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Political Parties and

Democracy in Theoretical
and Practical Perspectives
Parliamentary Groups

Norm Kelly and Sefakor Ashiagbor

National Democratic Institute

Political Parties and
Democracy in Theoretical
and Practical Perspectives

Parliamentary Groups

Norm Kelly and Sefakor Ashiagbor

National Democratic Institute

political institutions and elected officials. Partners receive broad exposure to best practices in international democratic development that can be adapted to the needs of their own countries. Bureau for Democracy. NDI brings together individuals and groups to share ideas. 455 Massachusetts Ave. safeguarding elections. ISBN: 978-1-880134-38-2 . nonpartisan. Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance. U.S. knowledge.The National Democratic Institute (NDI) is a nonprofit. under the terms of Award No. certain core principles are shared by all democracies. Portions of this work may be reproduced and/or translated for noncommercial purposes provided NDI is acknowledged as the source of the material and is sent copies of any translation. DC 20001 Telephone: 202-728-5500 Fax: 888-875-2887 This printing of this publication was made possible through the support provided by the Office of Democracy and Governance. The Institute’s work upholds the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. NW 8th Floor Washington.org. openness and accountability in government.S. and strengthens their ability to improve the quality of life for all citizens. All rights reserved. Agency for International Development.ndi. and promoting citizen participation. NDI and its local partners have worked to support and strengthen democratic institutions and practices by strengthening political parties. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U. please visit www. nongovernmental organization that responds to the aspirations of people around the world to live in democratic societies that recognize and promote basic human rights. Since its founding in 1983. It also promotes the development of institutionalized channels of communications among citizens. For more information about NDI. Copyright © National Democratic Institute (NDI) 2011. experiences and expertise. Printed in the United States of America. With staff members and volunteer political practitioners from more than 100 nations. DFD-A-00-08-00350-00. Agency for International Development. civic organizations and parliaments. NDI’s multinational approach reinforces the message that while there is no single democratic model.

Colgate University Developments in Party Communications Dr. Fine Gael. Kosovo.Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives The National Democratic Institute (NDI or the Institute) is indebted to all the individuals who helped to bring this document to fruition. National Democratic Institute Selecting Candidates for Legislative Office Sefakor Ashiagbor. Northwestern University Political Finance Policy. Drawing from academic analyses as well as practical party experiences.C. In particular. Iraq. Morocco. this paper would not have been possible without their support. Cambodia. shedding light on obstacles to. and in the field contributed research on parliamentary group practices in: Bangladesh. the following current and former NDI staff made various contributions to the paper: Nicholas Benson. Mali. the Institute is grateful to those who shared their personal experiences as members of parliamentary groups. Benin. South Africa. UK Labour Party. Elvis Zutic developed the draft caucus rules included in Appendix 2. Nigeria. Kenneth Janda. In addition. Pippa Norris. Zachary Goldstein. Centre for Democratic Institutions and Sefakor Ashiagbor. Peru. Member of Parliament for Sheffield Heeley. please visit the Institute’s website at www. and Yemen. Kennedy School of Government. Uganda. In addition. The series includes: Parliamentary Groups Dr. candidate selection and party finance. Michael Johnston. The Institute would also like to acknowledge Ian Delmonte for his work on the design and layout of this paper. Norm Kelly. International Republican Institute. National Democratic Institute Adopting Party Law Dr. John F. Former Deputy Leader. Harvard University Implementing Intra-Party Democracy Dr. Executive Vice President. NDI thanks the following for their comments on draft versions of this publication: Meg Munn. Montenegro. Pakistan. Sophie Fry. Bulgaria. Bosnia and Herzegovina. the Institute’s Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives series examines topics central to the role and function of political parties.ndi. . The Institute’s staff on regional teams in Washington D. Indonesia. and Angela Wilkins. Judy Van Rest. Susan Scarrow. and Zach Pusch. and possible approaches for creating more effective and inclusive parties. University of Houston For more information on NDI’s political party programs or to obtain electronic copies of these publications. Colombia. Republic of Ireland.org. Matyas Eorsi and Lisa McLean provided invaluable insights. NDI provides comparative information on various aspects of party politics. Nora Owen. Meredith Katz. Serbia. NDI staff members Francesca Binda. Parties and Democratic Development Dr. Through research into such issues as party law.

. . . . . . . . . . 25 Caucus Meetings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Division of Labor in Parliamentary Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Parliamentary Groups And Their Parties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reporting and Accountability Mechanisms . . 20 Caucus Rules . 21 Leadership Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Anti-Defection Measures . . . . . . . . . 27 Discipline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Whips . . . .6 Rules Influence Behavior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Appendix 1: Extracts from Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures . . . 40 Endnotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Appendix 2: Sample Caucus Rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Conclusion . . .3 Representation . . . . . . 26 Individual Freedom versus Party Cohesion . . . .TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Electoral Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 . . . . . 19 Coordination. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Appendices . . . . . . . . 10 Parliamentary Rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Policy Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 About The Authors . . . . . . . .

. Papua New Guinea’s OLIPPAC Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 4. . . . . . . The Dynamics of Electoral and Parliamentary Rule-making . . . Parliamentary Group and Individual Member Procedural Rights in Colombia . . . . . . . 14 5. . . . . The Number of Parliamentary Parties in NDI-Surveyed Countries . . . . . . . . . . Do Voters Primarily Identify With Parties or With Individual Candidates? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 5. .List of Figures 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 2. . . 25 List of Tables 1. 11 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Affirmative Action in the Australian Labor Party . . . . . . .7 3. . . . . Whips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Examples of Political Engineering . . Pre-Selection to the Legislature . . . . . The Importance of Party Affiliation . . . . . . . . . . . . Women’s Interests and Regional Caucuses – Autonomous Region of Bougainville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 2. .7 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Freedom to Exercise a ‘Conscience’ Vote .4 2. . . . . . 30 . . . Thresholds for Parliamentary Group Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 List of Textboxes 1. . . . . . . . . . . . The United Kingdom’s All-Party Groups . . . . . . . 16 6. . . . .

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interests. to an important public outreach and communicate effectively with party degree. some new democracies. President Senior Associate. on how its institutions work in practice. negotiations and policy agendas in parliaments are often built around and shaped by parliamentary groups or caucuses. For more than shrouded in secrecy. citizens have experienced either Given the political sensitivities involved. conduct effective Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 1 . Equally. The Institute’s that affect them. Director of Political Party Programs They rally support behind important legislation. parliaments serve a critical role in democratic governance by communicating with citizens and responding to their concerns. develop and pursue legislative agendas. the National Democratic Institute (NDI) has Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical worked with citizens around the world to create more Perspectives series begins to shed light on the workings of open political environments in which citizens can actively parliamentary groups by discussing rules and procedures participate in the democratic process. linking the institutions of government to societal groups. government particularly questions surrounding internal decision- services remain ineffective. political parties aggregate for this paper and provided comments on initial drafts. work to solve constituents’ problems. intermediary institutions that play essential roles representatives organize themselves within legislatures. and citizens continue to feel making processes.  This latest addition to the Institute’s 25 years. information minor or no tangible benefits from their new governments: about the internal functioning of parliamentary groups. political parties play an intermediary role. An increasing number of NDI programs are helping parliamentary groups to organize themselves internally.PREFACE Democracy’s credibility depends. advocating positions that improve the public welfare and advance citizens’ interests. The Institute is grateful to those who assisted with research When functioning effectively. Through their efforts to control and influence Kenneth Wollack Ivan Doherty public policy. relationships between parties and approach includes work with parliaments and political their parliamentary representatives and how elected parties. and publicize their accomplishments. cohesion and discipline are often disconnected from their governments. shaping laws and policies that reflect national and constituent interests and overseeing the work of the executive branch. Institutional rules. poverty levels have remained the same. Further. Yet in structures outside parliament. in linking citizens with government. placing citizens’ local concerns in a national context. parliamentary groups often become the primary means through which parties pursue the policies they campaigned on. Formal and informal norms and standards for the respective roles and responsibilities of majority and opposition parliamentary groups help determine the extent to which citizens and parties perceive the legislature as a legitimate forum for meaningful debate on governance issues.

He completed his PhD on the topic of Australian electoral system reforms through the Political Science Program at the Australian National University. Previously. She contributed to the Institute’s Minimum Standards for the Democratic Functioning of Political Parties and has authored a comparative study on intra-party candidate selection processes. She also oversaw a major study on party finance issues. She provides technical support to help inform the design and implementation of the Institute’s political party programs worldwide and conducts research on issues affecting the development of political parties in nascent democracies. he was elected to the National Executive of the Democrats from 2001 to 2003. authoring a report on efforts to promote reform in four African countries. Kelly presents political training courses.ABOUT THE AUTHORS Norm Kelly. including political party development and candidate training. Dr. Kelly was a Member of the Legislative Council of Western Australia. representing the Australian Democrats from 1997 to 2001. PhD. Kelly was also the Democrats’ Western Australian Campaign Director for the 2001 Federal election. She served in field positions in Ghana and Malawi and travelled extensively throughout the continent. Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. and has worked in this field in Afghanistan. 2 Parliamentary Groups . including one term as National Deputy President. is an Associate with the Centre for Democratic Institutions. Sefakor Ashiagbor is a Senior Advisor for political party programs at the National Democratic Institute (NDI). After leaving Parliament. He lives in Wellington. Ashiagbor’s career at NDI began with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. women’s political participation. managing a range of capacity building and research programs in such areas as political party development. Ms. management of extractive industries. Dr. New Zealand. based at the Australian National University. the Solomon Islands. election monitoring and legislative development.

their into like-minded parliamentary groupings. effective parliamentary groups are facilitates coordinated parliamentary action and provides critical for the creation of more effective and representative citizens with a clear understanding of how their vote has political parties as well as the efficient organization and translated into representation. A comparison of the processes involved in being They aggregate the interests of the public. As over government institutions. cohesion and discipline are often candidates. and right seek to further their party’s interests in the legislature. By contrast. and Despite the important role that party caucuses play once elected. center. to name a few. and pre-selection rules. quotas. provides an understanding of the political participation. When in the majority. candidates different ideological bases – such as left. the candidates readily assimilate into party groupings within primary means by which parties organize themselves in the legislature. This legitimacy of a popular electoral mandate. provides voters with clear choices. paper begins to shed light on the workings of parliamentary Where there are no legislated requirements. candidates do not undergo a pre-selection process. governing caucus procedures are generally internal party the screening of party nominees – also known as pre- documents. Iraq. In addition. either through reserved parliamentary seats. Indonesia interviews with former elected and party officials. Based on a review of academic literature. This shortage of analysis applies to in West Bank and Gaza. illustrated in Figure 1. or by particularly questions surrounding internal decision. rules election process provides at least three clear benefits. When elected. Similarly. co- representatives organize themselves within the legislature. In parliament. whether as an independent or in the form of policy options and provide structures for as a party representative. additional woman for every five more names. Belgium. meetings are necessarily held in private. political parties provide a screening parties provide an organizational base for forming process for the selection of suitable candidates for election. feminist. and when in the minority. based on their own Members of Parliament (MPs) 1 from the same party will personal principles and values. government. This process dominant leadership groups or established customs for can also improve the diversity of legislative bodies. each national party list how these groups organize themselves internally. In a strong party system.2 Thus. independent management of legislative business. and are therefore In this model. instance. information are advocating for higher levels of women’s participation in about the internal functioning of parliamentary groups. politics. parties groups. this and Serbia. requiring parties to field a minimum percentage of women making processes. are not necessarily in a position to aggregate in the institutional development of parliaments. In the Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 3 . environmentalist representing specific policy agendas that have the – from which party manifestos are developed. and leaders and contest elections to seek a measure of control the subsequent organization of MPs in the legislature. based on their party identification. In addition. especially where there are quality of candidates standing for election.INTRODUCTION P olitical parties form a cornerstone of democratic society. In addition. leadership positions. written rules of procedure may not independents’ pathway and that theoretically improves the accurately reflect actual practice. they train political motivating factors for candidates to run for office. a viable opposition. It examines the relationships between parties may voluntarily adopt policies to encourage women’s and their parliamentary representatives and how party participation. Statutory questionnaires distributed to select NDI field offices and quotas also exist in Afghanistan. and an headquarters. through women’s wings. as well as had to contain a minimum of one woman in the first three how they relate to one another and their respective party names. parties typically represent or alternative to government. although they sometimes become publicly selection – applies a level of rigor which is absent in the available. on the political spectrum. a second woman in the next four names. First. for the 2006 legislative elections shrouded in secrecy. the presence of political parties in the not usually subject to public scrutiny. For organizing parliamentary group work. This the legislature. successful often coalesce into parliamentary groups or caucuses. in an increasing number of democracies. by law. articulate them elected to the legislature. people Given the political sensitivities involved. For example.

An independent MP meanwhile is left to Party’s affirmative action policy requires that women decide whether to remain outside any parliamentary are pre-selected for at least 40 percent of the ‘winnable’ grouping. these candidates procedures permit. In Shortlists. in parliaments where the margin established parties. under which only women candidates are fielded the parliamentary setting. independent MPs are not concerned Second. For message. adds lists. In addition. combined with the ongoing fluidity that women constitute at least 50 percent of all candidate in being able to coalesce. independents somewhat familiar with their party and its ideological can have a more significant impact on the legislature’s work platform and can focus on current issues and tailoring their by negotiating agreements with parliamentary groups. separate. possibly form alliances with other party groups. or to attach to an existing party grouping. Further. would otherwise be illegal representation form the basis of a strong and stable under gender discrimination laws. and Party measures such as the UK Labour Party’s All-Women. they can assume that voters are already between various parties is relatively narrow. to affiliate with other independent MPs in their seats at an election (see Box 1). and have a clear policy legislative initiatives with the support of members from direction if elected to government. in a hung parliament: the Labor Party and the Liberal/ 4 Parliamentary Groups . Figure 1: Pre-Selection to the Legislature3 Independents Nominees Political Parties Elections MPs MPs Parliament Parl Group Parl Group Parl Group Parl Group United Kingdom. during the election campaign. In Australia. To the extent that legislative party’s policy platform or manifesto. the Labor government. candidates with issues of discipline and cohesion and do not need connected with parties benefit from resources that their to compromise their position for the sake of a broader parties provide during election campaigns. and re-form. whereas independent candidates will often need example. permissive legislation allows political Third. When standing for political parties. are more likely to coalesce into their own groups. Based on their party policy or objective. male and female candidates must be to the instability that independents can often bring to alternated throughout the list. have equal chances of being elected to parliament. South Africa’s African own grouping. By definition. when elected to the legislature. ensuring that both genders parliaments. Australia’s 2010 parliamentary elections resulted to provide more background information on themselves. independent legislators can champion provide a consistent voice on policy. party candidates parties to take measures to increase women’s participation. these groups based on party in particular electoral districts. National Congress has an internal party quota requiring Such uncertainty.

The ALP is committed to men and women in the Party working in equal partnership. opportunities for tangible defend the policy after the party approves it.4 is outlined below. four seats short of voice of a party and are often the spokespersons for the the 76 required for a majority in Parliament. However. out of the 150 in the Australian House of Representatives) members of the caucus have a crucial role to play in the an unusual degree of influence over political processes. Party Positions (a) All elections. since the majority makes charged with this responsibility – but are also forced to decisions in legislative bodies. the roles of the caucus may include selecting behavior in the legislature. (iii) The remaining 20 percent of the seats held by Labor may be filled by candidates of either gender. Not less than 40% of such positions shall be held by women. and in public office positions the Party holds. and not less than 40 percent by men (“the minimum target”). Public Office Pre-selection (c) Pre-selections for public office positions at a State and federal level shall comply with the affirmative action model in this rule 10(c). politics and where detailed policies and legislation are Caucus decisions typically influence how MPs act. The Labor party on a day-to-day basis. as set out below. shall comply with the affirmative action model. Party eventually negotiated a series of agreements with and sometimes only. PRINCIPLES (i) The intention of this rule is to produce an outcome where not less than 40 percent of seats held by Labor will be filled by women. and the potential conflicts that the party’s parliamentary leadership. the next consideration of this paper to shape parliament’s work that may not be available to relates to the models of representation – delegate. and deciding strategies for parliamentary action. 10. If the calculation to determine the basic entitlement results in a fraction of one half or more then the basic entitlement shall be the next higher whole number. The policy. trustee independent MPs or small groups. as stated in the party’s National Constitution. In most cases. Box 1: Affirmative Action in the Australian Labor Party To increase the level of women’s representation in Australian parliaments. the Australian Labor Party has implemented an affirmative action policy as part of its national statutes. For many voters. provided that sufficient candidates of the relevant gender nominate (“the basic entitlement”). other than public office pre-selections conducted by national and State level Party units for three or more positions. the members of the caucus become the public Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 5 . On behalf of their and ideological – which MPs may use to explain their party. It is our objective to have equal numbers of men and women at all levels in the Party organization. Given its legislative success or significant influence over parliament role as gatekeeper between the party and the voters. National coalition each won 72 seats. and not less than 40% by men. whom a broad constituency has democratically to public funding for their operations and opportunities elected. their first. contact with a political party is with three independents and a Green Party representative in the caucus or an individual member of the caucus. consulting them on issues are the largely unseen engine-room of parliamentary being debated in parliament. whereby a minimum of 40 percent of relevant positions shall be held by either gender. formulating detailed policy. development of policy – alongside other party structures given their numbers. the can be very limited for independents. committee membership positions. caucus must maintain close ties with party officials and In contrast. ministerial and these may present to an MP. party caucuses members outside parliament. often developed. As a order to form a government. Formally-recognized parliamentary and this raises issues of accountability and party control groups often have particular privileges including access over MPs. giving these members (four result of their prominent role on behalf of a political party. Therefore. (ii) This minimum target shall apply to any pre-selection round taking place after 1 January 2012. and where it results in a fraction of less than one half it shall be the next lower number. when functioning properly. To achieve this the Party uses a comprehensive affirmative action model of 40:40:20.

