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Encyclopedia > Motion of Confidence

A Motion of Confidence is a motion of support proposed by a government in a parliament or other assembly of elected representatives to give members of parliament (or other such assembly) a chance to register their confidence in a government. The motion is passed or rejected by means of a parliamentary vote (a Vote of Confidence). Governments often propose a Motion of Confidence to replace a Motion of No Confidence proposed by the opposition. A motion is a formal step to introduce a matter for consideration by a group. ... Insert non-formatted text hereInsert non-formatted text here:This article is about the legislative institution. ... A motion of no confidence, also called a motion of non confidence, is a parliamentary motion traditionally put before a parliament by the opposition in the hope of defeating or embarrassing a government. ...


Defeat of a Motion of Confidence in a parliamentary democracy generally requires one of two actions:

  1. the resignation of the government, or
  2. a request for a parliamentary dissolution and the calling of a General Election.

Where a Motion of Confidence has been defeated (or a motion of no confidence passed), a head of state is often constitutionally empowered (should they wish) to refuse a parliamentary dissolution if one is requested, forcing the government back to the resignation option. A general election is an election in which all members of a given political body are up for election. ...


A Motion of Confidence may be proposed in the government collectively or in any member thereof, including the prime minister. In Germany, a Motion of Confidence is sometimes added as an amendment to another piece of legislation. Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. ...


A Motion of Confidence may also be used tactically to humiliate critics of a government (often from the inside of the governing party or parties) who nevertheless dare not vote against the government. By forcing them to vote for the government notwithstanding their public criticism, the proposer of the motion may hope to silence or embarrass critics. It may also be used to unite a divided party or government by creating a sense of 'one for all, all for one' loyalty, bonding a divided government together against the opposition.


However, tactical Motions of Confidence are dangerous, as they may backfire catastrophically against those who use them, if they have misjudged the willingness of their opponents to call the proposer's bluff and vote against the motion.

Contents


Examples of defeats by Motions of Confidence

See also: Prime Ministers defeated by votes of no confidence A minority government or a minority cabinet is a cabinet of a parliamentary system formed by the leading political party when it has won a plurality but not a majority of seats in the parliament. ... The Right Honourable Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC (March 27, 1912 – March 26, 2005), was Labour Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979. ... Charles Haughey (Irish name Cathal Ó hEochaidh; born on September 16, 1925), was the sixth Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, serving three terms in office; 1979 to 1981, March 1982 to December 1982 and 1987 to 1992. ... The Dáil Chamber Dáil Éireann is the lower house of the Oireachtas (parliament) of the Republic of Ireland. ... A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house. ... Gerhard Fritz Kurt Schröder [] (born April 7, 1944), German politician, was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. ... SPD redirects here. ... A motion of no confidence, also called a motion of non confidence, is a parliamentary motion traditionally put before a parliament by the opposition in the hope of defeating or embarrassing a government. ...


Examples of how constitutional rules work

Bunreacht na hÉireann: Ireland's Constitution

Article 28.10

The Taoiseach shall resign from office upon his ceasing to retain the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann unless on his advice the President dissolves Dáil Éireann and on the reassembly of Dáil Éireann after the dissolution the Taoiseach secures the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann.


Where a Taoiseach seeks a dissolution in such circumstances, the following article comes into play.


Article 12.2.2

The President may in his absolute discretion refuse to dissolve Dáil Éireann on the advice of a Taoiseach who has ceased to retain the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann.


The Basic Law: the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany

The German Federal Chancellor can propose a Motion of Confidence to the Bundestag. Article 68 of the German Basic Law allows that procedure:


Article 68

  1. If a motion of a Federal Chancellor for a vote of confidence is not assented to by the majority of the members of the Bundestag, the Federal President may, upon the proposal of the Federal Chancellor, dissolve the Bundestag within twenty-one days. The right to dissolve shall lapse as soon as the Bundestag with the majority of its members elects another Federal Chancellor.
  2. Forty-eight hours must elapse between the motion and the vote thereon.

After the failure of such a Motion of Confidence the Chancellor can ask the President to dissolve the Bundestag or to call the Legislative State of Emergency (Gesetzgebungsnotstand). This is one of the rare cases in German constitutional law where the president has real power to decide whether to do as asked. If the president refuses the chancellor's request, no dissolution will take place. The German head of government has been known as the Chancellor (German: Kanzler) ever since the creation of the post. ... The President of Germany (German: Bundespräsident, formerly Reichspräsident) is Germanys head of state. ... The Bundestag (Federal Diet) is the parliament of Germany. ... A state of emergency is a governmental declaration that may suspend certain normal functions of government, may work to alert citizens to alter their normal behaviors, or may order government agencies to implement emergency preparedness plans. ...


As of 2005, there have been five motions of confidence since the founding of the Federal Republic in 1949: 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) is a common year starting on Saturday. ...

