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A fixed-term election is an election that occurs on a set date, and cannot be changed by incumbent politicians other than through exceptional mechanisms if at all.
Fixed-term elections are common for directly elected executive officers, such as directly elected mayors, governors and presidents, but less common for prime ministers and parliaments in a parliamentary system of government.
A number of countries do not provide for fixed terms for elected officials, instead stipulating the maximum length of a term, permitting elections to be held more frequently as determined by the government. Such examples include the Australian House of Representatives, the Canadian House of Commons, the New Zealand Parliament, or the Folketing of Denmark, in each case the prime minister may advise the monarch to call an election earlier than the constitutional maximum term of the parliament. Before the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, the United Kingdom too practiced this system, which returned to the country following the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Act 2022, albeit keeping the maximum five-year parliamentary term.
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster in London, England.
The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the sovereign (Crown-in-Parliament), the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. Both houses of Parliament meet in separate chambers at the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London.
A member of parliament (MP) is the representative in parliament of the people who elect them. MPs may represent an electoral district (constituency) or be selected from an electoral list. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, this term refers only to members of the lower house and upper house members. The terms congressman/congresswoman are equivalent terms used in other jurisdictions. The term parliamentarian is always used for members of Parliament, but this is always used to refer to elected government leaders such as senator in the United States. The term is also used to the characteristic of performing the duties of a member of a legislature, for example: "The two party leaders often disagreed on issues, but both were excellent parliamentarians and cooperated to get many good things done."
The Senate is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of Australia, the lower house being the House of Representatives. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Chapter I of the Constitution of Australia. There are a total of 76 senators: 12 are elected from each of the six Australian states regardless of population and 2 from each of the two autonomous internal Australian territories. Senators are popularly elected under the single transferable vote system of proportional representation.
A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic governance of a state where the executive derives its democratic legitimacy from its ability to command the support ("confidence") of the legislature, typically a parliament, to which it is accountable. In a parliamentary system, the head of state is usually a person distinct from the head of government. This is in contrast to a presidential system, where the head of state often is also the head of government and, most importantly, where the executive does not derive its democratic legitimacy from the legislature.
A motion of no confidence is a statement or vote about whether a person in a position of responsibility is still deemed fit to hold that position, such as because they are inadequate in some aspect, fail to carry out their obligations, or make decisions that other members feel to be detrimental. The parliamentary motion demonstrates to the head of state that the elected Parliament either has or no longer has confidence in one or more members of the appointed government. In some countries, a no confidence motion being passed against an individual minister requires the minister to resign. In most cases, if the minister in question is the premier, all other ministers must also resign.
The Parliament of Australia is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It consists of three elements: the Crown, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The combination of two elected chambers, in which the members of the Senate represent the states and territories while the members of the House represent electoral divisions according to population, is modelled on the United States Congress. Through both chambers, however, there is a fused executive, drawn from the Westminster system.
The chairman of the government of the Russian Federation, also informally known as the prime minister, is the head of government of Russia. Although the post dates back to 1905, its current form was established on 12 December 1993 following the introduction of a new constitution.
A snap election is an election that is called earlier than the one that has been scheduled.
Cohabitation is a system of divided government that occurs in semi-presidential systems, such as France, whenever the president is from a different political party than the majority of the members of parliament. It occurs because such a system forces the president to name a premier who will be acceptable to the majority party within parliament. Thus, cohabitation occurs because of the duality of the executive: an independently elected president and a prime minister who must be acceptable both to the president and to the legislature.
The Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory is the unicameral legislature of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). It sits in the Legislative Assembly Building on Civic Square, close to the centre of the city of Canberra.
The dissolution of a legislative assembly is the mandatory simultaneous resignation of all of its members, in anticipation that a successive legislative assembly will reconvene later with possibly different members. In a democracy, the new assembly is chosen by a general election. Dissolution is distinct on the one hand from abolition of the assembly, and on the other hand from its adjournment or prorogation, or the ending of a legislative session, any of which begins a period of inactivity after which it is anticipated that the same members will reassemble. For example, the "second session of the fifth parliament" could be followed by the "third session of the fifth parliament" after a prorogation, but the "first session of the sixth parliament" after a dissolution.
Elections in Australia take place periodically to elect the legislature of the Commonwealth of Australia, as well as for each Australian state and territory and for local government councils. Elections in all jurisdictions follow similar principles, although there are minor variations between them. The elections for the Australian Parliament are held under the federal electoral system, which is uniform throughout the country, and the elections for state and territory Parliaments are held under the electoral system of each state and territory.
The Australian Government, also known as the Commonwealth Government, is the national government of Australia, a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Like other Westminster-style systems of government, the Australian Government is made up of three branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial.
The Parliament of Georgia is the supreme national legislature of Georgia. It is a unicameral parliament, currently consisting of 150 members; of these, 120 are proportional representatives and 30 are elected through single-member district plurality system, representing their constituencies. According to the 2017 constitutional amendments, the Parliament will transfer to fully proportional representation in 2024.
The politics of Australia take place within the framework of a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system under its Constitution, one of the world's oldest, since Federation in 1901. Australia is the world's sixth oldest continuous democracy and largely operates as a two-party system in which voting is compulsory. The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Australia a "full democracy" in 2021. Australia is also a federation, where power is divided between the federal government and the states and territories.
A term of office is the length of time a person serves in a particular elected office. In many jurisdictions there is a defined limit on how long terms of office may be before the officeholder must be subject to re-election. Some jurisdictions exercise term limits, setting a maximum number of terms an individual may hold in a particular office.
The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (FTPA) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that for the first time set in legislation a default fixed election date for a general election to the Westminster parliament. Before the passage and after the repeal of the Act, elections are required by law to be held at least once every five years, but can be called earlier if the prime minister advises the monarch to exercise the royal prerogative to do so. Prime ministers have often employed this mechanism to call an election before the end of the five-year term, sometimes fairly early in it, and some critics saw this as giving an unfair advantage to an incumbent prime minister. While it was in force, the FTPA removed this longstanding power of the prime minister. Prior to the FTPA and since its repeal, an election can also take place following a vote of no confidence in the government: such a motion would be passed with an ordinary simple majority of those voting in the House of Commons and would, according to constitutional convention, force the government to resign, at which point the prime minister would generally advise the monarch to call for a new election.
Semi-parliamentary system can refer to either a prime-ministerial system, in which voters simultaneously vote for both members of legislature and the prime minister, or to a system of government in which the legislature is split into two parts that are both directly elected – one that has the power to remove the members of the executive by a vote of no confidence and another that does not. The former was first proposed by Maurice Duverger, who used it to refer to Israel from 1996-2001. The second was identified by German academic Steffen Ganghof.
The Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Act 2022 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that repealed the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 and reinstated the prior constitutional situation, by reviving the prerogative powers of the monarch to dissolve and summon parliament. As the monarch exercises this power at the request of the prime minister, this restored the power of the prime minister to have a general election called at a time of their choosing.