The development of party politics added a further -E. in many democracies. Once elected. a party has a clear demographic mandate that Burke and others espoused. party is able to push through its policy goals.” It also exemplifies the delegate model of such settings. electors of Bristol. irrespective of their personal beliefs. towns provided their representatives in many democracies voters will now choose between with detailed guidance before each meeting of the Cortes political parties to provide them with representation. 1774 a local representative. which the member is bound blindly and voters to entrust the decision-making responsibility to implicitly to obey. Accordingly. and to argue for. Burke. based on factors such as ethnicity and religion. the leader’s popularity. theories on Of course.’ this is usually used for political expedience particularly important since it affects the extent to which a rather than any sense of acting in a delegatory manner. Under this ideological days may state that they are ‘reflecting the wishes of their model of representation. is often a necessary parties elected on the basis of their policies. which a representative ought always to rejoice to He therefore only needed to differentiate between the hear. voters may choose between the ideological representation. so built around charismatic leaders. in a time before the existence of modern political parties. and which arise from a member. As Burke stated in his famous speech “you choose a to the laws of this land. though their elected MP. contexts. to vote. strong party systems. and in of their constituents. In such scenarios. political parties are representation evolved. 3 November. They also required their representatives Depending on the strength of the party system and the to take oaths. Thus. voters will be more heavily influenced by non-ideological did not only represent their constituents but the nation. In mandate.REPRESENTATION To deliver an opinion. such as self-interest. is the right of all men. forcefully embodied in Edmund Burke’s speech to the often with less-developed policies.” of our constitution. Although many MPs these the platform they campaigned on. parties are expected to represent specific societal the imperative mandate became increasingly viewed as cleavages. support base. and is expected to represent those specific 6 Parliamentary Groups . requires issued. or parliament. mandates model of representation. should be means when the size of a population is too great to allow judged on the extent to which they are able to implement for a direct democracy model. which requires MPs to reflect the wishes bases and platforms of the competing parties. sanctioned by public notaries. As modern day nation states emerged. that of Edmund Burke made his pitch to the electors of Bristol constituents is a weighty and respectable opinion. he is not fundamental mistake of the whole order and tenor a member of Bristol. neither type of electoral system in place. and which he ought always most seriously to delegate and trustee models of representation. either as a delegate or a trustee. factors. political a conduit for the wishes of the people. in which the MP is simply between what each of the parties stands for. even if elected. held that representatives. incompatible with democracy and with the representative Under this model. In addition. I n Medieval Spain. Speech to the electors of dimension to forms of representation. Instead of choosing Bristol. which Burke promoted. This model. with campaigns mandate. but when you have chosen him. Liberal democratic theory. This practice became known as the “imperative fought between party leaders and their parties’ policies. or small ruling elites. in some from those of specific constituencies. But authoritative instructions. and less by policy. but he is a member of Parliament. parliamentary group cohesion is constituents. the individual candidate to vary from their instructions nor to overstep their may play only a minor role in the election. the legislator is to use contrary to the clearest conviction of his judgment his own skills and conscience to act in the interests of the and conscience – these are things utterly unknown people. The trustee consider. indeed. and whose interests were superior to and sometimes different advertising. there will be a clear delineation judgment or values.

Parties working in such systems typically (also known as the consociational model). Pakistan – Generally the party is the biggest identifier. views. The submitter of an electoral list. and develop policies to the party’s core support group easier. Parties have opted to include artists. it is worth noting that voters do vote for individual candidates within party lists. and other public figures on the list as candidates to capture votes. This makes need to build broad support bases in areas which may not campaigning and the development of policies that appeal normally be seen as ‘friendly’ territory. through debate and the comprises different interests. only party symbols. is then seen as the institution where these cleavages are However. with the ‘open list system’ in place. In these cases. may freely determine the order of candidates on the list. Nigeria – Because many Nigerian voters really don’t know much about party manifestoes and programs before voting. the most important campaign Box 2). Typically. religious or regional tensions at the community process – to secure pre-selection for a ‘safe’ constituency. Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 7 . Because of this diversity.7 Nigeria – Members of the governing bodies of parties should ‘belong to different states not being less in number than two-thirds of all the states of the Federation. Peru – Voters generally identify more with candidates than with parties. must be established in each of four designated regions. level. but not always. which in most cases is a political party. every society and community necessarily melded into a national purpose. voters may primarily be Box 3: Do Voters Primarily Identify With Parties or With Individual Candidates? Iraq – One can conclude that Iraqi voters still identify more with a party.5 Mechanisms used different approaches to party organizing. it is generally impossible for a Alternatively. overcome these societal differences internally (known as The design of the electoral system may also encourage political engineering or centripetalism). Box 2: Examples of Political Engineering Indonesia – Parties are required to have branches in at least two-thirds of the provinces and in two-thirds of the municipalities in those provinces.’8 Russia – Political parties need to maintain regional offices and at least 500 members in at least 45 of the country’s 89 regions. and the voters primarily identify with a party and/or strong party leader/s. and low among other demographic groups narrow interests. they tend to vote for candidates whom they already know. South Africa – Given the party list system for elections. parties may be encouraged or forced to particular party or leader to represent an entire society. But. Montenegro – The voters vote for party lists and not for individuals.10 interests. thereby avoiding disputes at the national level that or a winnable position on the party’s list in multi-member constituencies. voters generally support candidates nominated by their favored political party. sports stars.000 members. possible formation of alliances. Each municipal party branch must have at least 1.11 In democracies to do this include requiring party membership to be drawn where voters primarily identify with parties and/or where from a specified number of regions in a country. with at least 5. or having there is a party list electoral system which gives the party the candidates who represent the various societal cleavages (see power to rank its candidates.9 Thailand – A branch structure.6 The purpose of these requirements is to diffuse for a potential candidate may be the party’s pre-selection ethnic.000 members. support for the party will be strong in can occur when parties focus on representing relatively its core area. values and ideas. The legislature which accommodate regional and sectional differences. Morocco – It is important for candidates/MPs to be identified with a party because there are no names on the ballots.

12 it was quite clear the United States. However. in parts of Canada. are factors that determine constituents of their actions in the legislature and how whether parties or individual candidates are more heavily they have responded to constituents’ concerns. rather types of electoral systems and the importance of party than an individual (especially in a closed-list system). supporting the candidate the party nominates). as some of the responses in Box 3 illustrate. as shown in Table 1. MPs need to be Issues such as the ballot paper design (for example. feel aggrieved that the MP is not properly representing the and to choose their preferred candidate to act in their party for which they voted. (Of course. what Type of electoral Country primarily with is the importance of system13 party or candidate party affiliation Bangladesh Both Extremely important FPTP Bosnia and Herzegovina Party Extremely important Open-list PR Bulgaria Party Extremely important MMP14 Cambodia Party Essential . when voters have an opportunity to judge system then votes against party policy.2 rounds Montenegro Party Extremely important PR Morocco Candidates Very important PR Nigeria Candidates Essential . promoted. If an MP in a party-list at election time. Ideally. interests. Switzerland and In the NDI survey of 19 countries. can therefore be argued that an MP is representing the In a technical sense. voters have the option of recall: a type that electoral rules play an important role in deciding of referendum whereby voters can remove their elected whether voters primarily identify with a party (generally representatives outside normal election cycles. Equally.choosing a party leader and the party’s policies. It affiliation. the participation of constituents only occurs as a trustee in the Burkean sense. under the trustee model of party. with constituents. or with modern democratic practice recognizes the importance individual candidates (either as independents or as party of MPs establishing strong two-way communications nominees). and definitely not representation. particular issues. and not a group of constituents. and with their party. MPs should seek to inform and the style of campaigning.mandatory FPTP Pakistan Both Important FPTP Peru Candidates Unimportant PR Serbia Both Very important PR South Africa Party Extremely important PR United Kingdom Party Extremely important FPTP Yemen Party Important FPTP 8 Parliamentary Groups . there was no correlation between an ongoing dialogue is established between the MP and Table 1: The Importance of Party Affiliation Do voters identify For candidates. whether aware of constituents’ concerns as well as their views on party identification is shown next to a candidate’s name).16) However.mandatory MMP Colombia Both Very important PR Hungary Party Extremely important MMP Ireland Party Extremely important PR-STV15 Iraq Both Important Open-list PR Kosovo Party Extremely important Open list PR Mali Candidates Very important PR . voters may rightly the performance of their MP (if he/she is re-contesting).

or is the MP reliant on the party for future pre-selection.constituents – possibly through newsletters.17 It may be obvious that an MP should also maintain strong communication with his/her party. the internet or constituent office hours. but this can be forgotten in the pressures of the parliamentary environment. Quite often MPs see themselves as representatives of both their constituency and their party: these two roles are not usually in conflict. The relationship will also depend on the power balance between the MP and the party – does the party rely on its MPs for the party’s survival. Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 9 . the media.

3 percent of the vote in a six-member constituency will parliamentary groups. In doing so. Thus. Some is a product of the electoral system. a party achieving electoral laws without accommodating the interests of a 10 Parliamentary Groups . Political theories attempt to larger parties and limit the ability of a multiplicity of parties explain the inter-relationships between political parties to exist. a party with operate as well as the resources that legislatures provide to 14.18 Accordingly. Conversely. and parliaments Post (FPTP) system will rarely win the seat. 15 percent of the vote in a single-member First-Past-the- their parliamentary representatives. tend to be when no single party is dominant. For example. single-member voting systems dominant influence during the early development of a tend to create two-party systems. it is the governing political parties systems with multi-member constituencies have a tendency that shape the design of the electoral system. are also pivotal in these of the representation that is denied them in majoritarian relationships (see Figure 2).RULES INFLUENCE BEHAVIOR T he power relationships between political parties.19 Figure 2: The Dynamics of Electoral and Parliamentary Rule-Making Parliament Electoral Laws Political Parites Electoral Systems Others argue that this approach is too simplistic and does not adequately account for political and historical There are two main schools of thought regarding the influences particularly in transition countries. they also argue that while the electoral system may be the point out that majoritarian. and not necessarily by held that majoritarian systems disproportionately favor an independent umpire. created the power relationships between them. over time. They relationship between electoral and party systems. These rules are often determined see its candidate elected.20 Of course. Some argue counter that stable. This is one reason why proportional systems. to produce multi-party systems due to the ability for a they point out that the most influential political parties number of parties to meet the threshold for representation in a country will reinforce the electoral system that has in parliament. conventional wisdom has by parties and their legislators. which typically serve lower threshold for entry will allow more parties a share as the main rule-making authority. are heavily influenced by the rules under which they under a proportional representation system. the party system system only playing a secondary or even minor role. Parliaments. it is difficult to change favored by smaller parties. while proportional voting democracy. systems. However. with their lower thresholds for achieving success. proportional systems that provide a and electoral systems. older democracies generally have that parties and party systems are formed by the electoral fewer parties than emerging democracies with the electoral environment in which they operate: that is.

operate.8 11. would be successful in splitting the conservative-liberal When considering how parliamentary groupings vote. Pakistan. of Countries 5 14 Bosnia and Herzegovina. For instance. It may even nominates a preferred ranking of candidates and voters be necessary to initiate parliamentary action. – there is more scope for candidates to campaign on their resources or both. Iraq. Bulgaria. Some parliaments to 8. Parliamentary Rules and the Liberal Democrats) hold almost 90 percent of the seats. Nigeria. in the United MPs and their parties. but party Whip will typically announce how the party’s MPs also encourages MPs to act in a cohesive and co-ordinated are voting. In majoritarian systems – introduced proportional representation to ensure their FPTP or alternative vote – parties are often identified on own survival against the rise of left-wing labor groups. these raw figures do not necessarily indicate influence in the power relationship between individual the relative strengths of parties. When a party is not able to control the In an open-list system – where voters can indicate their election environment entirely for itself. own individual platforms in order to win more votes established political parties and groups in Western Europe against their party colleagues.1 of Parties number of parties. Parliaments often set thresholds for parties to be officially In proportional representation systems.0 in accordance with the party’s policies. voters are recognized as parliamentary groups. Serbia. Official status as a typically choosing between parties that are listed on the ‘parliamentary party’ or ‘group’ may be required to access ballot paper. Kosovo. in the early 20th century. Labour. staffing or other material support. making it difficult for them to maintain power. it is important to keep in mind the relationships NDI’s survey showed a correlation between the electoral that exist – between parties and the electoral system. Peru.4 percent of the total parliamentary seats (see Table 3). Ireland. Morocco. 10 indicated threshold vote for a party. The next section further explores these types of issues. Hungary.21 These parties Thus voters are arguably choosing a party as well as an were concerned that the well-organized labor movement individual candidate. on the other hand. In a closed-list system – where the party office space. manner. as Thresholds for Parliamentary well as the relative power relationships between different Group Status parties. Cambodia. three parties (Conservatives.22 Electoral rules influence how parties campaign. rather than for individual candidates. Bangladesh. where there are 10 parties represented in the House of Commons. and between parties and their candidates. For example. Of over members seeking parliamentary seats. Kingdom. with the threshold being in the range of 2. for example – the representatives to perform their parliamentary duties. Countries Colombia. However. in terms of numbers. a the ballot paper but alongside the individual candidates. Where electors the 19 countries surveyed by NDI. its next best option own preferences within a party list or across several parties is to limit its political competitors. Extremely low thresholds. South Africa No. Yemen Montenegro. United Kingdom. result of the extension of the right to vote. In such cases – New Zealand. of Parties 5 to 10 5 to 23 Average Number 7. there requirements for achieving official ‘parliamentary party’ or may be an expectation that a party’s MPs will vote as a bloc ‘group’ status. such as the cannot alter the list – party leaders have enormous power moving of motions and the introduction of legislation. Mali. can Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 11 . and system and the number of parties in the legislature (Table between parties themselves – as these will have a significant 2). Table 2: The Number of Parliamentary Parties in NDI-Surveyed Countries First Past The Post Proportional Representation No. stipulate in their standing orders that parties will vote as This reasonably low threshold is necessary to allow elected a bloc.

legislature is entitled to choose the leader of the opposition. required to form Total MP in The % of total required Country ‘party’ or group legislature to form group 25 (party) 299 8. A majority of the representatives who do not a clear distinction between the two. For example.2 Cambodia 10 123 8. in the funds to hire staff. The NDI survey provides some examples of both categories of benefits from identified only a few countries – including Cambodia. These and other publicly-funded resources more unwieldy. preventing a proliferation of important standard. while they make certain legislative first category includes office space and access to funding proceedings more participatory. Even in countries where such benefits exist. Iraq around the world.0 12 Parliamentary Groups .0 Serbia 5 250 2. However.4 Bangladesh 10 (group) 3. funding of parliamentary groups. The section below groups enjoy particular rights or privileges.2 Peru 6 120 5. Not all countries provide elected representatives who do not meet the threshold may funding for party operations outside parliament as well as seek formal recognition from the Speaker as a technical for parliamentary group organizing. nor is there always group. are designed to help MPs and their parties perform their Some legislatures will make special provisions for legislative duties and are usually allocated in proportion to independents and other MPs. The focus of this paper is on party is the threshold for gaining parliamentary group funding specifically designed to assist MP or parliamentary status.1 Hungary 10 386 2.3 Bosnia and Herzegovina 3 42 7. parties may use these together and form a technical group. and Nigeria – where there is either no formal recognition In some cases.1 Bulgaria 10 240 4. seven members from the same political organizational purposes. (Appendix 1 includes extracts from groups that could make legislative proceedings difficult to four benchmarks for democratic legislatures that address manage.7 Morocco 20 325 6. this rule limits the number the allocation of resources to parliamentary groups as an of technical groups to one. In effect. they can also make them and/or staff. they vary This office comes with particular benefits. for outreach to members or other Irish Parliament. often in terms Table 3: Thresholds for Parliamentary Group Status No. the largest opposition party in the of caucuses or no clear benefit associated with such status. to come on the country-specific provisions.reduce incentives for different political groups to coalesce widely and typically fall into two broad categories. The in the legislature and. groups in their legislative work. That said most otherwise meet the criteria for a parliamentary group must minimum benchmarks for democratic legislatures identify support the request. who do not meet the each party’s representation in the legislature. Depending standard criteria for a parliamentary group. officially-recognized parliamentary administration and proceedings.6 Ireland 7 166 4.) The second group of benefits provided to officially Rights of Parliamentary Groups recognized caucuses is procedural rights in parliamentary In most cases. under article 116 of the Standing Orders. defection and other issues.2 Montenegro 2 81 3.

