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Encyclopedia > Division Bell

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. It has been suggested that Division of the house be merged into this article or section. ...


In the United Kingdom

The bell is used in the local neighbourhood of the Parliament to signal a division is occurring and that members in the Commons or in the House of Lords have about eight minutes to get to the appropriate Division Lobby to vote for or against the resolution. The call for a Division is also displayed on the Annunciator screens throughout the Parliamentary buildings. The Houses of Parliament, seen over Westminster Bridge The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative institution in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories (it alone has parliamentary sovereignty). ... A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters of an electoral district to a parliament; in the Westminster system, specifically to the lower house. ... This article is about the British House of Lords. ...


Because of the time allowance MPs may, in fact, be in nearby offices, restaurants, pubs or shops, some of which will have their own Division Bells connected to those within the confines of the Parliament's buildings, others will use a system of pagers co-ordinated by the Whip's office of each party. A pager that is in use for emergency services A pager is an electronic device used to contact people via a paging network. ... 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. ...


The headquarters of the major parties are all within the reach of the division bell and this area roughly defines the geographical limits of the Westminster Bubble. The Westminster Bubble is a term used to describe UK MPs, lobbyists and the political media who appear to live their life isolated from the real life that goes on outside Parliament and is so named because Parliament is located in Westminster, London. ...


In Australia

In Australia the legislature's buildings all have division bells, in addition the clocks have little lights that will signal a division and which house it's in.


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