amsterdam.
The 150 members of the House of Representatives are elected by general elections every 4 years (or earlier if the government falls). The 75 members of the Senate are elected indirectly. The members of the 12 provincial Parliaments and the councils of the three Caribbean special municipalities elect the senators. The value of a vote of a member of a provincial Parliament is weighted by the population of the province. Provincial Parliaments, the States-Provincial, are elected by general elections every four years; a new Senate is elected three months after the provincial elections.
A member of Parliament is an elected member of the Stortinget. They are called stortingsrepresentanter (literal translation: Representatives of the Storting). Since 2009, Norway has had a unicameral Parliament, which previously consisted of Odelstinget and Lagtinget, Odelstinget with three-quarters, or 127, of the total 169 members, Lagtinget with the remainder. The dividing of the Parliament into chambers was only used when dealing with passing regular laws and in cases of prosecution by the national court (riksrett). In other matters, such as passing the national budget or changing the constitution (the latter requiring a majority of two-thirds), the chambers were united.
The members of the unicameral Parliament of Norway are chosen by popular vote for a parliamentary period of four years.
From 1978 to 1984, the Philippine Parliament was called the Batasang Pambansa (National Assembly), and its elected members were called Mambabatas Pambansa (National Assemblyman), often shortened to "MP".
A member of Parliament is known as deputado, a person who is appointed after democratic election to act on people's behalf. The parliament is called Assembleia da República.
The word parlamento -of the same origin as Parliament in English- is used as a common name for all legislative assemblies, and hence parlamentario for the member of any of them, which can usually refer to members of:
- both chambers of the national legislature (Cortes Generales), the Congress of Deputies and the Senate.
- the regional devolved legislatures of the Autonomous Communities.
- the European Parliament.
Members of the Congress of Deputies are called diputados (deputies), impliying that they are elected to act in the name and on behalf of the people they represent. It is also usual to call members of the European Parliament eurodiputados.
Members of Parliament refers to the elected members of the Riksdag. In Swedish, an MP is usually referred to as a riksdagsledamot (member of the Riksdag) or a riksdagsman (Gentleman of the Riksdag). The former is in more common use today, especially in official contexts, due its status as a unisex word, while the latter was used more often historically and literally refers to a male MP exclusively.
The parliament is a unicameral assembly with 349 members who are chosen every four years in general elections. To become an MP, a person must be entitled to vote (i.e. be a Swedish citizen, be at least 18 years old and be or have been resident in Sweden) and must be nominated by a political party. The MPs are elected by proportionality in constituencies across the nation. To decide which candidate will be elected the modified Sainte-Laguë method is used. This method usually but not always gives an accurate result in proportion to cast votes. In the 2014 general election the center-right coalition government got one less MP than the overall opposition, in despite of more votes in total. To get a more proportional result 39 MPs are elected at compensation mandate (Utjämningsmandat) and those MPs therefore doesn't represent their own constituency.
The salaries of the MPs are decided by the Riksdag Pay Committee (Riksdagens arvodesnämnd), a government agency under the Riksdag. Since 1 November 2007, the basic monthly pay of an MP is SEK52,900 (ca. US$6,500). The pay of the Speaker is SEK126,000 a month (ca. US$15,000), which is the same as that of the Prime Minister. The Deputy Speakers receive an increment of 30% of the pay of a member. The chairs and deputy chairs of the parliamentary committees receive a similar increment of 20% and 15% respectively.
According to a survey investigation by the sociologist Jenny Hansson, Swedish national parliamentarians have an average work week of 66 hours, including side responsibilities. Hansson's investigation further reports that the average Swedish national parliamentarian sleeps 6.5 hours per night.
In the Kingdom of Thailand, members of Parliament (Thai: สมาชิกรัฐสภา; RTGS: Samachik Ratthasapha) refer to the members of the National Assembly of Thailand, that is, the Members of the House of Representatives and the Senators. Following the military coup d'état on 19 September 2006, all members of the Assembly were suspended from duty until the next election. The Assembly was fully reconvened after the general elections under a slightly amended new constitution. Under the 2007 Constitution there are 650 members of Parliament, consisting of 500 members in the House of Representatives, of which 375 elected from constituencies and the other 125 by party-list, and 150 Senators.
In the Republic of Turkey, a member of Parliament is an elected member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi, TBMM), which has 600 members elected at a general election for a term of office of four years.
People's Deputy of Ukraine (Ukrainian: народний депутат України, narodnyi deputat Ukrayiny) is a member of Parliament, legislator elected by a popular vote to the Verkhovna Rada (the unicameral parliament of Ukraine). Often People's Deputies of Ukraine are referred to simply as deputies.
The main statutes that define the order of elections, rights and duties of the People's Deputies of Ukraine are outlined in Articles 76 – 81 of the Constitution of Ukraine. There are 450 people's deputies of Ukraine who are elected based on the general, equal and direct electoral right for 5 years. The deputies may be appointed to various parliamentary positions such as the chairperson (speaker) of Parliament, a head of a committee or a parliamentary faction, etc. Upon its appointment to the office each people's deputy of Ukraine receives a deputy mandate.
People's Deputies that ran for the parliament as self-nominated candidates can join factions if they wish.
- Deputy (legislator)
- Member of Congress
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- Yanukovych signs law on open voting to elect parliamentary chairman, Kyiv Post (19 November 2012)