in Mali. opposition parties receive funds to cover the only address the Parliament after debates on agenda items costs of their participation in parliamentary business. of each sitting.28 These House of Representatives. Moreover. being allotted additional time office. as are In Peru.29 Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 13 . at the beginning one private secretary. Under the Montenegrin Parliament’s Rules of Procedure. while smaller parties in opposition are assigned importance. work of parliament and committees. the speaker allocates administrative benefits the meeting of parliamentary group leaders where many in consultation with party leaders in the legislature in decisions concerning the assembly are taken (nominations. but no staff. However. parliamentary groups “have the right to their respective Whips.23 In Morocco. In Hungary. a public their numbers of representatives. and a messenger. parliamentary parties have access to speak in legislative debates. the including access to classified information. every caucus may address the Parliament In Uganda the leader of the opposition has the right for up to five minutes on matters that are “of national to staff. funds and space for their work. the rules allow private secretary. In the United the agenda. Similarly. Depending on the rules and customary practice in a parliamentary groups are entitled to office space. opposition are assigned office space in the legislature. sets the dates and agenda for and in debates are controlled by party whips.24 benefits are not available to independent MPs. purely for the purpose of Chief Whip. and extraordinary. line with tradition. officially recognized submit equal numbers of oral questions to Ministers. The The proceedings of the House and its committees Collegium reviews matters related to organization and are predicated exclusively on party.’ Bangladesh. Although the Collegium is purely consultative. Secretaries General and the parties’ approved lists. and the right of the opposition and government MPs to and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). the Chief Whip has staff. caucuses. It is established. The for a group of legislators who do not otherwise meet leader and the deputy leader of the opposition receive the criteria for official recognition as a parliamentary similar privileges to those enjoyed by the government group to form a special group.25 Canadian Parliament.of staffing or state protocol. in proportion to a private secretary. Individual MPs have a similar right but may Kingdom. giving the convenes parliamentary sittings. rules and procedures. In groups are represented in the ‘conference of presidents. In addition. These will often also include committee chairs may also participate in the work of this rights designed to facilitate scrutiny of the government body. that is common elsewhere. and being allowed to make to staff and other benefits. For example. and for each additional 15 participate in parliamentary debate. in Montenegro is the right to participate in the work of cannot officially be members of standing committees. Each groups can introduce legislation – there is no provision government Whip also has a private secretary. the opposition Chief Whip has introducing legislation. urgent. one study noted that in Canada: Deputy Speaker and chairs of parliamentary groups. in the MPs an additional advisor. and administers public Speaker no discretion to recognize members not on funding for parliamentary groups. For the Speaker’s Collegium.” not otherwise on caucus leadership offices. a private assistant. plans the work for sessions and that opportunities to ask questions or participate sittings of Parliament.27 In Ireland’s Parliament. This close. which includes the Speaker. enforces parliamentary although not always written in the standing orders. days allocated to forum provides parliamentary groups some opportunity to the opposition to select subjects for parliamentary debate influence the Speaker’s decision making. often through their Whips. independents. an assistant for private member legislation. also at the legislature’s expense. or MPs from parties One of the main benefits of forming a parliamentary group who do not meet the threshold for parliamentary groups. etc. including office space in the statements following a ministerial statement. a private assistant and a messenger.). instance. For example.”26 Only parliamentary relations officer. an assistant private secretary. a group with more may completely control opportunities to ask questions or than five MPs may hire an advisor. The leaders of the government and internal organization. caucus benefits include: includes operating costs for the leader of the opposition’s asking priority questions. a benefit particular legislature.

In addition. see Box in hearings and debates or nominate individuals for 4). These initiatives provide MPs with a way to build their leadership positions in legislative bodies. The law also own knowledge and influence outside their formal caucus requires that caucuses act in unison. if a particular other action agendas. In Bougainville. these that member would be considered a party caucus. making it difficult for MPs to break ranks with their based on the common interests of their constituencies. to formalized issue-based groupings (as in the As it shows. the issue at hand to be a matter of conscience. for example. political Legislators will sometimes form cross-party alliances movement or significant group of voters. discipline in force. and the nature of the issue. MPs will often develop regional affinities. origin. the pursuit individual MPs could only exercise the rights listed below of regional interests can be seen as inflaming lingering when their actions were in line with the decisions of their hostilities from the conflict period. based. a Issue-Based Caucuses parliamentary group only consists of the members of a legislative body that are from the same party. unless the caucus had determined during terrible internal conflict in the late 20th century. Table alliances can range from: friendship. only caucuses may call for and participate British system of All-Party Parliamentary Groups. there was a clear division between the South and Central 14 Parliamentary Groups . parliamentary group. that the parliamentary group deems matters of conscience. except on matters structures and beyond the committee system. Depending on the level of party party only succeeded in getting one MP to parliament. The Constitutional Court ruled that In some post-conflict democracies. Since the law with MPs from other parties to further legislative and does not recognize multiparty caucuses. however. 4 compares the rights of parliamentary groups and on common religious and/or social interests or geographic individual members in Colombia’s legislative proceedings. caucus members. Table 4: Parliamentary Group and Individual Member Procedural Rights in Colombia30 Individual Members Procedural Right Parliamentary Groups (subject to caucus decisions) Call for hearings and debates √ x Participate in hearings and debates √ x Right to speak in plenary sessions √ √ √ Participate when regulations are voted on With priority over √ individual members Introduce any type of motion √ √ Table questions √ √ Request nominal votes √ √ Request separate votes for different portions of a bill √ √ Nominate candidates √ x Request verification of quorum x √ Introduce motions of order and other procedural x √ matters outlined in the standing orders Under Colombia’s 2005 party caucus law.

These groups have voluntary membership. These laws may ban defections altogether. or can outline certain conditions under which defections are possible In many countries. Anti-Defection Measures causing a MP to lose his/her seat for defecting. Given the Thus. In The merits and disadvantages of anti-defection laws – response to the potential for ongoing disputes to occur. Given that these are primarily backbench groupings (groupings primarily comprised of junior MPs). and the level of activity varies greatly.’ and the Zoos and Aquariums Group. for example. anti-defection measures can assist in the fight against threat of unprincipled defections32 that are motivated by corruption by limiting opportunities for MPs to sell their political opportunism and bribery. these laws maintain model. Population. for example Electoral Reform. to arrange for the exchange  of  visits and information. elected also argue that they help sustain multiparty democracy.’ The Group includes the current Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister and receives significant funding from the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Especially conscience) and party loyalty. Homeland Security. is upheld. constitutional and have to come from different regions (see Box 5). In addition. Box 4: The United Kingdom’s All-Party Groups31 The United Kingdom’s Parliament has an extensive system of All-Party Groups that allows MPs to come together across party lines to pursue specific interests. party discipline is a private or without an MP losing his/her mandate. representatives may face competing interests. for ‘Members and Peers to be able to play tennis matches together and compete with various outside tennis teams. Proponents of such voluntary issue that is resolved based on a combination of laws argue that they help ensure that the will of the people.’ regions on one side. technical and social interests. and to provide opportunities for discussion. simple party or personal disagreements. They can also discourage party switches based on turned to the legal system to enforce discipline. While such aspirations for voluntary party of coherent political parties. They can also support the development advancement. human rights experts. parliamentarians and other interested parties to have an informed discussion about the key issues affecting low carbon transport. such as: the Tennis Group. there were 250 topic groups and 88 country or regional groups.’ Policy issues are also addressed in many groups. the President and Vice President generated debate among academics. they do not always prove more able to entice opposition MPs to defect with offers of attainable. The Human Rights Group is charged with raising ‘the profile of international human rights issues within Parliament and to investigate and publicise human rights abuses occurring outside the UK. discipline should result as a function of the MP’s the proportionality of the elected legislature and promote loyalty to the ideologies. democracy support specialists and politicians. and the North region on the other.’ The Group on Fibromyalgia (a muscle and tissue disorder) aims ‘to raise awareness  of  fibromyalgia among parliamentarians and to provide a cross-party forum for discussion of the illness. As the examples below illustrate. there are obviously many multi-memberships. Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 15 . policies and programs of his/her stability by preventing defections that could alter the party and interest in the benefits of re-election and career balance of power. Since ruling parties are often loyalty may often be desirable. The British-American Parliamentary Group seeks to ‘promote friendly relations and mutual understanding between members  of  Congress and Members  of  Parliament.400 MPs and Peers).’ Many groups have a more social basis. legislators’ individual views or priorities (including their as expressed in democratic elections. some countries have seats. the All-Party Groups cover a range of political. the legal provisions limiting an elected representatives’ ability 2001 peace agreement outlined a form of power sharing to leave the party on whose ticket s/he was elected – have whereby. In August 2010. The Low Carbon Transport Group. as parties may lack a strong ideological base appointments and patronage. and that at least 20 MPs are required to form an All-Party Group (in a parliament of about 1. works for ‘conservation through education and understanding. Under this “voluntary” in proportional representation systems. advocates of such measures and/or sufficient internal democracy. Development and Reproductive Health. exists to ‘provide a forum for the low carbon transport industry.

Regional caucuses (consisting of all MPs from each of the three regions – North. France. was beset by internal conflict during the 1980s and 1990s. and (f ) four members appointed by the President under Section 83 (appointment of other members). In the Critics also point out that in cases where a party fails to lead up to the passage of the bill. Anderton was able to maintain his position as the group Nigeria. and (b) the Vice-President. By concentrating power in the hands of who left their parties would lose their seats and would be party leaders. proponents pointed out represent its own members or constituents. a wider range of leader with the support of the Alliance MPs who backed emerging democracies have passed anti-defection laws or him in the party split. New Zealand reformed its representation as determined in the election. being the woman member nominated by the women members (both those elected to represent the interests of women and any women members for single member constituencies). Italy. Despite announcing conscience and to exercise their own judgment. the Alliance Party split over whether to remain and Spain – explicitly protect MPs’ rights to vote their in coalition with the Labor Party. The Act was. Their Proportional (MMP) system. these laws may stifle intra-party deliberation. by a two-thirds majority. Rose Pihei. the eastern-most island group of Papua New Guinea. Within a few months of the law coming into Croatia. a parliamentary introduced constitutional measures in recent years. Peru and Serbia. Following the 2010 election. replaced by the next person on their party’s list. Lithuania. reform. Section 80 of the Bougainville Constitution provides for the President to appoint his/her Executive Council. an MP for distorting the proportionality of party political defection measures. group could also vote. representative should have the option of continuing to Thus. a defections since the decision to reform the electoral system. replacing FPTP with a Mixed Member critics portrayed this as a manipulation of the Act. scheduled to end 2001. to expel Only a handful of established democracies have anti. (d) six members appointed in accordance with Section 81 (representation of regions). but based on nominations from women’s and regional caucuses. or deviates that the country had seen an unprecedented number of from previously agreed upon principles and policies. the Bougainville Executive Council shall consist of: (a) the President. which was resolved through a peace agreement and Constitution for the new Autonomous Region of Bougainville. speech and freedom of association and are thus inherently However. Romania effect. Box 5: Women’s Interests and Regional Caucuses – Autonomous Region of Bougainville Bougainville.33 an MP elected under the FPTP system who resigned after two parliamentary terms. However. and (e) one member appointed by the President. Between 2001 and 2005. outrage would eventually help condemn the legislation under the country’s Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Act as a failure. Others argue that anti-defection measures stifle free from his/her party would face an immediate by-election. Similar that he would lead a new party in the next election. Under the law. Central and South) also provide nominees from which the President selects two Ministers from each region. as the new Minister. and (c) subject to Section 101 (dismissal of members of the Bougainville Executive Council). Anderton’s electoral system. they saw the measure as a potentially temporary one represent those views through defection. a woman member of the House of Representatives appointed by the President. Jim provisions exist in the constitutions of Montenegro. the President had to appoint the caucus nominee. Germany. Membership of the Bougainville Executive Council. new President John Momis appointed Joan Jerome as the Women’s Minister. MPs elected on proportional representation lists undemocratic. However. (1) Subject to Section 82 (caretaker Bougainville Executive Council). During the Act’s final 16 Parliamentary Groups . The constitutions to help the country adjust to the impacts of the electoral of several Western democracies – including Andorra. In 1996. in any case. Section 80. when Jerome failed to get the support of the three-member women’s caucus.

frequent party-hopping. the Attorney General raised concerns about In South Africa. than leaving a smaller caucus. concerns about the practice. Despite their the MPs who then represent the party within the legislature. and support whoever they want as Prime Minister. OLIPPAC also required that: • Independent MPs either remain independent or join a political party prior to the election of the Speaker following a general election. This apparent stability can be viewed as a success of OLIPPAC. and changes of government and Prime Ministers. The Organic Law on Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPPAC)35 was an ambitious and far- reaching attempt at political engineering. Second. For instance. and various efforts to oust the Prime Minister. This legislation. and second and fourth years of a legislature. and in July 2010. as the Sir Michael Somare Government of 2002 to 2007 became the first government to survive a full term. this meant that defecting included a mix of regulations on party registration. OLIPPAC provided for the registration of parties. Until 2002.36 The challenge to Prime Minister Somare was prompted by a Supreme Court ruling in July 2010. It was not surprising therefore that in the weeks following the Supreme Court ruling there were regular media reports of new alliances. constitutionality. Box 6: Papua New Guinea’s OLIPPAC Law Since achieving independence in 1975. the number of elected Papua New Guinea enacted legislation in the early 2000s representatives wishing to defect had to constitute at to create a stronger party system with greater integrity and a least 10 percent of the total number of seats held by the more stable government (see Box 6). public from a large parliamentary group was much more difficult funding of political parties and parliamentary performance. holding political to strengthen their party systems. under certain conditions. In practice. and the funding of party administrations (based on registration and the number of MPs). However. defections could was an acknowledgement of the relationship that exists only occur during defined 15-day windows in the between a political party in election campaign mode. which nominating party. he regularly replaced his deputies. and • MPs who were affiliated with parties vote according to the resolution of their party on: the election of the Prime Minister. MPs now have the freedom to change parties. parties hostage by rendering them unable to discipline Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 17 . From 2001 to 2003. vote against party caucus decisions. new laws were introduced to provide stability. these provisions remained controversial: Although the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court repealed civil society groups as well as political leaders expressed the legislation on MPs’ behavior in parliament in 2010.38 days in 2005. The Supreme Court ruled that the sections of OLIPPAC which forced MPs not to change parties. • MPs not change parties during the term of the legislature. In 2006. the budget.34 losing their seats. no government had been able to survive a full 5-year term. Mr. The Somare Government was re-elected in 2007. the Inkatha Freedom this ambitious attempt at electoral engineering deserves Party’s Mangosuthu Buthelezi argued that floor-crossing consideration as a possible way for developing democracies “robs the political system of all honour. remained in power as of late 2011. Somare stood aside in late 2010 due to ill health. In an attempt to create greater stability. • Independent MPs who voted for the Prime Minister when the Prime Minister was first elected support the Prime Minister in any subsequent no-confidence motions. the Speaker adjourned parliament for four months to avert a possible challenge to Somare. and on changes to the Constitution and Organic Laws (MPs could be dismissed from Parliament for failing to do so). These reforms appeared to be successful. were unconstitutional restrictions on citizens’ freedom of association. Papua New Guinea was beset with political instability including numerous motions of no-confidence. but his coalition. and to vote according to party lines. no-confidence motions. a 2003 constitutional amendment the limitations the bill placed on “legitimate dissent” provided that. members of and suggested that it may have been in violation of the the National Assembly could join another party without country’s bill of rights.37 As a result. while Somare survived eight years as Prime Minister.

