Member of Parliament
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A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members, such as senators.

Members of parliament tend to form parliamentary groups (also called parliamentary parties) with members of the same political party. In everyday use, the term Member of Parliament is almost always shortened to the initialism "MP", and this is also common in the media.

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Westminster system

Australia

In Australia, the term "Member of Parliament" refers to a Member of the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Commonwealth (i.e. federal) parliament. Members may use "MP" after their names; "MHR" is not used, although it was used as a post-nominal in the past. A member of the upper house of the Commonwealth parliament, the Senate, is known as a "Senator".

In the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria, a Member of the Legislative Assembly (lower house) may also use the post-nominal "MP". Members of the Legislative Council (upper house) use the post-nominal "MLC".

Bangladesh

In Bangladesh members of the Jatiyo Sangshad, or National Assembly, are elected every five years and are referred to in English as Members of Parliament. The assembly has 345 seats, including 45 reserved for women.

List of 9th Parliament Members: http://www.parliament.gov.bd/MP%20List%20Partywise_9th%20Edition.pdf

List of 8th Parliament Members: http://www.parliament.gov.bd/M_P%20List-300.pdf

Canada

In Canada, the Parliament of Canada consists of the upper house, the Senate of Canada, and the lower house, the Canadian House of Commons. Therefore, members of both houses are properly termed as "Member of Parliament". However, in common parlance, only members of the lower house are referred to as Members of Parliament (French: député) and members of the upper house are called Senators (Senateur).[1] There are 105 seats in the Senate and 308 in the House of Commons.[2]

Each province has its own unicameral legislature, with each member usually known as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), although in certain provinces they carry other titles: Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) in Ontario; Member of the National Assembly (MNA) in Quebec (in French an MNA is called a député); or Member of the House of Assembly (MHA) in Newfoundland and Labrador.

India

In India, the term Member of Parliament refers to all the members of the Sansad, the Indian Parliament, whether in the Lok Sabha or in the Rajya Sabha.

Members of the Lok Sabha are elected popularly by constituencies in each of the Indian states and Union territories, while members of the Rajya Sabha are elected indirectly by the State legislatures. Each state is allocated a fixed number of representatives in each chamber, with the state of Uttar Pradesh having the greatest number. The central government is formed by the party or coalition which has the greatest number of directly elected members in the Lok Sabha.

Ireland

In Ireland, the term Member of Parliament can refer to the members of the pre-1801 Irish House of Commons of the Parliament of Ireland. It can also refer to Irish members elected to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1922.

Northern Ireland continues to elect MPs to the modern Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Following the formation of the independent Irish Free State in 1922, members of the lower house of the Oireachtas (parliament), Dáil Éireann (or "the Dáil") are termed Teachtaí Dála (Teachta Dála singular) or TDs. The upper house is called Seanad Éireann and its members are called Senators.

Kenya

The National Assembly of Kenya consists of 210 elected members and twelve who are nominated, all being called Members of Parliament.[3]

Malaysia

The Malaysian Parliament is modelled after the Parliament of the United Kingdom and consists of two houses, known as the Dewan Rakyat, which is the House of Representatives, and Dewan Negara, the Senate.

The members of the Dewan Rakyat are elected in general elections or by-elections, whereas the members of the Dewan Negara are either appointed by the king, in recognition of outstanding service to their country or chosen by the states. Each state appoints a number of senators proportional to its size.

Members of Parliament are styled Yang Berhormat ("Honourable") with the initials Y.B. appended prenominally. A prince who is a Member of Parliament is styled Yang Berhormat Mulia.

Malta

The Parliament of Malta consists of the President of Malta and the House of Representatives currently made up of 69 members (article 51 of the Constitution). Only these members of the House are referred to as "Members of Parliament" (article 52(1) of the Constitution). When appointed from outside the House, the Speaker is also considered a member of the Parliament. The Constitution lists the qualifications and disqualifications from serving as a Member of Parliament.[4]

Privileges of Members of Parliament as well as their Code of Ethics are laid out in the House of Representatives (Privileges and Powers) Ordinance.[5]

Nauru

The Parliament of Nauru consists of 18 seats. Members of Parliament are entitled to use the prefix The Honourable.

New Zealand

The Parliament of New Zealand is formally made up of the monarch and the unicameral House of Representatives. Member of Parliament is now the term for a member of the House of Representatives, which normally has 120 members, elected at a general election every three years. There are 69 constituency members, seven of whom are elected by the Māori who have chosen to vote in special Māori seats, while the remaining 51 members are elected by proportional representation from party lists.

