In the UK especially we have a parliamentary democracy, and each of the major political parties have an officer known as the Whip/Chief Whip, who as far as I understand enforce party policy, by compelling MP's to vote their way.

Now I'm purely using him as an example but the current Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, "defied the whip" 428 times when he was an MP. similarly 47 Labour MP's defied a "three line Whip" (which I understand is more serious) during the bill to trigger Article 50. This process of defying the whip seems awfully commonplace, so is their any actual point to "whipping" in the first place?

As such my questions are:

What powers does a whip have to enforce the party line? (or why does anyone listen to the whip?)

  • As such what are the consequences of defying a 1,2 and 3 line whip?
  • @Bobson I dispute that they are duplicates, one question is very specific about 3 line whips, and the answer largely rests on comply or face the consequences. This question refers to the general powers of a whip and also includes 1 and 2 line whips. May 30 '17 at 15:54
  • 2
    You're right. In that case, politics.stackexchange.com/questions/11562/… is a better duplicate target.
    – Bobson
    May 30 '17 at 15:55

Browse other questions tagged .