Thus.45 one country to another.41 party list electoral system. Nepal. an MP is considered to have defected if (s) minimum benchmarks for democratic legislatures. the over longstanding members. reaction to a specific event or particular legislative effort. In some cases. A further constitutional member must think hard about the significance of his/her amendment in 2009 ended the provision. disagreement with his/her party. groups organize themselves internally in such areas as: the Seychelles. For instance. her seat for leaving his/her party group. However.40 As a result. votes of confidence or no-confidence. development. s/he can leave but will lose access to some grow that defectors were sometimes given preference privileges accorded to members of a caucus. are while those elected in PR systems are typically expected able to declare an MP defected by informing the presiding to relinquish their seats. Under Chapter 63 of Pakistan’s In recent years. In Minister. In Hungary. “the emergence of careerists.” He blamed the practice for fostering group cannot join another caucus for at least six months. the selection of parliamentary group leaders. Development of International Minimum Standards for the having provided the concerned legislator an opportunity Functioning of Democratic Legislatures notes: “In a non- to defend himself or herself. “a person elected as a member either in government or are otherwise able to exert their of Parliament at an election at which he was nominated influence over the framing of legislation in the legislature. as a candidate by a political party shall vacate his seat if Irrespective of the electoral and parliamentary laws under he resigns from that party or votes in Parliament against which they operate. The following help resolve internal parliamentary group leadership sections address how political parties and parliamentary selection disputes. respective roles and responsibilities in political to lose their parliamentary seats.their own members. MPs elected under FPTP systems are believed finance bills or constitutional amendments. membership of a parliamentary Sierra Leone’s Constitution42 makes similar provisions group shall be voluntary and a legislator shall not lose his/ without restricting defection to particular types of votes. or votes or there is growing support for distinguishing between abstains from a vote in contradiction to his/her party’s defection procedures for MPs elected under proportional instructions on the election of a Prime Minister or Chief representation lists and for those elected under FPTP. Party heads.”44 A further provision allows the Speaker to internal structures. and Zimbabwe also have constitutional coordination between party officials outside and inside provisions forcing legislators who resign from their parties parliament. India. he: resigns from his/her nominating party.”39 In addition. to have the right to keep their seats even after defection. statutes and rules.”46 Under Article 77. in Spain. Namibia. defection is legal but certain restrictions and cohesion and discipline within the caucus. and parliamentary by his conduct in the legislature by sitting and voting with rules discussed above can be regarded as the external members of a different party. NDI’s Toward the officer and the chief election commission in writing. successful parties also require sound the party. which benefited If an MP has a significant. fundamental disagreement with disproportionally from defections. Nigeria. the Speaker is satisfied after factors that influence the behavior and performance of consultation with the Leader of that Member’s party that political parties and their MPs. and with general. Similarly. they can join a different parliamentary group during the Definitions of what constitutes defection vary from next parliamentary session. self-serving politicians which This provision provides a “cooling off” period that may are a very strange breed because they do not honour the help prevent defections on the spur of the moment in sanctity of the vote cast in the ballot box. apply. an MP’s seat may be declared vacant “if The electoral systems and laws. defined as any individual such named by the party.”43 The Constitution evolved through the actions of political parties that are of Bangladesh simply states. MPs MPs who currently leave their nominating parties can no who leave their caucus must join a grupo mixto from which longer retain their parliamentary seats. it is important the Member is no longer a member of the political party to remember that these laws and rules have usually under whose symbol he was elected. concerns began to his/her party. MPs who leave their parliamentary 18 Parliamentary Groups . Belize. as part of the movement towards Constitution. within the African National Congress.

to implement party policy. accountability officer is required to report to the party’s reporting requirements. leadership selection. in conjunction a report on its work to the annual general meeting of the with the national executive committee. the party statutes note: parliamentary spokesperson. the Australian Liberal Party members of the parliamentary group elect representatives statutes state that the parliamentary group and party who sit on the party executive council. the parliamentary In addition. However. a member of the cabinet). and to do so in a free and unconditional except when it has been decided by the caucus that Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 19 . These representatives officials outside parliament have a duty to keep each other are expected to share executive council work and decisions informed of political developments and to co-operate with their parliamentary colleagues as well as to report closely. and for this reason must take part in meetings and other party assemblies to As indicated above. In Ireland’s Fine Gael Party. Most party statutes make some mention In the Canadian Liberal Party the leader appoints a of parliamentary groups. president and vice presidents. these references range caucus accountability officer. the caucus is ultimately consultation with the President when the party is in power. This composition. rule development. common. This members and voters. who must also serve on the from the brief to the more extensive. conditions must be created for good The Constitution of South Africa’s Democratic contacts between the elected representatives Alliance states: and the electorate they represent. For example. for instance. political parties exert influence be informed of the opinions and proposals of the over their candidates and MPs in a number of ways. attendance and council of presidents at each convention on caucus efforts voting. and to provide information of in turn impacts how MPs adhere to party policies and the policies of the party. Chief Whip and Deputy formal caucus reports to the extra-parliamentary party. The elected Members must at all times adhere to and support representatives are appointed to make their own decisions of the relevant caucus and must not differ decisions on measures which are important to the publicly from any decision once it has been taken citizens. some parties provide for the submission of group leader. the national It is of great importance that the elected council and the national executive committee each review representatives of the party and other party the performance of the parliamentary leadership and members maintain firm and unbroken contact. but they also are the representatives of Accountability Mechanisms the voters and the party. Reporting and manner. It also calls for regular meetings between the parliamentary party views on organizational matters to the party’s leadership in parliament and the party’s federal executive council. deputy leader.47 In Ghana’s New Patriotic Party. In addition. spokesperson on a yearly basis. In addition.48 caucus decisions. Broad statements emphasizing the need for close There may also be provisions for the inclusion of communication and coordination between the party parliamentary group representatives on party decision- outside the legislature and elected representatives are making bodies. responsible to the party congress and is required to submit The leadership of the parliamentary group. confidentiality.49 In addition.PARLIAMENTARY GROUPS AND THEIR PARTIES Coordination. In Chief Whip are elected by the party’s National Council in the Swedish Social Democrat party. Issues addressed party’s national policy and platform committee (and if the in party statutes may include parliamentary group Party is in government. appoints the national party board.

if it is the party caucus that to be able to articulate the party’s position in parliamentary determines policy. debates and to the media with the confidence that they and the general party membership can feel disconnected are truly representing their party. Another form of position without a full and open consultation of the party policy development is through allowing all party members membership. in the event the caucus could not the caucus and the organization outside the legislature in convince the party leadership. The parliamentary group leadership – ministers. including women’s and youth groups and branch meetings. determines policy without genuine input from the party’s this is usually easier when policy is based on some sort MPs. in politics. the parliamentary caucus and the the party’s position in parliament. a National Policy to legislation. a national things can change rapidly. are developed and adopted. through its leader. relations with civil society and promotion of the for developing these details. according to one respondent’s experiences. including: visits. but must consult with party’s image and voters’ interests. this may give the MPs too much power. development is achieved by allowing the party caucus to MPs need to be able to respond to bills and amendments. as in life. the caucus leader interim ratification by the national policy committee. There are issues that arise conference of party delegates will vote on party policy. or value-based. This increases the likelihood of MPs voting that are not explicitly covered by a party policy. outlines the party’s expectations in terms of MPs’ shadow ministers or spokesmen elected or appointed by attendance. party outside parliament. Debates would conclude provisions on the respective roles and responsibilities of with a vote. the caucus and party officials parliamentary caucus and the leader may make interim outside parliament would meet to discuss issues. It also covers MPs’ duties junior MPs as well as various party structures outside in their constituencies. During amendments to the policy declaration of the party. the party caucus has a clear role in deciding how to promote the party’s policies through A party’s statutes will usually state how policies parliamentary action. However. In some cases. with these consultations. It is inevitable that a party’s policies will to have a voice or a vote on policy. In addition. subject knowledge and preparation. However. a member may on a question of conscience exercise party ultimate responsibility for determining the detailed a free vote. parliamentary caucuses rarely meet in full to debate platform.53 would defend the parliamentary group’s position while The Australian Liberal Party’s rules make a number of party officials critique them. identity. the parliamentary party – have primary responsibility discipline. participation in parliament. it is from the policy process. Conversely. on a day-to-day basis that require the party to take a requiring MPs to adhere to that policy. with the caucus deciding national conventions. the national council had policy development. In these situations. However. 20 Parliamentary Groups . it may be difficult for the MPs to accept the party of ideological. MPs need against their party. When issues arise position. the statutes give the parliamentary policy. voting.52 When a party’s leadership or executive often using their party policy as a guide only. Policy is largely determined by party structures or. through leader may determine interim policies of the party. as appropriate. and the party’s position on topical issues.50 means and programs by which the party platform is to be The Party’s Code for Public Representatives further achieved. Committee oversees the policy drafting process and In Hungary. The the party national council. often the role of the caucus to decide the detailed response In Canada’s Conservative Party. It confers ultimate responsibility for no formal mechanisms for sanctioning the parliamentary determining and revising the party’s federal platform on the group. However. between determined the party platform. fundraising and membership targets. the In Bangladesh. A third form of policy not cover all of the detail that is contained in legislation. according to the response to the NDI parliamentary party may request that the party review its survey. the party statutes also note that. Of course.51 party executives.54 Irrespective of which method of policy development Policy Development is adopted by a party. his party’s structures outside parliament formally However. determine policy. submits policies to the national convention for approval.

MPs responding to NDI’s -Hungary survey in Indonesia. Most of these -New Zealand discussions happen between coalition partners. we they are doing. and then a political debate their position may choose to ignore the written procedures would ensue on that topic. caucus will be shaped by the rules governing caucus not only our ministers. or policy is implemented. it became and conduct meetings in their own way. Our structure was In the parliamentary setting. We had to pass hundreds manifestos during parliamentary debates. The caucus would always like political parties make provisions in their statutes for the to have much more input into legislation but the functioning of their caucuses including: mechanisms for government doesn’t like it. very little be able to agree on a position with regard to a specific issue Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 21 . Kosovo and New Zealand described a In practice. it is always an ongoing struggle. years. MPs’ behavior within that the caucus was entitled to invite any ministers. which are the Despite the provisions that many parties make in requirement of the international community. processes. Ministers and their -Indonesia departments proceed and THEN announce what We have not felt a need to have written rules. At times. in policy development] works but in practice it can -Kosovo be very frustrating for backbench members. the party When I took over the leadership position…I caucus is really not often consulted or given an realized that [the caucus] does not have any rules. However. This was based on convention and precedent. Colombia’s caucus law requires that the government. All the other bills have been introduced policy direction and the parliamentary party follows these by the government. political pressure to influence legislation. [Customs] have evolved over time. This was a way for the caucus to exert some usually publicly available. However. In the last ten in consultation with the Prime Minister and her advisors. though these are often caucus’s support for his/her position on a given closely guarded by the senior caucus officials.The theory [of caucus involvement agree on things informally. and I do not think there is a caucus rule Ministers come to the caucus meetings. of the senior party leadership. there are no serious edicts.in the case of the ruling party.. decision-making and internal discipline. ad hoc party meetings are held to discuss caucus. It to have the drafts prepared by the administration also requires that caucuses meet at least once a month. The Conflicts are unavoidable parts of political life: there ministers would meet my caucus and the caucus will be times in which the members of the caucus will not of the coalition party partners.55 and so it is always a conflict. Caucus Rules The following responses from the NDI survey illustrate the point. opportunity to actually decide what legislation systems or procedures at all. and at the direction a difficult thing. left to the discretion of parliamentary groups or their It is always a huge fight between the Caucus and parties. of pieces of legislation very quickly.. and not issue. but the coalition ministers. the reality is often quite different. For [more than 20 years] I have been attending -Ireland caucus. Sometimes these clear that the Ministers could not count on the rules will be formalized in writing. Frankly. We book at all. However. their statutes for close coordination among MPs as well -Kosovo as between the caucus and the party leadership outside Parliament on policy. by the Cabinet Ministers legislation comes from Parliament. particularly when a party is in variety of approaches: government and especially in coalition. Often rules will be unwritten. parties do refer to their party election debates on legislation. we had four or five bills introduced by a Occasionally. The government prefers discussion. strong party leaders who feel secure in to give reports on topics. Frankly. usually have a coalition government. The scope and contents of caucus rules are usually I think it is a painful question all over the place.

Similarly. be chosen from among the party’s elected representatives. elsewhere it is the party outside the eliminating the candidate with the lowest number of votes legislature. the 22 Parliamentary Groups . When party MPs stray president. In the UK Leadership Selection Conservative Party. scheduling. these rules should be known and she was unanimously elected leader of the parliamentary followed by all MPs. they should be appropriately disciplined was relatively unusual in the Indian context. for example. and. The parliamentary groups and the party outside the legislature. How are have their respective roles and powers and neither holds votes held when there is no consensus on an issue? How a dominant position over the other. she cases. which certifies that the provisions are consistent with the In the United Kingdom’s major parties. whereas. If Leadership structures vary from one political party there are only two candidates. the two branches may be on a relatively in each round until only two candidates are left. support throughout the party as a whole but also retains the confidence of the parliamentary party. and as Prime Minister. selecting a parliamentary group leader and the typical the caucuses may be unable to provide an effective voice profile of that individual partly depend on where the real in the parliament: many disputes can be prevented by power lies within the party. including the leader. In the United MPs and Members of the European Parliament. when Sonia Gandhi led the Written or unwritten. The two equal footing.56 parliamentary party. the dominant role. Yet again. In some cases. as does the relative balance of power between directly to all party members for a secret ballot. party leaders inside and outside the legislature are no clear rules as to how decisions are made. retaining her own position as party that these are correctly followed. Subsequently.or law. real power for a final vote. their names are submitted to another. This separation of the two leadership positions outside the rules. for instance. Party rules may even specify that the leader has to must submit caucus rules to the party’s legal commission. Caucus rules typically cover: caucus of the parliamentary party. clear rules about the responsibilities and competencies of In proportional representation systems. in accordance with established sanctions set out in Where the overall party leader is the de facto leader the caucus rules. MPs cast ballots. In South Africa’s parliamentary group is often the overall party leader as Democratic Alliance for example. The UK Labour Party selects its leader typically lies with the parliamentary party. The procedures for are motions made within the caucus? Without clear rules. and disciplinary procedures. Whip. the party’s elected representatives play If there are more than two candidates. In countries groups. the caucus chair or secretary. A sample set of ensure that the selected individual enjoys broad-based parliamentary group rules is included in Appendix 2. to ensure that their declined the position and proposed Manmohan Singh MPs are familiar with caucus rules and procedures. in through a tripartite electoral college. playing different but complementary roles. It is the responsibility of the senior party. parliamentary groups well. will often head their party’s candidate list to “guarantee” While some parties leave the development of rules their election to parliament and therefore maintain their to the complete discretion of their parliamentary leadership of the parliamentary group. finalists are then presented to the full party membership In the British political parties. procedures for determining caucus and support of the parliamentary group. parties will often institute leadership selection. the central party office is dominant. in some president and leader of the opposition. conduct and minutes mechanisms to ensure that candidates have the confidence of caucus meetings. Irrespective. or simple. each contender for the position of Party Leader must be supported by at least two MPs. caucus rules can be elaborate Indian National Congress to success in the 2004 elections. party leaders various caucus members. Sonia Gandhi had previously served both as party party leadership. others require that the rules be approved by the with strong Westminster traditions. The votes cast by: France. It is at these times that problems can occur if there States. the party’s federal council the leader of the party is automatically the leader of the must approve the rules. party statutes. the leader of the organization outside the legislature. However. This helps to positions. candidate with the most votes becomes the party Leader.

Whips who play an important role in organizing MPs strongly influenced by the party outside the legislature. In of the same political party. As one NDI expert noted. In 2001. Whips executive body of the party in question chooses the leader. and affiliated organizations and when an MP can challenge for the leadership. In most of the countries included in the NDI survey. in the party presidency or by the caucus. MPs select the caucus leader by a two-thirds is crafted. In one party. the parliamentary group elects a leader including voting times. the highest national Within their own parliamentary group. caucus members. elected parliamentary leader by a clear majority of party Again. party on particular pieces of legislation are close. in effect. any Chief recess packets outlining major points that the party would Whips must be chosen using a system that the party like representatives to stress with their constituents and federal council approves. the Australian Democrats such as ministers and shadow ministers. Otherwise. Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja was decided by the caucus membership or party leadership. Cambodia.57 the media. resulting in Stott-Despoja’s resignation a Whips year later. in all parties other Whips serve the following functions. significant of the party’s business within the legislature. the parliamentary group chair are taken in the legislature. they prepare may elect their own chairperson and Whip(s). Although caucus members constituent outreach in electoral districts. In that could broaden support for draft bills. As legislation SZDSZ. but was unable to harness majority support in be clearly stated in caucus rules. In South Africa’s Whips also play an important role in information Democratic Alliance. For example. The Whip is selected from cases where the MPs choose their own leader. group. the procedures for selecting these positions need to members. The party outside the legislature may only make positions on particular issues and facilitating compromises a recommendation as to who should hold the position. but not so stringent as to make it members’ wishes do not coincide with the views of impossible to remove problematic leaders. and caucus rules need to state how the leadership and the backbenchers. the president appoints to vote. This is particularly important when vote margins the chair of the parliamentary group. and is the manager Bangladesh. In larger negotiations occur behind closed doors and the leader parliamentary groupings.general party membership. in the lead up to from among its membership. problems may arise when party other pressing tasks. When votes most Montenegrin parties. In general however. In the United States for example. executives choose parliamentary leaders. Whips not only Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 23 . her party caucus. Rules (including trade unions) each account for a third of the must be sufficiently demanding to discourage frivolous overall total for each candidate. may be members. This created internal and public splits in the party. In Hungary’s members are to speak during question time. parliamentary select their parliamentary leader by a ballot of all party committee chairs and members and party Whips. in appointed to handle specific duties. Deputy Whips may also be is. organize lists of party members who wish to speak on but it is rare for the head of the parliamentary party to be specific legislation and motions. it is usually the Whip’s is elected by a joint session of MPs and members of the responsibility to count votes. the leader as a formality. there will be challenges against both a top-down and bottom-up relationship between parliamentary leaders. In Bulgaria. In Uganda. if not directly chosen by. Iraq and Nigeria. In addition. for and against. Other positions. “Whips facilitate Occasionally. following the proposals parliamentary group and to ensure that members turn up of main party organs. than the Union of Democratic Forces. and also organize which someone other than the leader of the party. BiH. The specific details some cases. Whips play a critical rule in gauging member’s majority. if the overall party leader is an MP. Without such provisions challenges that could divide the party or distract it from for balanced support. Parliamentary parties often have one or more party parliamentary leadership is. dissemination. such as in the party’s parliamentary members. there is a caucus vote or decision to approve vary from one legislature to another. chosen by the party structures. Whips he/she is automatically the leader of the parliamentary prepare advisories that outline legislative schedules. although.

