87 votes
Accepted

Does the Brexit deal being voted down imply that Brexit is not going to happen?

Parliament has already voted on Article 50 and Article 50 has already been invoked. If nothing else happens between now and March 29th, EU membership ends for the UK. That was the case whether this ...
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  • 2,057
70 votes
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What does the British parliament hope to achieve by requesting a third Brexit extension?

The Parliament doesn't have a single opinion. It probably has 650 different opinions (perhaps more!). Individual members may be hoping to achieve different things by an extension: Strong remainers, ...
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68 votes
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How does Israel change its leaders without an election?

The situation in early 2021 The change in leadership, in this case, is coming about after an election. Legislative elections were held in March 2021, but no party reached the 61-seat threshold needed ...
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  • 79.8k
64 votes
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Why don't Sinn Féin take their seats in the UK parliament?

The New Statesman sums it up fairly succinctly Sinn Féin is an Irish republican political party active in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Its central aim is for a united Ireland. ...
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59 votes

Why can a bill be blocked by one MP saying the word "object"?

A single MP can't block a law from being passed; however, he can block a law being passed without debate. The Bill is a Private Members Bill, and there is always very limited time available to debate ...
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  • 3,644
59 votes
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In the UK parliament, how much of Prime Minister's Questions is pre-planned?

Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) is in theory no different from the usual departmental ministers' questions, with the key difference being that instead of the questions being known ahead of time, a &...
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  • 79.8k
59 votes

Why do most countries have so many members of parliament?

Subcommittees The real work isn't done in plenary session. It isn't even done in the subcommittees. It is done preparing for the subcommittees. One of the key tasks of most parliaments is to decide on ...
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  • 77.7k
54 votes

Why are there so few impeachments in western democracies and so many votes of no confidence?

One is an expected form of power transfer, the other is not. In a parliamentary democracy, each representative has a mandate from their constituents, and only in aggregate can they form a government. ...
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  • 4,058
54 votes
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Why do most countries have so many members of parliament?

The intention behind any parliamentary structure is to provide accurate representation of the citizenry as a whole. The general (historical) implementation is to divide the nation up into districts, ...
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53 votes
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Why has no party ever won a majority in Israel?

Israel's elections are based on nation-wide proportional representation. Specifically, that means there are no local districts in which candidates run. Your assertion that many parliamentary ...
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  • 36.8k
51 votes
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In the Weimar Republic what was the role of the people sitting on the left side of the speaker?

Very good question and I am surprised that I as German needed to dig deeper into the stuff than anticipated. I tried to consult the German Wikipedia and the normal Google results, but got essentially ...
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  • 4,662
50 votes
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How did Theresa May remain PM after her Brexit deal was rejected?

That is because there is a likelihood that the opposition party will gain power should the government be defeated in the confidence vote. According to the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, the ...
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  • 45.2k
49 votes

Are there restrictions in the UK against calling politicians liars?

Yes, Members of Parliament may not normally accuse other MPs of lying while they are speaking in Parliament - paragraph 21.24 of Erskine May states the following: The general requirements of ...
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  • 79.8k
48 votes

Could the Queen overturn the UK Supreme Court ruling regarding prorogation of Parliament?

No. I suggest the best source for this is probably the ruling of the Supreme Court itself. I'd encourage you to read it in full - it's not long and surprisingly readable. The legal argument the ...
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  • 1,098
46 votes
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Why did Boris Johnson call for new elections?

Doesn't this effectively end Johnson's short stint as Prime Minister? Only if he loses, which is not a foregone conclusion. And even then, he doesn't leave office until a replacement is ready to ...
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  • 3,534
46 votes
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What does "2 fingers to Scotland" mean in Peter Grant's statement about Johnson not listening to the SNP's Westminster leader speeches?

In the UK, two fingers is an insult much like the middle finger in the USA. Done in a palm-out orientation it is the victory sign, as done by Winston Churchill. The other way around, palm inwards (...
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  • 7,386
44 votes

Why is the new German parliament 12 % bigger?

The planned size of the Bundestag is 598 members: One directly elected member from each of the 299 electoral districts plus equally many members chosen from party lists in order to achieve a total ...
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  • 5,720
43 votes
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What does Nicholas Watt mean that May has “enough tellers for her Brexit vote”?

From Parliament's website. Four tellers are required for a division to take place: two representing those voting for the motion and two representing those voting against. Two tellers - one from each ...
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  • 21.3k
42 votes

In parliamentary systems, why does the ruling party bother debating any legislation if they have enough votes to pass whatever they please?

Without contradicting the already existing answers(specially about making each party position and reasons known to the public), I would point that: Not all parliaments are bipartisan. Different ...
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  • 27.1k
42 votes
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How does Germany regularly elect judges onto Federal Constitutional Court despite needing two-thirds majority vote?

TLDR: Without political polarization and passionate public disagreements on court rulings, the German People do not really care about how judges are appointed, which enables the political parties to ...
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  • 5,889
41 votes

Could the Queen overturn the UK Supreme Court ruling regarding prorogation of Parliament?

In the UK constitutional system, the Queen is not above the judiciary—she is the judiciary. As Wikipedia notes: The sovereign is deemed the "fount of justice"; although the sovereign does not ...
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  • 12.2k
40 votes

Why does John Bercow say “unlock” after reading out the results of a vote?

If you follow the evening votes on any live stream, you'll notice that Bercow has the voting lobbies locked 8 minutes after putting the question. Here's an excellent outline of how the UK parliament's ...
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40 votes
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If the UK government doesn't ask for article 50 extension, can parliament do it instead?

Probably not. Article 10 of the Treaty of the European Union states that: Member States are represented in the European Council by their Heads of State or Government It follows, therefore, that ...
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  • 27.6k
39 votes
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Why do some people in the British Parliament stand during the Prime Minister's Questions session?

Those are MPs who presumably can't find space to be seated on the (government in this case, since I recognise Iain Duncan Smith and Jeremy Hunt) benches. Over the years the number of constituencies in ...
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  • 20.2k
39 votes

Why do most countries have so many members of parliament?

A parliament with a dozen or so members is a cabinet. You're effectively deleting the parliament completely and going with a government that consists of a single body: the cabinet, without any checks ...
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  • 1,213
39 votes
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In parliamentary democracy, how do Ministers compensate for their potential lack of relevant experience to run their own ministry?

o.m. has made some nice points for how it could/should work out, but one answer that shouldn't be missing here is the following: Very often, they don't. The crux of a parlamentary system, which by its ...
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  • 5,889
37 votes

Does the Brexit deal being voted down imply that Brexit is not going to happen?

No, it does not. Under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act, 2018, the UK will still leave the EU on 29 March at 23:00 GMT. Only a further Act of Parliament to amend it will change this, and as of ...
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  • 27.6k
37 votes
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Have the UK Conservatives lost the working majority and if so, what does this mean?

Not yet. Because Sinn Fein hold 7 seats, but they refuse to take their seats in the House of Commons. By tradition, the Speaker of the house doesn't vote.So in practice there are 642 votes in the ...
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  • 7,386
37 votes

How does Israel change its leaders without an election?

In a Parliamentary system, the Prime Minister and the rest of the executive are not elected. When we talk about an “elected government”, that’s actually an imprecise abbreviation for “a government ...
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