Before 1951, New Zealand had a bicameral (or two-chamber) parliament. Members of the Legislative Council, abbreviated MLC, were appointed. Members of the lower house, the body which still exists today, have always been elected. Since 1907, elected members have been referred to as 'Members of Parliament', abbreviated MP. Since the 1860s until 1907, they were designated as Members of the House of Representatives, abbreviated MHR. Between 1853 (the year of the first general election) and the 1860s, the designation was Members of the General Assembly, abbreviated MGA.[6]

Pakistan

In Pakistan, Member of Parliament refers to a member of Parliament (National Assembly of Pakistan, Qaumi Assembly). The National Assembly is based in Islamabad.

Singapore

In Singapore, Members of Parliament refers to elected members of the Parliament of Singapore, the appointed Non-Constituency Members of Parliament from the opposition, as well as the Nominated Members of Parliament, who may be appointed from members of the public who have no connection to any political party in Singapore.

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, Member of Parliament refers to a member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka (since 1978), the National State Assembly (1972–78) and the House of Representatives of Ceylon (1947–72), the lower house of the Parliament of Ceylon.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom contains members of three different parliaments:

Members of the House of Commons are elected in general elections and by-elections to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system of election, and may remain Members until Parliament is dissolved, which must occur within five years of the last general election, as laid down in the Parliament Act 1911.

A candidate to become a Member of Parliament must be a British or Irish or Commonwealth citizen, must be over 18, and must not be a public official or officeholder, as set out in the schedule to the Electoral Administration Act 2006[8] (this was a reduction in the lower age limit, as candidates needed to be 21 until the law came into effect in 2006).

Members of Parliament are technically forbidden to resign their seats (though they are not forbidden from refusing to seek re-election). To leave the house between elections voluntarily, a Member of Parliament must accept a "paid office under the Crown". Two nominally paid offices under the Crown – the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds and the Manor of Northstead – exist to allow members to apply for a paid office under the Crown and thereby to achieve a resignation from the House. Accepting a salaried Ministerial office does not amount to a paid office under the Crown for these purposes.[9]

The basic salary of a member of the House of Commons was increased to £64,766 with effect from 1 April 2009.[10] Some MPs (ministers, the Speaker, senior opposition leaders etc.) receive a supplementary salary for their specific responsibilities. As of 1 April 2008 these increments range from £14,039 for Select Committee Chairs to £130,959 for the Prime Minister. Members also receive expenses, including paying for buying and furnishing accommodation required when away from their main homes.[11] The pension arrangements of UK MPs are equally generous. The Member will normally receive a pension of either 1/40th or 1/50th of their final pensionable salary for each year of pensionable service depending on the contribution rate they will have chosen. Members who make contributions of 10% of their salary gain an accrual rate of 1/40th.[12] An MP who has served 26 years and retiring today could look forward to receiving an annual inflation-proof payout of £40,000 from their pension. State contributions for British Members of Parliament are more than four times higher than the average paid out by companies for final-salary schemes, although they are not significantly more generous than most public sector pensions.[13]

Members of the House of Lords, however their membership comes about, are members of a legislative chamber which is part of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Although technically they are part of the parliament, they are never referred to in the United Kingdom as members of parliament but as peers, or more formally as Lords of Parliament. They sit either for life, in the case of the Lords Temporal, or so long as they continue to occupy their ecclesiastical positions in the case of the Lords Spiritual. Hereditary peers may no longer pass on a seat in the House of Lords to their heir automatically. The ninety-two who remain have been elected from among their own number, following the House of Lords Act 1999 and, paradoxically, are the only elected members of the Lords.[14]

Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, the title "Member of Parliament" is used by members of the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe. Members of the upper house of Parliament are instead referred to as Senators.

Other systems

Member of Parliament can be used to translate the term used to describe representatives in other parliamentary democracies that do not follow the Westminster system, who are usually referred to in a different fashion such as Deputé in France, Diputado, Deputado in Portugal and Brazil, Mitglied des Bundestages (MdB) in Germany. However, better translations are often possible.

Afghanistan

In Afghanistan the term Member of Parliament refers to the members of both chambers of the bicameral National Assembly of Afghanistan, the 249 members of the lower Wolesi Jirga (House of the People) and the 102 members of the upper Mesherano Jirga (House of Elders).

Austria

In Austria, the term Member of Parliament refers to the members of the two chambers of the Parliament of Austria (Österreichisches Parlament). The members of the Nationalrat are called Abgeordnete zum Nationalrat. The members of the Bundesrat, elected by the provincial diets (Landtage) of the nine federal States of Austria, are known as Mitglieder des Bundesrats.