. On days when the party members. also often use a combination of formal and informal known as backbenchers. While rewards may include ministerial legislature sits. to excommunication from the party. and to assist “[many] Whips. “friendly and approachable. Whips often negotiate these ‘pairs’ and (see Box 7). help. Whips serve as valuable gauges of sentiment in In South Africa’s African National Congress. They should be experienced members of the monitor the ongoing operation of the legislature to ensure legislature that have a thorough knowledge of standing 24 Parliamentary Groups . The study adds that help backbenchers overcome inconveniences. and Whips’ offices This allows both MPs to temporarily absent themselves are suspected to have been the repositories for these “dirt from parliamentary proceedings – for example. discuss as maternity/paternity leave or the care of seriously ill the activities of the various political and administrative relatives. include minor favors.” which could be used to induce MP loyalty. In some countries. adopt reports and take decisions on strategy and of new MPs. parceling them out strategically among amendments to pending legislation. Whips will often also support the development units. and liaise with committees and appointments on foreign delegations. that party decisions are implemented through correct they also articulate backbenchers’ grievances about party voting and orderly speech-making. Given these responsibilities. or support. memberships and chairmanships of various to discuss and plan the day’s proceedings. advice. in practice. MPs will be in close contact addition. The leader’s door should always communications to facilitate the functioning of be open to the Whip and the Whip’s door should always parliament. Chief parliamentary parties. policy. In Westminster. and perform over time. Whips from the various parties will meet postings.”59 As Whips sit in the Chamber to them for ‘guidance. In organizations. This may include weekly meetings to discuss be open to the backbenchers.”58 Whips from the national and provincial legislatures are Whips often also perform functions similar to the part of a forum that works to ensure effective political role that human resource departments play in many management and coordination of caucus activities. As one associated with coercion and control. Whips are usually senior In addition to their responsibilities within their MPs who have considerable influence with the party parliamentary groups. party Whips in the with Whips so that they may receive priority permission National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces for absences or different hours. government and opposition leadership and a wide network among junior MPs. For instance.”61 ministers or shadow ministers. Its gifts.” getting appropriate experiences and to assist them in emphasizing that. the presiding officer in regard to the speaking order. Australian and other legislatures whereby an MP of one parties are even alleged to have held records chronicling party agrees with an MP of another party to miss a vote. they can observe how members develop that “the Whips’ Office is organized for giving. for instance. during weekly meetings. although the position is often thinking through any conflicts over voting. to ensure that they are Whips as the “gears of the parliamentary machine. various secrets about their members. These processes also help Whips or investments..60 responsible for MPs from particular regions and contacts One study on the Westminster system described new legislators to offer advice.’” and on a regular basis. [have] described backbenchers coming with personal problems.62 illness. and tolerating delinquency. due to books. exceptions to the identify new MPs who have leadership potential as rules. to upon indebtedness and gratitude. based on such needs review implementation of the party’s strategic plan. these Whips are much more about developing informal authority based prepared to pass on information.promote the party line on behalf of the party leaders. important constituent Parties and parliamentary groups may elect or appoint functions – without affecting the general balance of votes their Whips but the desirable qualities remain the same in the legislature. it is study noted. each Whip is other issues. to be good listeners. sanctions can range from the withholding of such perks Pairing is an arrangement used in the United Kingdom. Ministerial responsibilities. At the source of the Whip’s and arrange parliamentary business and daily contact capacity to persuade is his/her management of rewards to deal with ongoing scheduling issues and possible and sanctions.

and good communication and negotiation skills. Parliamentary groups operating in party Whips proportional representation list systems often choose to • Ensure that legislature action is consistent with organize their constituent outreach based on this approach. as a result of the 2009 National Assembly use their time effectively is through a division of labor elections). and most common. in shaping the party group’s stance on different bills in strong connections with the organizational wing of the committee. Each study group feeds into particular parliamentary committees There are many policy issues that will arise in a and proposes ANC parliamentary caucus policy for the legislature – health. A chairperson Parliamentary Groups heads each study group and is assisted by a Whip. groups of MPs may be assigned to • Serve as a back-up party media spokesperson particular issue areas. This reciprocal opposition party in Westminster-style legislatures. method is to divide the • Allocate questions for question time work based on subject area: in many cases the subjects or • Ensure MPs attend votes areas of concern reflect the ministries in the government. Through this division of labor. Each parliamentary business member of the caucus is responsible for a specific district • Negotiate pairings (where two or more or community within the municipality (possibly an area parliamentary groups agree to have the same in which they reside or have a connection to). by working co-operatively with other caucus Responsibilities members. caucuses Desirable Attributes that have several MPs assigned to each committee will • Parliamentary and party experience select a member to chair the party’s representatives on that • Knowledge of standing orders and parliamentary committee. A procedures caucus deputy chairperson leads weekly meetings where • High standing.63 party. respect and trust within the party. land reform. and other the community. the party’s platform and caucus decisions In larger caucuses. it simply allows MPs to use their time more Box 7: Whips effectively. in South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC). orders and parliamentary conventions. thereby maintaining in that area feel a stronger connection to the member. clerks. Similarly. It is relevant focus area. the confidence of Thus the committee group chairs play influential roles their fellow members and the trust of the party leaders. and the balance of votes in the legislature) subsequently the party and caucus. institute a division of labor by appointing topics. formally that assigns each MP primary responsibility for particular or informally. to update each other on developments in • Good communication and negotiation skills the committees and to determine what matters should be referred to the broader parliamentary group for discussion. • Organize the party’s list of speakers The first. even smaller caucuses will. • Meet with other party Whips to plan The second method is to assign work geographically. arrangement is not abrogating an MP’s responsibility – an are another example of the division of labor within MP still needs to be comfortable with how he/she votes in Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 25 . Each committee group meets as necessary. the legislature. One way to ensure that caucuses 400 members. However. In Finland’s parliament. etc. education. MPs can develop spokespersons or issue experts for various policy areas. all MPs are allocated to study groups that serve Division of Labor in as portfolio sub-committees of the caucus. This arrangement is possible in large rarely feasible for members of the legislature to effectively part due to the sheer size of the ANC caucus (264 out of cover all portfolio issues. The voters number of members absent. its leadership and among MPs the chairs of each of these committee groups come together to coordinate. common within the dominant knowledge and expertise on specific areas. because that member • Liaise between party leadership and members takes an interest in the issues that concern the voters in • Liaise with presiding officers. a degree of mutual trust and confidence in each other’s Shadow Cabinets.

and the lead on communicating the party’s position on a given convey the image of a “government-in-waiting. on the library made available to the Irish Parliament. who can Shadow Ministers establish peer-to-peer relationships easily refer to the list of Shadow Cabinet members to with government ministers. because cabinet members are similarly. These peer-to-peer relationships way of countering ineffective parliaments or authoritarian allow the leader of the opposition to focus on responding control over the political agenda. a welfare worker. The group – a subset of the Cabinets. the Shadow contact for statements on particular issues. development. he was a compromise. by virtue of their experience and issue-area expertise) or Shadow Ministers are often the ranking minority elected by the caucus.parliamentary groups. for instance – as a for the Environment. opposition parties members on portfolio committees. he relied that if backbenchers vented their spleen in private. Further. members are more likely to respect the the Justice Minister. a former judge. a penal reform expert The Smith leadership was content for controversial and someone from the private security sector. As one study of the United Kingdom’s experts: a law lecturer. the Shadow Cabinet is typically caucus. Although Shadow Ministers may ask portfolios. the Shadow Minister of the Environment would also sitting MPs.” affect the extent to which members may feel this option is he said. In some cases. However. For instance.” issue. and how he addressed them. issue. as a way with various actors in their sector.000 civil servants working decision of a caucus if there has been an attempt to find for him. As such. which allows them to will also select Shadow Ministers for portfolio areas where feed into the committee system and cultivate relationships there is no government minister equivalent. maintaining contact to get concerns off their chests and eventually make peace with his constituents and fulfilling their requests. Shadow Cabinets typically group (backbenchers) to investigate and make proposals include the senior leadership of the parliamentary group or on particular issues. “It isn’t with supporting the party view. Leadership styles also easy to keep informed…we don’t have lots of resources. had 3. with each member of the Shadow Cabinet an opportunity to brief and engage shadow cabinet assigned to one or more ministerial-level their colleagues. work more effectively. two lawyers. which strengthens policy of showing the opposition’s different policy priorities. His opponent. appointed by the parliamentary leadership (usually responsible for final decisions on policy. Chancellor of the Exchequer typically responds to the Shadow Cabinets are generally most effective under budget introduced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. while he had no paid staff. open and constantly busy with the regular activities of being a frank discussion behind closed doors may allow members legislator: working in committee.64 they would be less likely to mouth off and vote Shadow Cabinets typically meet weekly – separate against the party line…One valuable lesson from from the rest of the parliamentary group – just like actual the Smith period is that making a little time to listen to the gripes of the lowliest backbenchers 26 Parliamentary Groups . the opposition leader’s time and influence can be used more strategically. The leader of the opposition typically serves as groups of members from the rest of the parliamentary the Shadow Prime Minister. For his own research. Caucus Meetings An expert at an NDI workshop spoke about some of the challenges he faced in his role as Shadow Justice No caucus will be able to reach a consensus on every Minister. He managed by maintaining a team of volunteer available to them. Westminster style systems. directly to the prime minister. In addition to these Shadow Cabinet meetings. drafted speeches. However. It also facilitates requests from the media. worked on draft [Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP)] in the hope bills and offered counsel. Moreover. From the leaders’ point of view. two Parliamentary Labour Party notes: police officers. This team issues to be hammered out collectively in the conducted research. parliamentary group or caucus – is constituted to reflect the larger parliamentary group meetings provide the the structure of the cabinet. extra-parliamentary Shadow usually respond to initiatives introduced by the Minister Cabinets have also been tried – in BiH. the allocation of responsibilities Shadow Cabinets allow the opposition in the legislature makes clear which member of the opposition will take to: deepen sector expertise.

re-election. First. for instance For instance. question time the party when he/she opposes the party on a particular strategy. solidarity be dictated by parliamentary business. the PPG meeting provides election. they can consistently support Caucus rules should include standard meeting their party and vote with their party on policy procedures that cover how discussions progress. From such a discussion. their personal beliefs may clash with their – who are not sitting MPs. Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 27 . non-government motions. it is much easier the responsibility of the Whip or a caucus secretary. Whips’ often exists for an MP is in determining when to go against comments. meetings can serve as a discussion forum. how debates can be concluded power in the party. thereby ensuring the party remains consistent opinion. caucuses must keep minutes of amenable. the constituents’ opinions. Although it is of dissent…in Britain and France. under hand. Second. or Individual Freedom versus to consider a leadership challenge. regardless of the party position. thereby ensuring their ability to rise in long people can speak. issue. and general business. legislator’s dilemma: an MP may have a concern that is relevant to his/her own Legislators face the following options when voting constituency. their larger size makes [such] meetings less Colombian legislation. This is to hear all views and reach agreement. provisions may and cohesiveness. One study named this tension as the also allow MPs to raise additional issues. to adjust strategy in response to new issues.66 meetings where legislative strategy and voting decisions Caucus meetings are usually weekly and are held at a are made.67 meetings. During policy debates. government bills for debate.68 may sometimes include members of the party’s non. given the return to the agenda for several weeks. attain nomination for the next and the process for taking a vote (for example. these minutes form the institutional memory of a workable arena to smooth over differences of the caucus. secret ballot or on the voices). Because Belgian [Party Parliamentary Groups As the caucus membership changes from election to (PPGs)] are small. strong division of labour makes it uncommon for parliamentary groups may be wary of recording certain a member to intrude upon the field of the policy details and may choose to simply note that discussions of another and thus further reduces the possibility occurred and record the decisions made. and members of government – ministers. they can choose to concerns. allows the infantry to let off steam. where particularly contested issues may in regard to specific issues. Caucus meetings loyalty and status in the party. Moreover a often sensitive nature of discussions at their meetings. and wish to see if other MPs have similar on policy decisions. The minutes are intended to serve as evidence set time on sitting days. and when to forgo his/her individual freedom While the emphasis of caucus meetings will necessarily on a given issue for the good of party loyalty. A typical Theoretically and practically. At the same time. important for avoiding future conflicts on party direction. regardless of the The recording of caucus meeting minutes is generally style of its leadership: in smaller groups.65 the portfolio area. Party Cohesion Caucus meeting agendas normally follow a standard course of considering parliamentary action. The caucus rules should also clearly The size of a caucus may limit the extent to which its state who is entitled to attend caucus meetings. achieve a more caucus may also want to hear from non-party experts in contented PLP and a more effective leadership. such as the party secretary general exclusive. as well as mechanisms for calling emergency MPs. the party may identify support their voters and stand a good chance of a need to take further action or amend a policy. on the other unusual for caucus meetings to be regulated by law. Caucus rules will typically outline in cases where parties take disciplinary action against their these details. show of election and seek other benefits as a virtue of their hands. While the two options above are not always mutually parliamentary executive. which may be needed to consider urgent legislation. the greatest tension that agenda may include: the Leader’s address. For example. there are other conflicts that legislators may face. for how issues.

These turnover of MPs at elections increases.71 Therefore. on guided by the party’s ideas and decisions on principle… 28 Parliamentary Groups . Furthermore. in the aftermath of Slovakia’s orders from the party. Through public 1990 and 1997. this popular of these tensions by outlining a combination of elected support is viewed as a mandate to implement those representative rights and responsibilities. At the can evolve over time as parties and their MPs begin to same time. those constituents are aware that the MPs have to take According to one study. especially. While noting policies. submissions from citizen groups and splits would eventually help create more cohesive parties. would undermine the purpose of having exchange for public appointments or personal gain. interests will often be aligned. The ideal is somewhere between 1989 revolution.” Some of these Since the interplay between constituents and MPs is informal groups eventually became political parties. elsewhere in this paper. caucuses. when MPs have been elected the effective functioning of parliaments often requires using party ‘branding’ (such as being identified as a party MPs to judge issues and make decisions that are informed candidate on the ballot paper. their constituents. parliamentary groups were “little more than between individual freedom and party cohesion. Essentially. it is important for MPs to maintain a parliamentary groups experienced no defections between connection with their local communities. post of elected representative. or associating themselves by a balanced combination of constituents’ perspectives with party material in their campaigning). In such cases.or they may be tempted to defect to another party in a party list. in accordance with the party’s party’s MPs should subsequently support the party’s principles and political programme. if MPs were than representatives from parties that have vague goals solely driven by their constituents’ views. as indicated unpopular legislation would never be passed. constraints often prevent MPs from consulting coalesce around similar values. platform or. others split over a variety of issues. necessary but for improving their countries. MPs can solicit and incorporate Thus. These committee hearings. expectation from voters that the MP will act in accordance Party rules should clearly address the possible conflict with his/her party’s policy platform. while doing Individual MPs from parties with a clear ideological so would render MPs powerless to act expeditiously on foundation will be more likely to toe the party line pending or urgent issues. parliaments can These dilemmas are regularly played out within party become chaotic and overwhelmed by fluctuating alliances. as well as a key way in the following years. but in cases when they are Conversely. various groups struck alliances of ensuring that political parties do not lose touch with with little information about their partners. in order to truly reflect views and to take decisions within the areas covered by the the voters’ wishes in parliamentary action. Under the ‘mandate theory’ of democracy. similar activities. voters may perceive that their local MP is not to act and vote in parliament? representing them. the question is: should a party direct how its MPs are their MPs. But vital in a representative democracy. acting in the interests of their party or Voters quickly become disenchanted with their MPs and following their own personal beliefs and values. Therefore. as well as an understanding of the issues. informal groups of like-minded MPs. It becomes increasingly difficult for The degree to which policy platforms are specific and MPs to argue they are listening to their constituents. while based on ideological values plays a role in this dynamic. While some public opinion.” the rules also remind them allowing MPs total vote freedom. their constituents on each individual issue. and it is this potential conflict that MPs must with MPs becoming more concerned with their own consider – whether they are representing the interests of self-interest than party cohesiveness or national interest. with the exception of the Communist these two extremes: the challenge is finding the balance Party. there is an and party values.70 other. Political parties between individual freedom and party solidarity. to form his/her own position in parliamentary votes. if parties have complete control over not.69 a strong party system. The typically develop a policy platform for an election. a MPs’ “unreserved right. the development of unified parliamentary groups a range of views into their lawmaking functions. and statutes of the Swedish Social Democrats recognize some when successful in winning government. once they have been of their the obligation to “permit [their] decision to be elected on a party affiliation.

