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According to this article, an MP can vote by proxy in the UK:

(..) the Commons has reverted to its usual rules and processes for voting, meaning that divisions take place in person with proxy votes only available to those on parental leave.

Wikipedia also mentions New Zeeland allows this:

The Parliament of New Zealand allows proxy voting. Sections 155-156 of the Standing Orders of the New Zealand House of Representatives specify the procedures for doing so. A member can designate another member or a party to cast his or her vote. However, a party may not exercise proxies for more than 25% of its members (rounded upwards).

Are there any other countries or states that allow their MPs to vote by proxy or do virtually all require MPs to vote in person?

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    As your examples show, this is generally something decided (and changed) by the legislatures themselves, rather than something with constitutional protection. As such there’s likely to have been a lot of variations during peak COVID controls.
    – origimbo
    Jan 22, 2023 at 18:05
  • @origimbo I am interested in the pre or post-COVID examples, that's why I have cited only that part from the first resource (e.g. only parental leave allows proxy voting now in the UK).
    – Alexei
    Jan 22, 2023 at 18:49
  • @origimbo makes a good point. Parliamentary procedure is often esoteric and constantly evolving, to such an extent that statutory and/or constitutional law infrequently concern themselves with it. Even within the same country, different chambers of the legislature can regulate themselves differently. Consider the United States. The House of Representatives and the Senate have different rules of procedure, with one allowing filibustering and the other preventing it.
    – dreamforge
    Jan 28, 2023 at 18:48

1 Answer 1

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This is a community wiki answer, please feel free to edit it.

  1. UK allows it in exception circumstances:

A proxy vote is a vote cast by one MP on behalf of another MP in a House of Commons division. Proxy voting has been allowed only in very specific circumstances. Any such arrangement must be certified by the Speaker in advance.

  1. Australia allows it for nursing mothers:

Proxy voting
In 2008 the House agreed to a resolution making special provisions for nursing mothers, recognising that Members required to nurse infants may not always be able to attend the Chamber to vote in divisions. A Member nursing an infant at the time of any division (except that on the third reading of a bill to alter the Constitution) may give her vote by proxy—to the Chief Government Whip in the case of a government Member and to the Chief Opposition Whip in the case of a non-government Member. The proxy vote is treated as if the Member were present in the Chamber.

The resolution also expressed the opinion that the special provisions should not be extended or adapted to apply to Members not able to be present in the Chamber for other reasons.

  1. New Zealand allows it with a few restrictions:

Voting by proxy was introduced along with party voting in 1996. Proxy voting is a means by which a member who is absent from the Chamber and cannot vote in person has his or her vote recorded. A proxy vote cannot be recorded for a member who has not taken the Oath of Allegiance. A proxy on a personal vote cannot be recorded if the member is actually present in the Chamber, but a member in a part of the House from which it is impossible to vote, such as in the gallery, can have a vote recorded by proxy.

  1. France allows it in some circumstances:

Senators may only delegate their right to vote in the following circumstances:

  1. illness, an accident or a serious family misfortune preventing a Senator from attending;

  2. a temporary mission entrusted to him by the Government;

  3. military service in peacetime or wartime;

  4. participation in the work of an international assembly by virtue of a Senate appointment;

  5. absence from the mainland of France (in the event of an extraordinary session);

  6. by order of the Bureau of the Senate (cases of force majeure).

  1. It was allowed in the US during the pandemic:

The House established proxy voting in March 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to allow members to vote from home. Since then it has been extended a number of times, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) citing the ongoing public health emergency.

She prolonged the procedure an additional time on Friday, letting it run through the end of the 117th Congress on Jan. 3. There are not any votes scheduled for that time frame.

Both parties have utilized the pandemic-era procedure in its nearly two years in place, but there have been recent grumblings about members taking advantage of what was intended to be a health-related alternative to in-person voting.

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  • Scottish Parliament allows this too. The practice started during pandemic and is still ongoing. Jan 29, 2023 at 16:15

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