Questions tagged [legislature]

Questions about legislative bodies.

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4answers
238 views

How is Congress' enforcement of Amendment 14 Section 3 of the Constitution not a Bill of Attainder?

Background According to this answer of Who enforces the insurrection rules in the 14th Amendment, section 3?, congress enforces Section 3 of the amendment just as it enforces all other sections of the ...
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2answers
2k views

What do whips do, exactly?

Whips are senior legislators who enforce what is called "party discipline", but how do they do it, exactly? What is their job? To verbally shame those who don't adhere to the "party ...
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5answers
4k views

Who is the oldest parliamentarian (legislator) on record?

In the US, there are at least three parliamentarians (two Senators and one in the House of Representatives) who are 87 years old. Are there even older people who serve or served in such positions ...
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9answers
3k views

Expulsion of elected members of the legislature - where is it possible?

Are there world states which have an elected legislature, not subject to a higher authority (except the law), in which elected members can be expelled by a majority of the other elected members? That ...
7
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2answers
323 views

How many pieces of US legislation passed with a supermajority in both houses of Congress without being vetoed

To override a U.S. presidential veto requires a two-thirds supermajority in both houses of Congress. According to this Wikipedia page, this has happened 111 times. What I'm having trouble finding is: ...
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2answers
161 views

Is the US Senate more powerful because it has fewer members?

Paul Weyrich once said "... leverage in the elections goes up as the voting populace goes down." This has particular relevance in the Senate. This is because the US House of Representatives ...
5
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2answers
58 views

How does one efficiently go about researching the history of a specific issue across state legislatures?

I am attempting to research a certain political issue across state legislatures. Specifically, I'm attempting to compile information regarding which states have debated a specific issue in their ...
7
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1answer
261 views

Does Ireland's Dáil have an unusually high number of independents, compared to other European legislatures?

I noticed that the 4th largest "party" in the current Dáil are independents with 19/160 seats. Is this proportion high (or not) in a broader European perspective in national legislatures?
2
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1answer
89 views

Is there a (reasonably) world-wide quantitative survey of malapportionment in legislative chambers?

By malapportionment I mean the non-proportional allocation of representatives to population by geographical units. Wikipedia has a rather terrible article on the topic, which, while enumerating and ...
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3answers
269 views

Are there any legislature that has a seat-switch system similar to the NI Assembly?

The Northern Ireland Assembly has a "seat-switch system" (co-option) that allows for MLAs to be replaced without holding by-elections. As the BBC explains: Co-option is the only option when ...
5
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2answers
240 views

Do any democratic countries have mechanisms to prevent one party from dominating for an extended period?

Is there any country that has constitutional or national law that prevents any party from holding an absolute majority for too long? Examples of various ways how it can be implemented: If a party ...
1
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1answer
130 views

Why do some states in India have a unicameral legislature and some have a Bicameral one?

I recently learnt that some states in India have a Bicameral legislature whereas some others have a Unicameral legislature. Why is this so? FYI: The Parliament of India (at the national level) ...
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2answers
1k views

Could Boris Johnson theoretically ignore any legislation passed to prevent no-deal brexit?

The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has clearly set out his position in that he wishes to leave the EU on 31st October with or without a deal. I.e if further negotiations with the EU do not result ...
1
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1answer
159 views

Anti defection law, India

Anti-defection law of India states that "A legislator is deemed to have defected if he either voluntarily gives up the membership of his party or disobeys the directives of the party leadership on a ...
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1answer
786 views

In India, can cabinet ministers vote in the house that they are not part of?

Cabinet ministers are allowed to visit either of the houses - Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha - to discuss and debate the various bills. After the discussion when the bill goes to the division of votes, do ...
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5answers
2k views

Why do legislative committees exist?

Why do legislatures give a tiny subset of their members veto power over a bill? Isn't that undemocratic? Why can't they simply debate and vote on every bill introduced as a whole?
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5answers
2k views

What European countries have secret voting within the Legislature?

Most, if not all, democratic countries in Europe elect representatives to the national legislature by some form of secret ballot. For example the UK uses secret election on the first-past-the-post ...
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1answer
185 views

Do Senate committees really ever interview low-level nominees?

Does the United States Senate actually take the time to interview low level nominees like nominees for low military general ranks (Brig. General) or really specific roles that require senate ...
6
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3answers
3k views

Why do bills with a veto-proof majority in Congress go to the President?

If a bill receives a veto-proof vote in Congress, why does it go to the President to sign or veto, only to go back to Congress in the case of a veto, instead of immediately becoming law? The ...
6
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1answer
232 views

Do any legislative branches besides the US have a tradition of voluntarily requiring more than 50% of the votes to pass a law?

In the US Senate there's a peculiar tradition where 60 out of 100 votes are required to overcome filibuster, even though constituonally speaking 51 votes (or 50 votes plus the vice president's tie ...
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4answers
675 views

How common is pairing?

This question introduced me to an interesting legislative behavior called pairing. In some legislatures, when a member of one party is unable to vote the opposing party may decide to ask one of their ...
6
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2answers
711 views

What powers does an individual member of the House of Representatives have?

Once a person is sworn in as a Representative in the lower chamber of the US Congress (the House of Representatives), s/he has some obvious powers: To vote for and against any legislation brought ...
2
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1answer
291 views

If the Capitol weren't available, where would Congress hold votes?

Suppose that a meteor strikes the Capitol building in the middle of the night. No one is close enough to be hurt, but the building is destroyed and totally unusable. Where would Congress hold its ...
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10answers
16k views

What would stop a representative democracy becoming a dictatorship?

In a representative democracy, those elected pass laws for the country. If a political party had a majority in the relevant legislature(s), could that party use its majority to write a law that ...
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1answer
421 views

With Law-making powers what are the arguments for and against a Bicameral Welsh Parliament

The Welsh Parliament (currently National Assembly for Wales) / Senedd Cymru (currently Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru) currently has law-making powers covering the areas of devolved responsibility what ...