the and refine policy options.”72 their members. proposing legislation or amendments or Conference or Executive decisions. Furthermore. elected be determined by the national. against recalcitrant MPs. but offers legislators another way of letting particular By contrast. despite strong regulatory 1. Policy at the national. leadership may be willing to tolerate defections. In the Sinn Fein example. However. Such decisions shall be degrees of dissent from their party positions. This is less likely but will insist on complete unity when a close majority to occur if senior parliamentary party leaders also hold requires that every vote count. do not compel its position. parties in In Ireland. the Sinn Fein party requires that MPs government are often forced to take a stand on divisive follow the directions of the party’s national executive. Parliamentary groups in government may those present and voting at a Democratic Caucus be able to more easily entice party unity by delivering shall bind all Members of the Caucus. On matters that are not subject to National Platform place for the vote. In Portugal. Where government has a large and one that can create internal party conflict if the two majority. MPs are required to “make it clear that [their own written document explaining their vote. opposition MPs’ inability positions. Since In the United States. But there will be times when discussion In the Australian Labor Party. and issuing press releases. In addition. The Parliament views] do not reflect those of the general membership of publishes these explanations together with information on the party. the majority decision their concerns. party solidarity is firmly behind the closed doors of a caucus does not fully address enforced. parties end up pushing things party’s caucus retains responsibility for imposing sanctions through their own caucus with limited discussion.76 issues and have to broker compromises. State and Territory representatives have used a sliding scale of options to voice conferences respectively. for MPs to follow policy. MPs can produce a vote explanation: a policy.”74 the parliamentary debate leading up to the vote.75 attractive positions in government. a majority vote of in opposition. as they senior positions (or are able to exert strong influence) take advantage of government bureaucracy to research in the party’s executive. particularly those in party solidarity only on matters of leadership or committee which MPs criticize aspects of their party’s position. where there are often limited resources and carefully balancing personal. having greater influence over its parliamentary wing. in the Portuguese Parliament. State and Territory level shall incentives for party cohesion in the legislature. stepping down to allow another party official to take their 2. when voting against party most votes taken. who determine constituents know of their efforts to defend a particular policy by a vote of all party members. this positions: provides MPs a way of publicly expressing discontent With respect to voting in the House for Speaker without fully breaching party discipline. maintaining party cohesion. However. Opposition parties frequently have their own problems Depending on party and legislative rules and custom. straining party unity. wings of the party are in disagreement. or their State at the committee stage. The first is discussion with their fellow caucus to have an impact on the legislative process can lead to members. the Australian Democrats.and to act in a manner consistent with the fundamental leaders in the legislature gauge the mood and positions of values of social democracy. the Democratic Party requires the media covers vote explanations. and for cohesion is easier for caucuses in government or for those membership of committees. The last of of the relevant Parliamentary Labor Party shall be these typically occurs in combination with vote dissent binding upon all members of the parliament.77 and other officers of the House. In some cases. Especially in transition legislators may have a number of options available in countries. opposition party leaders usually Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 29 . for each committee Another ongoing debate is whether or not party chairman or ranking minority member. This can create This example is indicative of a party’s organizational wing tensions between backbenchers and Cabinet members. Caucus meetings and Whips can help party frustration. thereby forcing a discussion about and Territory equivalents. including: binding on every member and every section of the voluntary absence from the chamber or even temporarily Party. as its statutes clearly state:73 member concerns. or of the relevant State or Territory Branch. constituent and party strong governing coalitions.

30 Parliamentary Groups . individual MPs often break ranks. In Colombia. of issue/legislation. an NDI study found that each party defined issues of conscience differently. question on such issues. Ireland Yes Very rarely Iraq Yes. Pakistan Yes. but consensus usually achieved relatively strong Yes (as MPs are generally Morocco No free to vote anyway) Nigeria No. party splits. leadership supply. MPs will be given a ‘free’ or ‘conscience’ personal reasons of conscience. eventually attain power under the current leadership. others gave examples of the types of issues of social conscience. genetic caucus cohesion and sustain MPs’ faith that they will engineering. euthanasia. on confidence.. sometimes considered matters for approval. supply. submitted to the caucus vote on certain policy areas. and avert potentially damaging internal the leader’s strategy and sometimes even leave the party. the death penalty. stem cell research. Table 5: Freedom to Exercise a ‘Conscience’ Vote Are MPs Generally Compelled Are Exceptions Made for Country to Vote with the Caucus? Conscience Votes? Bangladesh Yes No Bosnia and Herzegovina Yes. While some Conscience Votes parties simply provided for MPs to vote according to In many parties. except in matters of conscience Yes . unless 2/3 caucus Yes. and voluntary euthanasia. etc. etc. on conscience issues - Hungary agrees to allow dissent abortion. which included: religious and ethical principles. sexual orientation. Common definitions of issues of involved. and local impact issues Yemen Yes Generally free to vote have to rely on their personal charisma to maintain conscience include: abortion. abortion. but party discipline Montenegro No. leadership Yes (as MPs are generally Peru No free to vote anyway) Serbia Mainly yes Only on less-important issues South Africa Yes No Only on certain social issues - Depends on importance United Kingdom death penalty.‘issues of conscience’ stipulated Yes. or become independent No Bulgaria Yes No Cambodia Yes No (theoretically yes) Colombia Yes. but consensus usually achieved Occasionally Yes. except for confidence. on local issues Mali No Yes Yes. This strategy can help avoid For those opposition parties that stand little chance of a dilemmas that a party may face in formulating a policy breakthrough. in principle Yes Kosovo Yes Yes.

that MPs can exercise varies widely (see Table 5). This may include public In the countries NDI surveyed. Regardless of any legal protections that may is rare – never used when in Government in my exist. while in practice influenced by a number of factors. the degree of freedom statements disagreeing with the party’s policies or leaders. It is also or voting against the party’s position in parliament. Where parties have the resources to contribute (for example. they may vary their support may be in the national interest. in the party and whether the party relies on the MP for especially in democracies where voters primarily identify financial or other support. Other than expulsion from with a party rather than an individual candidate. customary practices (for elected Discipline representatives from indigenous communities). This is more likely to occur if the distributed through the Whip’s office. sanctions range in critical to the overall outcome. MP has a strong local following. will often be that particular issue. is a vote you could still be expected to vote with the The potential for rewards may serve as added party. depending on the nature of the offense. and the political participation of Inevitably there will be times when an MP breaches women and youth. While these A three-line whip means you have to be present in provisions may ensure that MPs retain their seats regardless the Chamber and vote the party line unless you of how they vote. However. the establishment of a waste dump. the party. caucuses where strict rules of seniority apply. including the opportunity for international MP to maintain local support by opposing the party on trips and invitations to high profile events. the most serious threat to an MP can be the In some cases. parties will often find ways to discipline have obtained special permission. For flexibility depending on how important they consider the MPs who are nearing retirement or wanting to leave the legislation at hand. thus weakening incentives for legislators to toe the specific impact on the MP’s own electorate. Sometimes issues arise during the parliament opportunities for leadership positions within the where people argue for a free vote as it is not a party parliamentary group. In opposition it seems to mean that on a range of factors including the extent to which they you should be there but you are more likely to be have ambitions within or commitments to the party that given permission to not be there if you ask! If there nominated them for office. Other local residents). which funds to election campaigns. parties will allow their MPs more potential loss of pre-selection for the next election. on his/her personal views is protected by law. but bitterly opposed by based on a legislator’s loyalty to the party caucus. a legislator’s right to vote on legislation based leader assign to each item of parliamentary business. the impact that losing the MP would have for future party pre-selection or campaign funding can be on the numbers in the legislature. it would be in the party’s interest for their rewards. In such cases party line. ultimately. Examples include vote.78 the rules of his/her party. such as the severity of they coerce their MPs to vote as a bloc. political experts from the United Kingdom noted: As indicated elsewhere in this paper. Responses electorate may also see this as a disingenuous attempt at to the NDI survey described: verbal warnings from the maintaining local support. party or Whip (BiH) or paying a fine of approximately Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 31 . in countries where political issue even if Government has a position ministers may be drawn from outside parliament or in on it. You are always told when there will be a free encouragement for discipline. parliamentary MPs may also be given freedom to vote against their leaders may be deprived of this potential “reward” for party if a particular issue or piece of legislation has a loyalty. in certain It depends on the number of “lines” the Whip and countries. legislators will make their decisions based experience. this would not act as a significant deterrent. A not uncommon for parties to state that their MPs are free to party’s willingness to take action against an MP may be vote according to conscience on any issue.military service. and if the MP’s vote is not Where positive encouragement fails. An MP’s desire the offense. A two-line whip their MPs. However. a well-informed severity. the MP’s support base a powerful motivator that overrides personal conscience. euthanasia. In response to NDI’s questionnaire. party anyway. organ transplants.

79 Disciplinary Committee for misconduct. for instance – are required for the legislator to make it onto the Approved List. Pending the Some parties have a formal procedure for reviewing outcome of the party disciplinary committee’s enquiry. attending caucus meetings. the rules may appointments and other patronages (Nigeria). These letters provide party leaders MP from the parliamentary group. more than Alliance. For instance.80 In addition. Pakistan. by a majority decision. party leaders imposed cohesion using a variety vote of members present at a caucus meeting. South Africa.” In this way. parties required candidates members must be notified of at least four days in advance. the legislators’ performance as part of the candidate selection caucus may. Further offenses could result in a small committee being formed to attempt conciliation between 32 Parliamentary Groups . In such cases. UK. In South Africa’s Democratic to pledge payment of approximately $166. the review process includes a self-evaluation by each legislator as well as an assessment of each legislator’s performance by the party’s parliamentary leadership and provincial or regional party secretaries. a suspended of influence in the legislature until the next election. there were also references to undated disciplinary process should also be consistent with the resignation letters that legislators are required to give to state’s laws and the principles of natural justice and their parties during the nomination process. the party’s statutes and the rules of the legislature. a first offense of speaking out against a party’s policy (if this is not allowed) could be met with an informal reprimand from the party leader. in extreme cases. Ireland. In MP may only be reinstated by a two-thirds majority Slovakia. kept on file and activated should MPs begin to deviate elected representatives can vote to suspend or expel an from the party line. a provincial leader. In the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party. to sign a letter promising to toe the party line.$250 (Hungary) for relatively minor infractions.81 incumbent MPs are automatically included on the Approved Lists from which party branches select their parliamentary candidates. but only provided that with a way to enforce discipline and promote cohesion the MP has been given adequate notice and afforded the in the parliamentary group. In Ireland’s Fine Gael.000. after five fines. suspend the MP from process. Caucus rules should clearly state what actions are to be taken when an MP breaches the rules. and these actions should be established in proportion to the severity of the offense and the MP’s previous record. the parties seek to preserve their level party’s disciplinary committee. For example. and require expulsion from the caucus. For the party and the MP. expulsion from the party or caucus Disciplinary caucus rules should be consistent with (Bangladesh. These are procedural fairness. for instance. The In the Hungary case referenced above. In South Africa’s African National Congress. penalties include loss of committee has voted against the party in a critical vote. The In some countries. should they leave the leader or Chief Whip may refer an MP to the party’s party and remain in parliament. additional steps – a review by the Selection Committee. constitutional provisions guarantee MPs’ right to a “free Suspended members have the option of appealing to the vote. In more serious cases where an MP more serious offenses. the national leader. the caucus ten times the annual salary of an MP. which all of mechanisms. MPs Movement for a Democratic Slovakia required candidates must resign from the group. Yemen). especially in cases where opportunity to submit evidence defending his/her position. unless they have been suspended or dismissed from the parliamentary group.

How parliamentary groups are organized ineffective legislative strategies. pose questions. they call for: clear questions surrounding internal decision-making processes. rules on the formation. parliamentary groups. the allocation of adequate resources The resources available to parliamentary groups affect and facilities for party groups using clear and transparent their ability to research policy and interact with the formulae that do not unduly advantage the majority party.  parliamentary groups. in possible de-selection) of parliamentary group leaders. legislature. however. information about the standards for legislatures have incorporated benchmarks internal functioning of parliamentary groups. and lack of internal also affects legislative institutions’ ability to conduct their deliberative mechanisms. While often overlooked in democracy support efforts with committees are often described as the “engine rooms” of projects concentrating on strengthening technical aspects parliaments. citizens they are supposed to represent. in turn. This includes discussion to organize outside the legislature. Through institutionalized. size. Given In addition.CONCLUSION Effective parliamentary party groups or caucuses are emerging democracies. affect its ability to advance between parties and their elected representatives and how the interests of its party by taking advantage of whatever party representatives organize themselves within the administrative and procedural rights accrue to caucuses. procedures for the regular selection (and their ability to address citizens’ concerns. the responsible use of legislative power assists the political parties and citizens. How well a parliamentary group organizes its The primary focus of this paper has been the relationships internal affairs will. In general. and introduce forfeiting his/her seat. demonstrating their relevance and parliament. policy in-between elections. caucuses often become parliamentary groups have found the following to be parties’ primary means of developing and shaping useful in organizing their work. it is in parliamentary groups that party leaders of legislative development – committees and standing in the legislature set the course for their members’ action orders. the most effective their actions in the legislature. have direct effects on how parties develop. In Despite their critical role at the nexus of legislatures. and articulate positions on public policy issues. loosely-defined identities. particularly for parliamentary groups. the influenced by the performance of parliamentary groups resources available and the extent to which the party is and individual members of the legislature. Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 33 . How procedural and the rights of legislators to form issue-based caucuses. authority and accountability their policy positions and reach out to the public through between the parliamentary group and the party outside their elected officials. legislation. However. parliamentary groups are credibility of parliament as a democratic institution. are often weak and may be parties and the efficient organization and management plagued by: limited resources. various efforts to develop democratic the political sensitivities involved. rights and responsibilities of cohesion and discipline are often shrouded in secrecy. How political parties and MPs address these Public perceptions of political parties are greatly issues varies based on their operating context. These factors. rights are allocated within the legislature – typically among Some also address a legislator’s right to vote against his parliamentary groups – helps determine opportunities to parliamentary group or to leave his/her party without shape legislative agendas. of parliament. When functioning properly. oversight. addition. like other critical for the creation of more representative political democratic institutions. modify political party development work to address this challenge. A growing number of over how and when to compromise on policy issues and democratic development specialists are now highlighting when to take more confrontational stances. Clear rules help parties and parliamentary groups define parliamentary groups allow parties to effectively promote lines of communication. representational and lawmaking functions. the need for greater integration of parliamentary and in turn. for instance – or building political party capacity in committees and in the plenary. In general.