Bulgaria

In Bulgaria they are 240 MPs in regular parliament and 400 in the "Great Parliament". The "Great Parliament" is elected when a new constitution is in order. In the modern Bulgarian history there have been seven "Great Parliaments," in 1879, 1881, 1886, 1893, 1911, 1946, and 1990.

Germany

In Germany, Member of Parliament refers to the elected members of the federal Bundestag Parliament at the Reichstag building in Berlin. In German a member is called Mitglied des Bundestages (Member of the Federal Diet) or officially Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestages (Member of the German Federal Diet), abbreviated MdB.[15]

The 16 federal States of Germany (Länder) are represented by the Bundesrat at the former Prussian House of Lords, whose members are representatives of the respective Länder's governments and not directly elected by the people. In accordance with article 38 of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, which is the German constitution, "[m]embers of the German Bundestag shall be elected in general, direct, free, equal, and secret elections. They shall be representatives of the whole people, not bound by orders or instructions, and responsible only to their conscience."

Iceland

Israel

In Israel, the term Member of the Knesset (Hebrew: חבר הכנסת‎) refers to one of the 120 Members of the Knesset. The title is almost always shortened to the initialism "MK".

Italy

In the Republican Italian Parliament the current term is Deputato (that is deputy as appointed to act on people's behalf) and so the Lower House takes the name of Camera dei Deputati. Similarly to other countries, the Upper House is called Senato and its members are the Senatori. The Deputati are known by the title onorevole (honorable).

Lebanon

The Parliament of Lebanon is the Lebanese national legislature. It is elected to a four-year term by universal adult suffrage in multi-member constituencies, apportioned among Lebanon's diverse Christian and Muslim denominations. Its major functions are to elect the President of the Republic, to approve the government (although appointed by the President, the Prime Minister, along with the Cabinet, must retain the confidence of a majority in the Parliament), and to approve laws and expenditure. The name of a deputy in Arabic is Naeb (نائب). The plural of Naeb is Nuwab (نواب).

Republic of Macedonia

In the Republic of Macedonia there are 120 Members of Parliament (Macedonian: Sobranie) which are called 'Pratenici' (singular Pratenik).

The Netherlands

The parliament of the Netherlands is known as the Staten-Generaal, literally States-General. It is bicameral, divided in two Kamers (Chambers). The Senate is known in Dutch as the Eerste Kamer (First Chamber) and its members as "senatoren", senators. The House of Representatives, known in Dutch as the Tweede Kamer (Second Chamber), is the most important one. The important debates take place here. Also, the Second Chamber can edit proposed laws with amendments and it can propose laws itself. The Senate does not have these capabilities. Its function is more a technical reviewing of laws. It can only pass a law or reject it. Both chambers are in The Hague which is the seat of parliament but not the official capital of the Netherlands, which is Amsterdam.

The 150 members of the House of Representatives are elected by general elections every 4 years (unless the government falls). The 75 members of the Senate are elected indirectly. The members of the 12 provincial parliaments elect the senators. The value of a vote of a member of a provincial parliament is relative to the population of the province. Provincial parliaments, the States-Provincial, are elected by general elections every four years.

Norway

In Norway, the term Members of Parliament refers to the elected members of the Norwegian parliament, Stortinget. These members are called stortingsrepresentanter (literal translation: Representatives of the Storting). Since 2009, Norway has had a unicameral parliament, which previously consisted of Odelstinget and Lagtinget, Odelstinget with three quarters, or 127, of the total 169 members, Lagtinget with the remainder. The dividing of the parliament into chambers was only used when dealing with passing regular laws and in cases of prosecution by the national court (riksrett). In other matters, such as passing the national budget or changing the constitution (the latter requiring a majority of two-thirds), the chambers were united.

The members of the present unicameral Parliament of Norway are chosen by popular vote at the beginning of each parliamentary period of four years.

Poland

Portugal

In Portugal a Member of the Portuguese Parliament is known as deputado, a person who is appointed after democratic election to act on people's behalf. The parliament takes the name of Assembleia da República.

Spain

In Spain the word parlamento -of the same origin as Parliament in English- is used as a common name for all legislative assemblies, and hence parlamentario for the member of any of them, which can usually refer:

Members of the Congress of Deputies, as can be implied from its name, are called diputados (deputies), impliying that they are elected to act in the name and on behalf of the people they represent. It is also usual to mention the members of the European Parliament as eurodiputados.