  1. September 22, 1972: Chancellor Willy Brandt wished to have the Bundestag dissolved because a stalemate over his controversial Ostpolitik allows no side to act. He lost on purpose by 233 votes to 263. President Gustav Heinemann dissolved the Bundestag. The following election turned out to be a victory for Willy Brandt's programme.
  2. February 5, 1982: Chancellor Helmut Schmidt wished the Bundestag to express its confidence in him when there was growing discontent especially among the delegates of the FDP party, the junior partner in Schmidt's government. He won by 269 votes to 228. However, eight months later he was sacked when the FDP switched sides.
  3. December 17, 1982: Chancellor Helmut Kohl wished to have the Bundestag dissolved in order to call a general election, so that his new government could be confirmed by the people, following the switch of the FDP party from supporting Schmidt's SPD to supporting Kohl's CDU. He loses on purpose by 8 votes to 489; President Karl Carstens dissolved the Bundestag, and Kohl scored a major victory in the following election. The procedure — considered by many to be unconstitutional since Kohl had a secure majority — was affirmed by the Federal Constitutional Court with some grinding of teeth, but disallowed for the future.
  4. November 16, 2001: Chancellor Gerhard Schröder wished his coalition to pass by an own majority (i.e. without having to rely on opposition support) a government motion to allow German soldiers to take part in the U.S.-led military action Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He won by 336 votes to 330.
  5. July 1, 2005: Chancellor Gerhard Schröder lost on purpose in order to ask President Horst Köhler to dissolve the Bundestag. The alleged reason was a crisis of confidence in his labour and welfare reform programmes within his own SPD party. Most observers doubt that Schröder would have had the ability to keep his very slim majority in line until the regular election in late 2006.

September 22 is the 265th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (266th in leap years). ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1972 calendar). ... The German head of government has been known as the Chancellor (German: Kanzler) ever since the creation of the post. ... Willy Brandt (December 18, 1913 – October 8, 1992) was a German politician and Chancellor of Germany from 1969 to 1974. ... The Bundestag (Federal Diet) is the parliament of Germany. ... Ostpolitik or Eastern Politics describes the realisation of the Change through Rapprochement principle, verbalised by Egon Bahr in 1963, by the effort of Willy Brandt, Chancellor of West Germany, to normalize relations with Eastern European nations including East Germany. ... The President of Germany (German: Bundespräsident, formerly Reichspräsident) is Germanys head of state. ... Gustav Walter Heinemann (July 23, 1899 - July 7, 1976) was a German politician. ... Willy Brandt (December 18, 1913 – October 8, 1992) was a German politician and Chancellor of Germany from 1969 to 1974. ... February 5 is the 36th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The German head of government has been known as the Chancellor (German: Kanzler) ever since the creation of the post. ... Helmut Heinrich Waldemar Schmidt (born December 23, 1918) is a German SPD politician. ... December 17 is the 351st day of the year (352nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The German head of government has been known as the Chancellor (German: Kanzler) ever since the creation of the post. ... Dr. Helmut Josef Michael Kohl (born April 3, 1930) was a prominent German politician and statesman. ... Karl Carstens (December 14, 1914 - May 30, 1992) was a German politician. ... The Federal Constitutional Court (in German: Bundesverfassungsgericht) is a special court established by the German constitution, the Grundgesetz (Basic Law). ... November 16 is the 320th day of the year (321st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 45 days remaining. ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... The German head of government has been known as the Chancellor (German: Kanzler) ever since the creation of the post. ... Gerhard Fritz Kurt Schröder [] (born April 7, 1944), German politician, was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. ... Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) is the military response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States . ... July 1 is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 183 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The German head of government has been known as the Chancellor (German: Kanzler) ever since the creation of the post. ... Gerhard Fritz Kurt Schröder [] (born April 7, 1944), German politician, was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. ... Horst Köhler ( ▶(?), born 22 February 1943) is the current President of Germany. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Motion of Confidence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1031 words)
A Motion of Confidence is a motion of support proposed by a government in a parliament or other assembly of elected representatives to give members of parliament (or other such assembly) a chance to register their confidence in a government.
A Motion of Confidence may be proposed in the government collectively or in any member thereof, including the prime minister.
However, tactical Motions of Confidence are dangerous, as they may backfire catastrophically against those who use them, if they have misjudged the willingness of their opponents to call the proposer's bluff and vote against the motion.
NationMaster.com - Encyclopedia: Motion of Confidence (2137 words)
A motion of no confidence, also called a motion of non confidence, is a parliamentary motion traditionally put before a parliament by the opposition in the hope of defeating or embarrassing a government.
A Motion of Confidence is a motion of support proposed by a government in a parliament to give members of parliament a chance to register their confidence for a government by means of a parliamentary vote.
A Motion of Confidence may also be used tactically to humilate critics of a government (often from the inside of the governing party or parties) who nevertheless dare not vote against the government.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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