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Encyclopedia > Chief Whip

The Chief Whip is a political office in some legislatures assigned to an elected member whose task is to administer the whipping system that ensures that members of the party attend and vote as the party leadership desires. A legislature is a type of representative deliberative assembly with the power to adopt laws. ... In politics, a whip is a member of a political party in a legislature whose task is to ensure that members of the party attend and vote as the party leadership desires. ... A political party is an organization that seeks to attain political power within a government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. ...


United Kingdom

In British politics, when his or her party is in government the Chief Whip in the House of Commons is usually appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury so the incumbent (representing the whips in general) has a seat and a voice in Cabinet. The Government Chief Whip has an official residence at 9 Downing Street, formerly 12 Downing Street. Politics of the United Kingdom take place in the framework of a parliamentary, representative democratic monarchy, in which the Prime Minister is the head of government. ... British House of Commons Canadian House of Commons The House of Commons is the elected lower house of the bicameral parliament in the United Kingdom and Canada. ... In the United Kingdom, there are at least five Secretaries to the Treasury, officials officially acting as secretaries to the Treasury board. ... A cabinet is a body of high-ranking members of government, typically representing the executive branch. ... 9 Downing Street is the current office of the Chief Whip. ... 12 Downing Street is the official residence of the Chief Whip of the governing party of the UK Parliament. ...


As shown in BBC television series Yes Minister and House of Cards, the Chief Whip can wield a large amount of power over those in his or her party, up to and including Cabinet Ministers, being seen to speak at all times with the voice of the Prime Minister. Margaret Thatcher was famed for using her Chief Whip as a 'cabinet enforcer'. The British Broadcasting Corporation, invariably known as the BBC (and also informally known as the Beeb or Auntie) is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world, employing 26,000 staff in the UK alone and with a budget of £4 billion. ... A television program is the content of television broadcasting. ... Yes, (prime) minister: Sir Humphrey Appleby, James Jim Hacker, Bernard Woolley Yes, Minister and its sequel Yes, Prime Minister are British sitcoms about the struggle between (Dr) James Jim Hacker (played by Paul Eddington), the government minister of the (fictional) Department of Administrative Affairs (and later as Prime Minister) and... House of Cards was a political thriller novel written by Michael Dobbs, a former Chief of Staff at Conservative Party headquarters, which was set at the end of Margaret Thatchers tenure as British Prime Minister. ... In the Politics of the United Kingdom, the Cabinet is a formal body comprised of government officials chosen by the Prime Minister. ... A prime minister is the most senior minister of a cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. ... Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS (born 13 October 1925) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990. ...


In the House of Commons, Jacqui Smith became the Government Chief Whip in May 2006, Patrick McLoughlin became the Official Opposition Chief Whip in 2005, and Paul Burstow was elected the Liberal Democrat Chief Whip in March 2006. British House of Commons Canadian House of Commons The House of Commons is the elected lower house of the bicameral parliament in the United Kingdom and Canada. ... The Rt Hon. ... Patrick Allen McLoughlin (born 30 November 1957, Staffordshire) is a British politician. ... Paul Burstow Paul Kenneth Burstow (born May 13, 1962), British politician. ... The Liberal Democrats, often shortened to Lib Dems, are a liberal political party based in the United Kingdom. ...


The Government Chief Whip in the House of Commons is assisted by the Deputy Chief Whip, Whips, and Assistant Whips. In order to give them a salary for what is in essence a party office, the other senior government whips receive positions in HM Treasury, though they are not active in that department. The Deputy Chief Whip is Treasurer of HM (Her Majesty's) Household, the next two Whips are Comptroller of HM Household and Vice-Chamberlain of HM Household, and the remaining Whips are Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. (Assistant Whips, and, of course, Whips of other parties, generally do not receive such appointments.) The Opposition Chief Whip, like the Leader of the Opposition receives a stipend in addition to his parliamentary salary because his additional responsibilities will make him unable to hold down another job. The House of Commons is a component of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also includes the Sovereign and the House of Lords. ... The new eastern entrance to HM Treasury HM Treasury, in full Her Majestys Treasury, informally The Treasury, is the United Kingdom government department responsible for developing and executing the UK Governments financial and economic policy. ... The position of Treasurer of the Household is theoretically held by a household official of the British monarch, under control of the Lord Stewards Department, but is, in fact, a political office held by one of the governments Deputy Chief Whip in the House of Commons. ... The Comptroller of the Household is an ancient position in the English royal household, currently the second-ranking member of the Lord Stewards department, and often a cabinet member. ... A junior whip in the House of Commons and an officer of the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. ... The Lord High Treasurer bears a white staff as his symbol of office. ... The Leader of the Opposition is a title traditionally held by the leader of the largest party not in government in a Westminster System of parliamentary government. ...