By circulating meeting agendas in advance. or in addition to. thus better positioning themselves to take informed positions on issues. Giving MPs the opportunity to air their views and concerns may increase the chances that they voluntarily vote in line with the group. Regular. parliamentary group leaders can provide MPs the opportunity to prepare for the discussion. including the possibility of appeal and the right to defend themselves before the leadership. Such coordinated action makes it more likely that a parliamentary group will be able to inspire public confidence. ensure sanctions are in proportion to the severity of the offense. In addressing matters of discipline. That said. the development of briefing packets to ensure message coordination and the distribution of other electronic or written materials. meetings allow parliamentary groups to discuss and reach agreement on issues pending in the legislature and coordinate outreach to the media and citizens. meetings: this may include the appointment of Whips. Through an effective division of labor among MPs. Parliamentary groups should also consider adopting additional mechanisms that promote coordination and information sharing in between.decision-making procedures including the possibility of conscience votes where appropriate. are often the first step in encouraging participation while promoting cohesiveness. confidentiality and attendance. participatory. Such rules. parties constantly change and update their rules due to various internal and external influences. parliamentary groups can make more efficient use of resources and deepen legislators’ knowledge in particular policy areas. In addition. 34 Parliamentary Groups . parliamentary groups and their parties should seek to: strike a balance between the need for cohesive action in the legislature and recognition of the right to legitimate dissent. the exchange of views may help parliamentary groups refine their policy positions. Rules should also incorporate checks and balances and other safeguards that prevent the monopolization of power by particular individuals. and expectations for MP conduct in such areas as discipline. and allow MPs a fair hearing. if known to MPs and applied equally to all.

is that the criteria for the formation of parliamentary party groups.”84 allows them to lay out the timetable for debates. it is explicitly stated in international law that “no one may be compelled to belong to an association. shall be clearly stated in the rules.82 The existence of party groups in the legislature is the global norm. in a party list system. their establishment is even expressly mandated in the Rules of the House. that he/she will act as a party member first and foremost in the legislature. In addition to undertaking legislative initiatives.APPENDICES Appendix 1: Extracts from Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures Toward the Development of International Standards for Democratic Legislatures (National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. Most uniform. and 20 in the Indian Lok Sabha. however. When legislators are elected into office in a party list system. is their important role in arranging for the ordering of debate. that legislators elected into office on a free mandate shall be free to join or not join a party group. then. the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The party groups may comprise members of one party only. formation of a group may require one person or it may require 10. however. membership of a parliamentary party group shall be voluntary and a legislator shall not lose his/her seat for leaving his/her party group. The right to freedom of association. In addition. and their rights and responsibilities. Party groups allow for groupings of citizens to continue to be organized and active when elected into the legislature. In some countries. Their involvement in the work of the managing organs of the legislature.1 Criteria for the formation of parliamentary party groups. or it may allow several. it shall be a minimum standard that the criteria for the formation of party groups.”87 It is a logical corollary. that political parties must be able to operate and actualize their policies within the legislature. These party groups play a fundamental role in the legislature.2 PARTY GROUPS 4. 4. party groups perform a crucial function in national political life. Poland and Senegal. frequently through a “conference of presidents. the group may allow members from one party only. five in Belgium and Brazil. and that he/she is accountable to the party and is Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 35 . shall be clearly stated in the Rules of the legislature. an association (in this case a party group). shall be clearly stated in the rules of the legislature. as in India and Philippines. as articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights85 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.2 In a non-party list electoral system.2. and is thus of crucial political importance. The minimum standard. or they may comprise members from more than one party.83 The number of legislators required to form a group varies across the spectrum. as in Greece.2. 2009) 4. Membership of a group may or may not be obligatory. Given this important role.86 is a fundamental human right and a basic tenet of representative democracy. and. they are typically instrumental in appointing legislators to committees and laying out the timetable for debate. Japan. or not join. Parliamentary party groups are a key device for the translation of political party policies and campaign promises into legislative reality. In these ways. or. it is understood that his/her constituency is his/her party. This is the case in Greece. legislators are free to exercise their basic rights of freedom of association to join. The justification for party groups is typically based on one of two premises: that in a non-party list electoral system. and their rights and responsibilities in the legislature. from none at all in Japan. This minimum standard for democratic legislatures has been explicitly called for by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. and their rights and responsibilities. Norway and Brazil.

as in Poland and Italy.2. Organization of Parliaments 3. Still. as described in § 4. the restriction does not apply to interest caucuses. as in Japan.1 Legislators shall have the right to form interest caucuses around issues of common concern. funds are proportional to party representation in the legislature and are thus not unduly advantageous to the majority. in non-party list systems that a legislator does not lose his/her seat for voting against the wishes of the party group. groups in the Spanish Senate receive offices and meeting rooms. moreover.90 The rules governing their funding may be grounded in different instruments: in the rules of procedure. France.3 INTEREST CAUCUSES 4. if public funds are being used. These countries include. it is not uncommon for legislators to lose their seat for voting contrary to the party line.1 Regulations governing political parties. Japan. Such examples can be found in legislatures around the world. Although this right is commonly restricted with respect to party groups in party list systems.91 Exactly what is provided may also differ. for example. are not connected to political parties and have less power in the legislature. which requires that “[p]arty organization.88 It is the norm. It is not an uncommon practice for party groups in the legislature to receive assistance in the form of technical. each legislator shall have the right to join or not join any formal or informal grouping of legislators for the pursuit of common interests. as they are less formal.subject to rules guiding his/her actions within the legislature. The civil and political rights enjoyed by each citizen. A Study Group of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association has already declared their support for this minimum standard. it is a minimum standard that legislators have the right to form interest caucuses around issues of common concern. Senegal. or by a collegiate body. Ireland. parliamentary groups and opposition groups: 36 Parliamentary Groups . as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and detailed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. in the law on the financing of political parties.”89 It is already the case that many legislatures provide resources and facilities to party groups. Mali. that interested members of the United States Congress have come to form a Congressional Black Caucus and a Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Ireland.2. New Zealand. In such systems. Belgium. funding and ethics must be properly regulated in an impartial manner in order to ensure the integrity of the democratic processes. finances. This minimum standard does not apply to such systems. France. consistent with Article 12 of the Declaration of Democracy of the Inter- Parliamentary Union. New Zealand.92 So it is.3 The legislature shall provide adequate resources and facilities for party groups pursuant to a clear and transparent formula that does not unduly advantage the majority party. In most of these cases. Hence. Japan. It is already the case that membership in party groups is voluntary in a number of countries including. are equally fundamental and inalienable for representatives of the citizens. expenditure must always be done pursuant to a clear and transparent formula that does not unduly advantage the majority party. but by no means restricted to. Australia. 4. Belgium. Germany. while groups in the Israeli Knesset receive a monthly sum for staff costs. administrative or logistical support. Slovenia and Spain. Switzerland and the United Kingdom. 4. In some countries. It applies to all others. This minimum standard is well practiced around the world. as in Spain. for example. the Netherlands. Poland. The Reality of Democracy in Parliaments: Which Evaluation Criteria? Parliamentary Assembly in the French-Speaking World (Assemblée Parlementaire De La Francophonie) 3.3. The important role played by party groups in the work of the legislature is deserving of support.2. the party groups are directly funded. As described throughout § 4. the provision of resources and facilities for party groups shall be done pursuant to a clear and transparent formula that does not unduly advantage the majority party. Denmark. While the specifics of assistance will be decided by each country according to need and means.2. activities.

Related to law- making is the important work of approving the country’s annual budget.1. Executive decrees shall not be used to bypass Parliament’s legislative function. 3.1. only a popularly elected house (national assembly) shall have the power to pass a vote of no confidence in the executive.1. The exercise of these sensitive functions must be done in a participatory. They shall be used only when Parliament is not in session.2 The criteria for the formation of a parliamentary group.1 Political Parties: 3. both domestic and international. Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 37 . In bicameral systems with a parliamentary system of government (as opposed to a presidential system). In some Parliaments.” 3. The ability to perform this function effectively is contingent upon many factors. A chamber where a majority of Members are not directly elected or indirectly elected may not indefinitely deny or reject a money bill. transparent and democratic context.1. amongst others.1. if any. 3. In vibrant. some anti-defection measures may be needed. “Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures in Southern Africa” (SADC Parliamentary Forum) 7.4 The exclusion of members of Parliament as a punishment for disaffiliating from their party should be considered as prejudicial to the independence of the parliamentarians concerned. 3. Parliament shall approve all grants. subject to ratification by Parliament.1 Parliamentary groups shall enjoy a legal status or another form of recognition.2.1.3 Parliament must distribute adequate resources fairly among parliamentary groups. That being said. 3. including the budget and any supplementary budgets.1.2. The legislative function often includes the power to amend the constitution. this function is carried out with undue deference to and interference from the executive resulting in what are commonly referred to as “rubber stamp” Parliaments. democratic Parliaments.2.1. LEGISLATIVE FUNCTION The legislative function is perhaps the most basic function of any Parliament.2 Parliamentary Groups 3. the legislative function includes much more than amendment or enactment of legislation proposed by the executive. Parliaments shall approve all treaties. must be clearly decreed in the internal rules and regulations of the assemblies.2 All forms of restrictions or prohibitions on a political party must be closely aligned with the Constitution and the “International Convention on Civil and Political Rights.3.1. which require commitment of resources to capacitate Parliament’s ability to review the budget with the necessary cooperation of the executive. protocols and conventions. loans and guarantees. It is this feature.1.1. as well as their rights and responsibilities in Parliament. 3.1. should be done in accordance with universal standards of transparency and must be submitted to a legitimate and independent court. General The approval of Parliament is required for the passage of all legislation.1. which separates a proactive legislature from a reactive or rubber-stamp legislature.3 When a parliamentarian leaves his party on his own volition. Parliamentarians also propose legislation for debate.5 The public and private financing of political parties.1. this should not result in the loss of his seat in Parliament. 3.1.1 The freedom of association must exist for both parliamentarians and for citizens.

The main legislative function shall be exercised by the directly elected chamber. “Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures” (Commonwealth Parliamentary Association) 4. and advise Parliament at least on a quarterly basis. Constitutional Amendments In the absence of a national referendum. including advance notice. be clearly defined. including constitutional amendments. Parliament reserves the right to withdraw any delegated power. Parliament shall have a reasonable period of time in which to review the proposed budget. Financial and Budgetary Powers The proposed national budget shall require the approval of Parliament. printing and distribution of private members’ bills and notices shall be incurred by Parliament. established by law. legal drafting. constitutional amendments shall require the approval of two thirds of the full membership of Parliament. Delegation of Legislative Power Parliament may delegate some of its legislative powers to the executive branch. 38 Parliamentary Groups . Members shall have the right to initiate legislation and to offer amendments on proposed and existing legislation.1 The right of freedom of association shall exist for legislators. Parliament shall have the power to amend the budget before approving it. Parliament shall have the power to override an executive veto. Best practice is for Parliament to have its own legal draftsperson(s). Only Parliament shall be empowered to determine and approve its own budget. which aligns needs with the resource base.1 Political Parties 4. Parliament shall have a Budget Committee which reviews the draft annual budget (or estimates) and report to Parliament accordingly. equitably distributes resources and sets national priorities. with qualified staff to assist in budget analysis and monitoring budget implementation. as for all people. All proposed amendments to the constitution shall be published in the Government Gazette at least 30 days prior to plenary debate. These powers shall however be temporary in nature. and shall be confirmed by Parliament.1. Private member’s bills shall be governed by the same requirements as all other types of bills. Parliament shall give Members and citizens adequate advance notice of all meetings including the agenda. Parliaments shall have a Parliamentary Budget Office. Costs for public consultation. Approved resources shall be made available to Parliament in quarterly or annual allotments.Legislative Procedure In a bicameral Parliament. PARTY GROUPS AND CROSS PARTY GROUPS 4. POLITICAL PARTIES. Opportunities shall be given for public input into the legislative process. including providing relevant information to the public in a timely manner. there shall be clearly defined roles for each chamber in the passage of legislation. such house shall have a secondary role. Members shall be afforded reasonable time to consult their constituents and any interested parties on proposed legislation. Where a second chamber exists.

2 Any restrictions on the legality of political parties shall be narrowly drawn in law and shall be consistent with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 4.93 4.4.3 Cross Party Groups 4.1 Legislators shall have the right to form interest caucuses around issues of common concern.2.2. shall be clearly stated in the rules.1 Criteria for the formation of parliamentary party groups.1.2 The Legislature shall provide adequate resources and facilities for party groups pursuant to a clear and transparent formula that does not unduly advantage the majority party.2 Party Groups 4. Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 39 . and their rights and responsibilities in the Legislature. 4.3.

Appendix 2: Sample Caucus Rules

I. Main Principles of the Caucus
Confidentiality, Professionalism and Democratic Participation

We as Members of Parliament affirm political reality that we were elected largely because we are Members of
. Therefore our presence in the Caucus provides the right of all Members to:
- Engage in free and open debate in the Caucus;
- Expect the democratic conclusion of the Caucus; and
- Enjoy professionalism, for each of us, with our party colleagues, individually and collectively.
Our presence in the Caucus requires responsibility from all Members to:
- Preserve confidentiality, which we observe in Caucus discussion and debate;
- Refrain from public criticism of the democratic decisions of the Caucus; and
- Extend professionalism with our party colleagues, individually and collectively.
Confidentiality requires each of us to:
- Keep secret the opinions and conduct of Members’ discussion and debate;
- Keep secret any information and options presented to the Caucus by a Member of Government or other state
institution; and
- Keep secret any decisions or proposals regarding the Budget discussed in the Caucus or reported by a Member of
Government.
Professionalism requires each of us to:
- Consider the impact of our public comments on each of our colleagues and the Caucus;
- Accept the comments of colleagues regarding the impact of our statements on them or the Caucus;
- Extend comments to colleagues regarding the impact of their statements on us or the Caucus; and
- Conduct ourselves in the best interests of the Caucus.
Democratic Participation in the Caucus requires each of us to accept democratic decisions. Preferably, this would imply
public support for those decisions, or at a minimum, no comment about them. If a Member feels he/she must publicly
criticize a Caucus decision in the Parliament or to the media, then he/she should advise the Caucus Chair, the Party
President, the appropriate Minister and/or other Members of Government from ____ (party name) and, if possible, the
Caucus, in advance.
As honorable men and women, we affirm that we will abide by the responsibilities listed above, and that, if we cannot accept
these requirements for Caucus confidentiality, professionalism and democratic participation, we will offer our resignation
from the Caucus and request the Party President to arrange our replacement in the Caucus.
The Party President has the prerogative and authority to impose discipline and possible expulsion of any Member who has
violated the requirements of Caucus confidentiality, professionalism and democratic participation. Ultimately the Party
President has the authority to expel a Member from the (party name).
Approved by Party Central Presidency - 2003
Adopted by the Caucus - 2003

Caucus Chair

Based on Article 48 of the Statute of and Article 31 of the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of
_____________________, ___ Caucus in the Parliament of the _____________________ at the meeting held
___________________ in _____________ on _______________ 2003.

40 Parliamentary Groups

The Rules of Procedure

for the caucus of ______________________________________

II. General Regulations

Article 1.
Rules of Procedure for the Caucus of ____ Party in the Parliament of the _____________________ (hereinafter: Rules of
Procedure) shall regulate the organization, tasks, work, rights and obligations of members of ___ Caucus in the Parliament
____________________________ (hereinafter: the Caucus). If a question is not covered in this Rules of Procedure, it
shall be regulated by a decision of the Caucus.

Article 2.
The Caucus shall be established as a way of acting for the representatives of ___ in the Parliament of the _________________.

The Caucus shall be comprised of the ___ Members of Parliament in the Parliament of _________________________
and other senior ____ (party) officials as described in Article 3, of these Rules of Procedure.

The Caucus shall act in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of the , with the
Statute of the Party and instructions from the Party Central Presidency, for the work of the Party Members of Parliament,
in the Parliament of the .

III. Membership, Leadership and Election

Caucus Membership
Article 3.
All (party name) members of parliament, (party name) Government Ministers
and Deputy Ministers and other (party name) officials determined by Caucus decision shall be members of the Caucus.

Organization of Caucus
Article 4.
The Elected (party name) Leaders in the Parliament of the (entity/state) are:
1. Chair of the Caucus
2. Deputy Chair of the Caucus
3. Members of the Collegium
4. President of the Party
5. All Committee Chairs
6. Rest of the (party name) MPs
Appointed members are:
1. Secretary of the Caucus
2. All party Government Ministers and Deputy Ministers
3. Outside experts
A member of the Caucus has an obligation to support positions adopted by the Caucus to the best of his/her
ability. The resources of the Caucus Leadership shall be utilized to support these positions.

Members of the Caucus shall be responsible for timely completion of received tasks.

Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 41

Caucus Election Procedures
Article 5.
The Party Central Presidency is responsible for election of the Caucus Chair. The Caucus Chair must be an elected
representative whose mandate is confirmed by the responsible institution. The Party Central Presidency is responsible for
giving recommendations for other leadership positions in the Parliament as well.

Recommendations from the Party Central Presidency for leadership positions in the Parliament (Deputy President of the
Parliament, Committee Presidents, etc.) have to be approved by the Caucus.

IV. Caucus Proceedings

Call and Notice
Article 6.
The Chair of the Caucus can call for a meeting at any time to discuss issues pertaining to the Caucus. As a rule, the Caucus
Chair shall call for a caucus meeting after a draft parliamentary agenda and other materials for the parliamentary session
are received, but not later than five (5) days before the plenary session.

A meeting shall be called upon the written request of five members directed to the Caucus Chair. In the request, the group
of MPs has to briefly explain the reasons for calling the meeting of the Caucus.

Whenever possible, a minimum of 24 hours’ notice, along with an agenda and location, shall be given to Members of the
Caucus.

Chairing the Meeting
Article 7.
The Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of the , as they are applicable, shall govern
the proceedings of the Caucus.

In the case of the Caucus Chair’s absence, the Deputy Caucus Chair shall replace him/her.

Additions and Modifications
Article 8.
The President of the Party and the Caucus Chair may present any agenda item to the Caucus for its immediate consideration.
All agenda items brought before the Caucus shall be referred by the Caucus Chair to the appropriate committee of the
Caucus for consideration. A piece of legislation, amendment or other relevant legislative document introduced by a
member of the Caucus shall be considered by the appropriate Caucus Committee as soon as practicable and reported back
to the full Caucus.

Quorum
Article 9.
A majority of the elected Members of the Caucus shall constitute a quorum.

Course of the Meeting
Article 10.
The Caucus Chair shall check whether the majority of the Caucus Members are present at the meeting.