Sweden

In Sweden, Members of Parliament refers to the elected members of the Parliament of Sweden (Swedish: Sveriges riksdag). In Swedish, an MP is usually referred to as a riksdagsledamot or a riksdagsman (the former is in more common use today, especially in official contexts, due its status as a unisex word, while the latter was used more often historically and literally refers to a male MP exclusively).

The parliament is a unicameral assembly with 349 members who are chosen every four years in general elections. To become an MP, a person must be entitled to vote (i.e. be a Swedish citizen, be at least 18 years old and be or have been resident in Sweden) and must be nominated by a political party.[16]

The salaries of the MPs are decided by the Riksdag Pay Committee (Riksdagens arvodesnämnd), a government agency under the parliament. Since 1 November 2007, the basic monthly pay of an MP is SEK52,900 (ca. US$8,300). The pay of the Speaker is SEK126,000 a month (ca. US$20,000), which is the same as that of the Prime Minister.[17] The Deputy Speakers receive an increment of 30 % of the pay of a member. The chairs and deputy chairs of the parliamentary committees receive a similar increment of 20 % and 15 % respectively.[18]

According to a survey investigation by the sociologist Jenny Hansson,[19] Swedish national parliamentarians have an average work week of 66 hours, including side responsibilities. Hansson's investigation further reports that the average Swedish national parliamentarian sleeps 6.5 hours per night.

Thailand

In the Kingdom of Thailand, Members of Parliament (สมาชิกสภาผู้แทนราษฎร or ส.ส.) refers to the elected members of the National Assembly of Thailand. Following the military coup d'état on 19 September 2006, all its 500 members are suspended from duty until the next election. The House of Representatives of Thailand was fully reconvened after the general elections under a new constitution. Under the 2007 Constitution there are 500 Members of Parliament, 375 elected from constituencies and the other 125 through party-list.

Turkey

In the Republic of Turkey, the term member of parliament refers to the elected members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, or TGNA (Turkish: Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi, TBMM), which has 550 members elected at a general election for a term of office of four years.

See also


Footnotes

  1. ^ http://www.parl.gc.ca/About/Parliament/Education/OurCountryOurParliament/glossary-e.asp
  2. ^ Glossary of Parliamentary Terms for intermediate students Parliament of Canada
  3. ^ The National Assembly Parliament of the Republic of Kenya
  4. ^ http://docs.justice.gov.mt/lom/legislation/english/leg/vol_1/chapt0.pdf
  5. ^ http://docs.justice.gov.mt/lom/legislation/english/leg/vol_3/chapt113.pdf
  6. ^ Scholefield, Guy Hardy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand parliamentary record, 1840–1949. Wellington: Govt. Printer. p. 91. 
  7. ^ UK Parliament[dead link]
  8. ^ Electoral Administration Act 2006 Office of Public Sector Information
  9. ^ For more information, see the article Resignation from the British House of Commons
  10. ^ UK Parliament[dead link]
  11. ^ Average MP's expenses cost taxpayer £118,000 The Guardian, 22 October 2004
  12. ^ UK Parliament[dead link]
  13. ^ Merrick, Jane; Barrow, Becky (31 March 2006). "Taxpayers to pay millions to fund MP pensions". Daily Mail (London). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-381563/Taxpayers-pay-millions-fund-MP-pensions.html. 
  14. ^ House of Lords Reform UK Parliament
  15. ^ "Mitglieder des Deutschen Bundestages (MdB)" (in German). German Bundestag. http://www.bundestag.de/service/glossar/M/mitglieder.html. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  16. ^ "Members and parties". Parliament of Sweden. 3 October 2006. http://www.riksdagen.se/templates/R_Page____770.aspx. Retrieved 6 January 2008. 
  17. ^ "Pay and economic benefits". Parliament of Sweden. 1 November 2007. http://www.samhallsguiden.riksdagen.se/templates/R_Page____774.aspx. Retrieved 6 January 2008. 
  18. ^ "Members' pay". Parliament of Sweden. 13 July 2007. http://www.samhallsguiden.riksdagen.se/templates/R_Page____10934.aspx. Retrieved 6 January 2008. 
  19. ^ Hansson, Jenny (2008). "Sociologiska institutionen – Välkommen till oss!". De Folkvaldas Livsvillkor, Umea Universtiy. http://www8.umu.se/soc/personal/Jenny%20Hanssons%20avhandlingsarbete.%20Presentation%20samt%20.pdf. 

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