A similar arrangement exists for Whips in the House of Lords. The Government Chief Whip is usually appointed Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms, while the Deputy Chief Whip is usually appointed Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard. Other Whips, who are fewer in number due to the decreased importance of party discipline in the Lords, are appointed Lords in Waiting if men and Baronesses in Waiting if women. This article is about the British House of Lords. ... The Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms is a UK government post usually held by the Government Chief Whip in the House of Lords. ... The Captain of the Queens Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard is presently a UK government post usually held by the Government Deputy Chief Whip in the House of Lords. ... In politics, a whip is a member of a political party in a legislature whose task is to ensure that members of the party attend and vote as the party leadership desires. ...


In the UK Parliament the importance of a vote is indicated by underlining of items on the "whip", which is the name of the letter the Chief Whip faxes to all the MPs in their party at the start of the week. This letter informs them of the schedule for the days ahead, and includes the sentence, "Your attendance is absolutely essential" next to each debate in which there will be a vote, underlined one, two or three times depending on the consequences that will be suffered if they don't turn up. The actual direction of their vote is communicated to them in the chamber by hand signals during the division when the time comes (usually after Division bell has been rung). Even though it determines the outcome of the votes crucially far more than the debate, neither these instructions, which are visible to everyone in the chamber, nor the "whip" letter at the start of the week, are recorded in Hansard, as they are considered an internal matter of the political party. A division bell is a bell rung in or around a parliament to signal a division and thus call all members of the chamber so affected to vote in it. ... Hansard is the traditional name for the printed transcripts of parliamentary debates in the Westminster system of government. ... A political party is an organization that seeks to attain political power within a government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. ...


Protected by the privileges of the Palace of Westminster, the Whips will resort to a mixture of threats, blackmail and extortion to force an unpopular vote.


The consequences for defying the party whip depend on the circumstances and are usually negotiated with the party whip in advance. The party whip's job is to ensure the outcome of the vote, so the situation is different and more important for the party which holds the majority, because they can always win. They can make allowances for MPs who are away on important business, whose political circumstances require them to take a particular single issue very seriously, or if there is a mass revolt. Theoretically at least, expulsion from the party is automatically consequent from defying a three-line whip.


For a minister, the consequences for defying the party whip are absolute: they are dismissed from their job immediately, if they have not already resigned, and return to being a backbencher. Sometimes their votes in Parliament are called the "payroll vote", because of their higher salaries and the fact that they can be taken for granted. The consequences for a back-bencher can include the lack of future promotion to a cabinet post, a reduction of party campaigning effort in his constituency during the next election, deselection by his local party activists, or, in extreme circumstances, "withdrawal of the whip" and expulsion from the party. A minister or a secretary is a politician who heads a government ministry or department (e. ... A backbencher is a Member of Parliament or a legislator who does not hold governmental office and is not a Front Bench spokesperson in the Opposition. ...


The whips, although superficially dictatorial, do act as communicators between the backbenchers and the party leadership. Ultimately if backbenchers are unhappy with the leadership's position they can threaten to revolt during a vote and force the leadership to compromise. A backbencher is a Member of Parliament or a legislator who does not hold governmental office and is not a Front Bench spokesperson in the Opposition. ...


The whip was first introduced to British politics by the Irish Parliamentary Party, under Charles Stewart Parnell. In 1882 Charles Stewart Parnell, the leader of the Nationalist Party, formed the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP), replacing the Home Rule League, as a parliamentary party with strict rules. ... Charles Stewart Parnell, the uncrowned King of Ireland Charles Stewart Parnell[1] (27 June 1846 – 6 October 1891) was an Irish political leader and one of the most important figures in 19th century Ireland and the United Kingdom; William Ewart Gladstone described him as the most remarkable person he had...


Other jurisdictions

There are also Chief Whips in:

The United States uses the similar terms, majority whip and minority whip. In Canada the Chief Government Whip is the member of the Canadian House of Commons charged with ensuring party discipline among members of the caucus of the party forming the government. ... The Chief Whip in Malaysia is the Member of Parliament (MP) from the governing party who ensures each MP votes in accordance with the party line when necessary. ... In politics, a whip is a member of a political party in a legislature whose task is to ensure that members of the party attend and vote as the party leadership desires. ... In politics, a whip is a member of a political party in a legislature whose task is to ensure that members of the party attend and vote as the party leadership desires. ...


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Whip - LoveToKnow 1911 (493 words)
In English parliamentary usage, a "whip" is a member (or members) chosen by the leader or leaders of a political party for the special duty of securing the attendance of the other members of that party on all necessary occasions, the term being abbreviated from the whipper-in of a hunt.
The chief whip of the government holds the office of patronage secretary to the treasury, so called because when offices were freely distributed to secure the support of members, it was his chief duty to dispose of the patronage to the best advantage of his party.
He is assisted by three junior whips, who are officially appointed as junior lords of the treasury; their salaries are £1000 a year each, while the patronage secretary has a salary of £ 2000.
UK Parliament - pagovopp (1162 words)
Whips have an important role in party business within Parliament, particularly when the voting strengths of the main parties are close, as in the 1992-1997 parliament.
In the Commons the party Whips consist of the Chief Whip and, in the three main parties, the Deputy Chief Whip and a varying number of junior Whips.
The Opposition Chief Whip receives advance notice of the Government's business programme each week, and no final decision is taken by the Government until after consultation with him or her.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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