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NetGamers.org • View topic - British Government & Whips

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 12:44 pm 
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 Post subject: heh
PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 2:49 am 
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sorry for the late reply, i only just noticed this post :P
It is *somewhat* like you say, in that on important issues the Whips are there to ensure that backbench MPs vote with the party leadership, but the "primary" job of the whips is meant to be to ensure that the various houses are satisfied with the timetable of sittings.

Apparently each party's Whip's office sends weekly notes detailing debates in order of importance - debates that are underlined 3 times are 'necessaries' and presence (and, i presume, compliance with the leadership) are expected.

But yes, on important issues the Whips are there to keep the party in line, which is very limiting on democracy.
But then again, so is the House of Lords ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 3:49 pm 
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Mushy is right, he even mentioned the underlining.

Used to be quite amusing that on 0 an 1 liners, there used to be a system whereby each party would submit a list of members who would not attend the vote. Then you would simply tally up and subtract from the total party line vote. However the Tories would arrange this vote matching with both the libs and labour, thus gaining (effectively) an extra vote.

Amusing.

But yeah, whips can be undemocratic. If you vote against your whip, then you risk various things, such as not being told of stuff, being refused a vote, or even being thrown out of the party. On big issues though, it's often accepted that MPs will not always follow party line.

M.

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