Constituent (politics)


Constituent (politics)

In politics, the term constituent has three separate meanings:
*A constituent state or constituent nation is a fundamental part of a union which has come together with others to form the union, e.g. US States, or UK constituent countries.
*A constituent assembly comes together to draw up a constitution and has full powers over the constitution to be drawn up.
*A constituent is an inhabitant of a parliamentary electoral constituency.

Constituent parts of unions

A constituent state or constituent nation is a fundamental part of a union which has come together with others to form the union.

Each US state is a constituent state of the USA, although the District of Colombia and territories such as Puerto Rico are not constituent parts of the union.

The constituent countries of the UK are England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK was originally formed of two constituent kingdoms, the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland.

Constituent Assemblies

A constituent assembly is a body elected with the purpose of drafting, and in some cases, adopting a constitution. An example is the Russian Constituent Assembly, which was established in Russia in the wake of the October Revolution of 1917, which overthrew the Russian Provisional Government.

Inhabitants of constituencies

A constituent is one who can or does appoint or elect (and often by implication can also remove or recall) another as one's agent or representative. A "constituency" is all the constituents of a particular agent or representative.

Depending on the context, another closely-related meaning of "constituent" is that of a citizen residing in the area governed, represented, or otherwise served by a politician; sometimes this is restricted to citizens who elected the politician. All the constituents who are registered to vote are referred to as the electorate.

Constituent service is representatives helping their constituents handle problems that can be best handled by a representative getting involved. Members of the U.S. Congress (both Representatives and Senators) working in Washington, D.C. have a governmentally staffed district office to aid in constituent service. Many state legislatures have followed suit. In the UK, service of this type is named constituency casework - Members of the UK House of Commons will appoint staff using their Parliamentary staffing allowance to appoint caseworkers to assist constituents with problems.

Elected officials tend to believe that responsiveness to their constituents is their highest professional responsibility.Fact|date=September 2007

In a looser sense, corporations and other such organizations can be referred to as constituents, if they have a significant presence in an area.

Constituent countries is a phrase sometimes used, usually by official institutions, in contexts in which a number of countries make up a larger entity or grouping.

See also

*Pork barrel politics


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