If a majority of the Caucus Members are present, the Chair will introduce the agenda for a meeting and open the floor for
additional suggestions for supplementing the proposed agenda.

42 Parliamentary Groups

Majority Required for Passing Caucus Conclusions-Decisions Article 12. the Caucus Chair may decide to have Caucus meetings open to the public. • Against. Debate over each agenda item will end with the breaching and passing of official conclusions. The debate for one agenda item can last as long as there are applied Members of the Caucus in the debate. However. the Caucus Chair will conclude the meeting. The minutes shall be signed by the Caucus Secretary and the Caucus Chair. Members of the Caucus can vote: • In favor.The caucus shall decide on every proposal for supplementing the agenda of the meeting and vote for the proposed agenda as a whole. The Caucus Chair decides that debate is over when he/she determines that there are no more registered Members of the Caucus in the debate. Those individuals shall be excused at the discretion of the Caucus Chair. At the Caucus session nobody can speak before asking and receiving permission from the Caucus Chair. and • Abstain. Voting will be performed by the raising of hands. After the overall agenda is determined and approved. or another person appointed by Caucus Chair. which are generally closed to the public. The Secretary of the Caucus. Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 43 . Voting Article 14. After covering all agenda items. The Caucus member personally asks for permission to speak after the debate commences and can apply to speak until the end of the debate. that have reviewed the issue that is subject to debate. Article 11. The Caucus Chair may designate individuals or relevant interest groups to attend Caucus meetings. Caucus meetings are closed to the public. The Caucus shall adopt conclusions and/or decisions with majority votes of the total number of Members of the Caucus. In principle. shall keep the minutes of the Caucus proceedings. (alternative: majority of the present Members of the Caucus) Speeches Article 13. Admittance Article 16. Caucus Meeting Minutes Article 15. representatives from individual Caucus committees. will present their reports to the whole Caucus. The minutes shall be open for inspection at the request of any Member of the Caucus.

The Caucus Committee President will be responsible for ensuring appropriate follow-up to meetings with groups and organizations. Caucus Committees shall be advisory sounding boards for subjects raised by individual Members of the Caucus. After the Caucus approves them. Organization of Caucus Committees Principles of Caucus Committee Work Article 18. All Caucus Members may attend any Caucus Committee Meeting with full rights to voice their opinion. Except for items of an emergency nature. Elected Members of the Caucus shall request that the Caucus Committee Presidents put inquiries on the agenda in advance. the recommendations of the Party Central Presidency will become official candidates for election to serve as President and Deputy Presidents of the parliamentary committees and heads of permanent delegations. Government Ministers and Deputy Ministers. initiated by individual Members of the Caucus and Government. Deputy Ministers and Members of the Caucus shall bring items of business through the appropriate Caucus Committee. In addition Caucus Committee Presidents will be responsible for: 44 Parliamentary Groups . Article 19. VI. with recommendations. The final proposals from previous paragraphs will be sent to the Parliamentary Committee on Election and Appointment Issues. Caucus Committees shall be a forum for inquiries from Elected Members of the Caucus to Ministers and Deputy Ministers. Ministers and Deputy Ministers are urged to include Caucus Committee(s) that they belong to in discussions of major policy changes being considered in the Government. politically sensitive budget proposals. Article 20. Caucus Committees shall provide a forum for discussion and recommendations. if necessary. The Caucus is responsible for making final proposals for candidates for election to any parliamentary body assigned by the parliament. Caucus Committees shall receive presentations from groups and organizations as referred by the Caucus Chair. long-term planning documents and political problem areas. The Caucus conducts nominations for membership in committees and permanent delegations. V. That is. and these meetings shall be accessible to all Members of the Caucus. The President of the Caucus Committee reports on all decisions to the full Caucus. Ministers. The official proposal from the previous paragraph will be supplemented with the names of ____Caucus Members nominated as Caucus members of committees and permanent delegations. The whole Caucus Committee shall meet with groups and organizations. Parliamentary Committees and Delegation Assignments Parliamentary Committees – Election Procedures Article 17. items of business shall first be dealt with by the Caucus Committee and then presented to the full Caucus meeting by the Caucus Committee President. but no voting rights in that Committee.

to allow ample opportunity for proposed changes to be discussed early in the process. Article 24. Composition. (party name) Caucus for the parliamentary mandate decided to establish the following Caucus Committees: 1. VII. Caucus Committee on Political and Legal Affairs 2. and can eliminate the need for last minute changes once the bill is in final form. A quorum for a vote shall require that 50% of the total number of Caucus Committee Members have been present at the committee meeting at which the vote is called on an item on the planned meeting agenda. Caucus Committees will need to meet regularly between sessions. The Caucus Committee on Political and Legal Affairs shall be composed of at least Elected Members of the Caucus and Party Senior Government Members from the appropriate Government departments.a. Further steps in this case are the same as defined in the previous Article. Ministers. When an individual or group of Members of the Caucus initiates legislation within the Caucus. will dedicate special Caucus Committee meetings to allow for full discussions by as many Members of the Caucus as possible. Caucus Committee Legislative Process Article 22. Assigning legislation to specific Caucus Committees is the responsibility of the Caucus Chair (alternative Deputy Caucus Chair). Once it is through the Caucus Committee(s). with recommendations from the Caucus Committee(s). Caucus Committee on Health and Social Affairs Caucus Committee on Political and Legal Affairs Article 26. Article 21. A quorum shall not be required for a Caucus Committee meeting to be held. Formulating agendas in consultation with the Caucus Chair. Article 23. along with the Caucus Chair and the responsible Minister or Deputy Minister. Caucus Committee on Development and Economic Affairs 3. Ensuring that agendas are circulated to all Caucus Members. Caucus Committee on Defense and Foreign Policy 4. the Caucus Committee President. By involving the Caucus Committee at this early stage of the legislative process. the appropriate Minister or Deputy Minister should take it to the responsible Caucus Committee(s) as soon as possible. meaningful input can be facilitated during the legislation development stage. legislation will then be presented. it should be presented by proponent(s) to the appropriate Caucus Committee and to the responsible Minister or Deputy Minister. Paragraph 2. Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 45 . Duties and List of Caucus Committees Article 25. Deputy Ministers and other party officials. On matters of major policy or budgetary significance. When legislation is initiated within the Government. for final review. b. to the entire Caucus by the Caucus Committee Chair(s).

Committee on the Political System and Relations between Communities 4. If the Caucus Member in violation continues to violate the order of the meeting.The Committee on Political and Legal Affairs shall oversee the work of and discuss legislation assigned to the following standing parliamentary committees: 1. Committee on Constitutional Affairs 2. These Rules of Procedure shall come into force on the day of their adoption at the meeting of the Caucus. Committee on Issues of the Rules of Procedure and Mandatory-Immunity Issues The Committee on Political and Legal Affairs shall meet at the request of the Committee President to discuss issues within its scope of work with Caucus Members and other party officials that the President of the Committee invites to the meetings. The Caucus Chair can warn a Caucus Member who is in violation of the order of any Caucus meeting. The Committee on Political and Legal Affairs shall report its suggestions to the whole Caucus. NOTE: Rules from article 26. paragraph 3 and 4 apply equally to all Caucus Committees. The Caucus Chair has the right to discipline said Caucus Member if he/she has violated the provisions of the Rules of Procedure with his/her conduct. Approved by: Caucus Party Central Presidency Caucus Chair Send to: • Caucus Members • Party Senior Officials • Party Central Presidency 46 Parliamentary Groups . Disciplinary Procedures Violation of the Order of the Caucus Meeting Article 27. Committee on Election and Appointment Issues 6. Permanent Polling Committee of Protection of Freedoms and Rights of Citizens 5. VIII. Committee on Legislative and Legal Affairs 3. The Caucus Chair shall be responsible for maintaining order at the Caucus meeting. Final Regulation Article 28. after the Party Central Presidency has given his/her approval for its application. No: . IX. then the Caucus Chair has the right to interrupt the Member.

Morocco. Indonesia. Countries surveyed were Bangladesh. Rae’s 1967 study of 20 western democracies referenced in: Martin Harrop and William Lockley Miller. 12. Reilly.au/_further_activities/2008-09/D_P/ 2009_01_FA_ASIA_DemGov_ SEA_conf_D/benjamin_reilly. South Africa.ENDNOTES 1. or bench in some countries – refers to a group of (MPs) of a legislature or assembly who belong to the same political party. 119-144. and votes “surplus” to the quota of already elected candidates are also redistributed until all the available seats have been filled. Kosovo. 1970). Benjamin Reilly et al. Montenegro. 6. Norm Kelly. 7. 5. Engineering and Democratic Development. a parliamentary group.” in Political Parties in Conflict-Prone Societies: Regulation. 2 (Tokyo: United Nations University. see Benjamin Reilly. International IDEA. 13. see: National Democratic Institute. 10. While some legislatures provide for technical groups or issue-based coalitions. http://www. Benjamin Reilly. Peru. ed. 2. see: International IDEA. Nigeria. 1987). “Political Parties in Conflict-Prone Societies: Encouraging Inclusive Politics and Democratic Development. or caucus – also known as a party club. art. “Models of electoral system change. these may also be called deputies or members of congress. 363­–389. as amended at the 43rd National Conference. January 31. 14. Constituent Relations: A Guide to Best Practices (Washington: National Democratic Institute. Democracy in Divided Societies: Electoral Engineering for Conflict Management (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Canada. Parties and Parliaments: Making the Connections’ workshop. Colombia. the paper primarily uses the term Member of Parliament or MP to refer to elected representatives and legislators. For a detailed description of different electoral systems and their impact on political parties. 23(3) (UK: Elsevier. party-based groupings are the primary focus of this paper. 69. Ibid. Bulgaria. voter preference is used to elect representatives through two different. Josep M. Constitution.edu. For the sake of simplicity. (Tokyo: United Nations University Press. Depending on the country and the legislative system. “Pacific Approaches to Parties and Parliaments” (paper presented at the CDI-IPD ‘Electoral Systems. Additional interviews and data were obtained from Australia. Similarly. 2005). Maurice Duverger. votes are redistributed according to voters’ next preference. In this paper. 8. Candidates who receive a specified quota of first-preference votes are elected and in successive vote counts. Citizens. Under a Single Transferable Vote (STV) system. Serbia. Bosnia and Herzegovina. who are eliminated. Bogaards. 4.” Electoral Studies. “Comparative strategies of political party regulation. Political Reform and the Demise of Consociationalism in Southeast Asia. M. No. ed. voters in multi-member electoral districts rank candidates in order of preference. 69-94. 18. Political Parties and Democracy in Theoretical and Practical Perspectives 47 . Iraq. Per Nordlund and Edward Newman. New Zealand and the United States of America. For an explanation of the consociational and centripetalist models. 2. 17. Ireland. 2006). Bern and Uri in Switzerland. In a Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system. Benjamin. Reilly. Benjamin Reilly et al. 16. (Tokyo: United Nations University Press. 2008). “Political engineering and party regulation in Southeast Asia. 9. 15. California and Wisconsin in the United States.anu. Australian Labor Party. 11. The List PR system is intended to compensate for the disproportionality in the results from the plurality/majority system. Elections. Political Parties: Their Organization and Activity in the Modern State (New York: Wiley. Elections and Voters: A Comparative Introduction (Basingstoke: Macmillan Education. 3. 2001). 2008). Hungary. mixed systems–one List PR system and (usually) one plurality/majority system. November 11-12 2010). as adopted 1999. For instance.” in Political Parties in Conflict-Prone Societies: Regulation. Democracy in Divided Societies. Votes are redistributed from the least successful candidates. Kenneth Benoit. 1951). the term parliament is used to describe national representative institutions including congresses and assemblies. 2004. 223. 2004). Constituent outreach. United Kingdom and Yemen. Cambodia. 20. Stein Rokkan.pdf.cdi. bloc. Bali. and Arizona.” Policy Brief. Mali. Electoral System Design: The New International IDEA Handbook (Stockholm. Allen Hicken. National Constitution of the ALP. Engineering and Democratic Development. 2008).. Pakistan. National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Parties: Approaches to the Comparative Study of the Processes of Development (New York: McKay. while a critical element of the legislators’ representational function is not the focus of this paper. For additional information on the topic. Examples include: British Columbia. 19.

While defection and floor-crossing are sometimes used to describe an MP’s decision to vote against his/her party. defection is defined as the decision of an MP to switch allegiance from the party on whose ticket s/he was elected in order to become an independent or to join another party. Pak Kwan Chau. Benjamin Reilly. Liberal Democrats . 83-102. 43. Accessed August 2010. July 12.com/content/early/2011/03/19/1354068810389610. 2007). This switch in allegiance is sometimes referred to as floor-crossing or party-hopping. including the membership of all groups. 51. “Lobbying for PM’s job intensifies. Low Cohesion? The Uncertain Patterns of Canadian Parliamentary Party Groups. 32. 21.” Journal of Legislative Studies. art. 187-194. The Standing orders of the Parliament of the Republic of Hungary. Congress of Colombia. 83-97. Senado de la República de Colombia. “Register of All Party Groups. 48 Parliamentary Groups . Labour . 30. 41. Senate of Pakistan.” Party Politics (online edition).. Elections. For further information on this period in Papua New Guinea politics.sagepub. as adopted June 18. Sierra Leone. as a result of the 2010 elections. Section 19. 2010. “Political Parties in Papua New Guinea. as passed 2004. as passed 7 July. as passed December 18. http://www.57. The Constitution of Sierra Leone. http://archive. 2006). Parliamentary Rules & Procedures. Parliament of Montenegro. as passed April 2010. 39. Congress of Colombia. Available at: http://www. Ley 974 de 2005: Legislative Caucus Law. Eric McLaughlin. 2003). Manning (Ed. Ley 5 de 1992. “Sentencia C-036/07. Benjamin Reilly. 2011.258. 116-129. 622 of 650 seats: Conservatives . 42. 2011. 2010). Jonathan Malloy. Supreme Court of Justice. as of 1998. Somare was also Prime Minister from independence in 1975 to 1980. “Electoral regimes and party-switching: Floor-crossing in South Africa’s local legislatures. 22. 2011. 1991. in the Matter of the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates. as certified October 15. International IDEA. “Parliamentary Parties and Party Whips. (Canberra: Pandanus.idea.” Post-Courier. 26.” last modified April 28. 13(5) *New York: Rutledge. 2006). 40. Mohammad Bashir. Parliament of Morocco.” Pacific Economic Bulletin. “Political reform in Papua New Guinea: testing the evidence. Politician Overboard: Jumping the Party Ship (Australia: Department of the Parliamentary Library.html#1. 2003.307. art.secretariasenado. accessed August 16. 23. Citizens. Ron May. as amended 2010. 31. Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill. as adopted September. as published in the Constitutional Gazette No. and M. Ibid. Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of Montenegro.publications. and from 1982 to 1985. 2010. New Zealand Parliament.. 2002). can be found at: House of Commons. “The dynamics of Papua New Guinea’s democracy: an essay. 1–21. SC1057: Special Reference Pursuant to Constitution. Parties. 135-157.uk/pa/cm/ cmallparty/memi01.. Rokkan. 1991. ed. The Relationship between the Government and the Opposition or Minority Parties in Selected Places (Hong Kong: Legislative Council Secretariat. as passed 2003. 2001 as an amendment to the 1993 Electoral Act. 135. 20(1) (Australia: Australian National University. 28. Roland Rich et al. 2003). accessed August 16. 34.32. 116. 12 July 2010.. Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Amendment Act.thenational.htm. Information on the United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Groups. as adopted 2005.parliament. 33.” Pacific Economic Bulletin. 27. 21(1) (Australia: Australian National University. co/senado/basedoc/cc_sc_nf/2007/c-036_2007. http://www..” Political Studies. 36.” in MacCarthaigh.” in Political Parties in the Pacific Islands. “Numbers game is on. “It’s Parties That Choose Electoral Systems (or.” Democratization. For the purposes of this paper. “High Discipline. http://ppq. For example. 25. “The Failure of the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPPAC). 811-827. M. 2006). Amendment XVIII of the Constitution of Pakistan. 9(4) (London: Taylor & Francis Group. see: Bill Standish. “Political Engineering and Party Politics in Conflict-Prone Societies. here it refers to the more permanent decision to resign from a party. July 20.int/ideas_work/23b_country_ peru. 29. 2005).pg/. House of the Nation. 37. 2006). Michael Gallagher. Duverger’s Laws Upside Down). 53(1) (UK: Political Studies Association. “International IDEA Study on Peru. The Houses of the Oireachtas: Parliament in Ireland (Dublin: Institute of Public Administration.. Sarah Miskin. 1992. National Parliament of Papua New Guinea. Organic Law on Integrity of Political Parties & Candidates (OLIPPAC). 22(1) (Australia: Australian National University. Colomer. 38.htm.). Papua New Guinea. Alphonse Gelu. 35. Constituición Política de Colombia.gov.com.” Pacific Economic Bulletin. 24. Parliament of the Republic of South Africa.” accessed March 2010.” The National.” as passed 2007.

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