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A parliamentary group, parliamentary party, or parliamentary caucus is a group consisting of members of the same political party or electoral fusion of parties in a legislative assembly such as a parliament or a city council.
Parliamentary groups may elect a parliamentary leader; such leaders are often important political players. Parliamentary groups often use party discipline to control the votes of their members.
Some parliamentary systems allow smaller political parties, who are not numerous enough to form parliamentary groups in their own names, to join with other parties of differing ideologies (or with independent politicians) in order to benefit from rights or privileges that are only accorded to formally recognised groups. Such groups are termed technical groups.
Parliamentary groups correspond to "caucuses" in the United States Congress and the Parliament of Canada.A parliamentary group is sometimes called the parliamentary wing of a party, as distinct from its organisational wing.
The term or equivalent applies to a number of countries, including: Australia (party room); Austria (Club); Belgium (fractie/fraction/Fraktion); Brazil and Portugal ("grupo parlamentar" or "bancadas"); Germany (Fraktion); Italy (gruppo), Finland (eduskuntaryhmä/riksdagsgrupp); the Netherlands (fractie); Poland (frakcja),Switzerland (fraction/Fraktion/frazione); and Romania (grup parlamentar), which all have recognized multiparty systems.
The political groups of the European Parliament are similar to other parliamentary groups. They are more regulated than other kinds of parliamentary groups: to gain financial support or to join committees, each parliamentary group must consist of no less than 25 MEPs from seven different EU member states.
Generally, parliamentary groups have some independence from the wider party organisations. It is often thought improper for elected MPs to take instructions solely from non-elected party officials or from the small subset of the electorate represented by party members. In any case, the exigencies of government, the need to cooperate with other members of the legislature and the desire to retain the support of the electorate as a whole often preclude strict adherence to the wider party's wishes. The exact relationship between the parliamentary party and the party varies between countries, and also from party to party. For example, in some parties, the parliamentary and organisational leadership will be held by the same person or people, whether ex officio or not; other parties maintain a sharp distinction between the two offices. Nevertheless, in almost all cases, the parliamentary leader is the public face of the party, and wields considerable influence within the organisational wing, whether or not he or she has any official position there.
A parliamentary group is typically led by a parliamentary group leader or chairperson, though some parliamentary groups have two or more co-leaders. If the parliamentary group is represented in the legislature, the leader is almost always chosen from among the sitting members; if the leader does not yet have a seat in the legislature, a sitting member of the group may be expected to resign to make way for him or her. If the party is not represented in the legislature for the time being, the leader will often be put forward at a general election as the party's candidate for their most winnable seat. In some parties, the leader is elected solely by the members of the parliamentary group; in others, some or all members of the wider party participate in the election. Parliamentary groups often have one or more whips, whose role is to support the leadership by enforcing party discipline.
In the United Kingdom Parliament there exist associations of MPs called "all-party parliamentary groups", which bring together members of different parliamentary groups who wish to involve themselves with a particular subject. This term is in a sense the opposite of the term 'parliamentary group', which designates a group that includes only members of the same party or electoral fusion.
One special kind of parliamentary groups are the Parliamentary Friendship Groups,also called Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Groups or Friendship Parliamentary Groups or Parliamentary Group of Friendship [and Cooperation].
"Parliamentary Friendship" groups are groups of congresspeople/members of parliament who voluntarily organise themselves to promote parliamentary relations between their own Parliament and another country's (or even a region's group of countries') parliament(s), and, in a broader scope, to foster the bilateral relations between said countries. Parliamentary friendship groups play an important role in New Zealand’s engagement in inter-parliamentary relations, with group members often called upon to participate and host meetings for visiting delegations from the other part, as well as often being invited by the other country's parliament to visit it.
Friendship Groups do not speak for the Government of their own country, or even for the whole of the Parliament/Congress to which they belong, as they are usually self-regulating and self-fulfilling.
Parliamentary Friendship Groups are active in the national congresses/parliaments of countries such as Armenia,Australia, Brazil, Germany, Israel, Laos, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Korea, Switzerland, and the United States, among many others.
The Bundestag is the German federal parliament. It is the only body that is directly elected by the German people on the federal level. It can be compared to a lower house similar to the United States House of Representatives or the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The Bundestag was established by Title III of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949 as one of the legislative bodies of Germany and thus it is the historical successor to the earlier Reichstag.
A whip is an official of a political party whose task is to ensure party discipline in a legislature. This means ensuring that members of the party vote according to the party platform, rather than according to their own individual ideology or the will of their donors or constituents. Whips are the party's "enforcers". They try to ensure that their fellow political party legislators attend voting sessions and vote according to their party's official policy. Members who vote against party policy may "lose the whip", effectively expelling them from the party.
A caucus is a meeting of supporters or members of a specific political party or movement. The exact definition varies between different countries and political cultures.
Parliamentary immunity, also known as legislative immunity, is a system in which members of the parliament or legislature are granted partial immunity from prosecution. Before prosecuting, it is necessary that the immunity be removed, usually by a superior court of justice or by the parliament itself. This reduces the possibility of pressing a member of the parliament to change his or her vote by fear of prosecution.
A crossbencher is an independent or minor party member of some legislatures, such as the British House of Lords and the Parliament of Australia. They take their name from the crossbenches, between and perpendicular to the government and opposition benches, where crossbenchers sit in the chamber.
In parliamentary systems, politicians are said to cross the floor if they change their party allegiance. Crossing the floor may mean changing to a second party after being elected as a member of a first party, or voting against the approved party lines.
Official party status is the official recognition that the Parliament of Canada and Canada's provincial legislatures grant to some political parties, qualifying them for certain rights and privileges. The qualifications for receiving official party status, usually based on the number of party members in the legislature, varies from legislature to legislature.
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is the unicameral legislative chamber of the Canadian province of Ontario. Along with the sovereign, who grants royal assent to bills passed by its members—known as Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs)—the body comprises the Legislature of Ontario or Parliament of Ontario. The assembly meets at the Ontario Legislative Building at Queen's Park in the provincial capital of Toronto.
An independent or nonpartisan politician is a politician not affiliated with any political party. There are numerous reasons why someone may stand for office as an independent.
A parliamentary leader is a political title or a descriptive term used in various countries to the person leading a caucus in a legislative body, whether it be a national or sub-national legislature. A party leader may be the same person as the parliamentary leader, or the roles may be separated.
The Federal Parliament of Nepal is the bicameral federal and supreme legislature of Nepal established in 2018. It consists of the National Assembly as the upper house and the House of Representatives as the lower house.
Viorel Riceard Badea is a Romanian politician, member of the Senate of Romania.
The 41st Legislative Assembly of Ontario was a legislature of the government of the province of Ontario, Canada. The membership was set by the 2014 Ontario general election. The 41st parliament of Ontario was dissolved on May 8, 2018.
Ivan Karić is a politician in Serbia. He is the leader of the Greens of Serbia and served in the National Assembly of Serbia from 2012 to 2017, when he was appointed as a state secretary in the country's ministry of environmental protection.
The Next Portuguese legislative election will take place on or before 8 October 2023 to elect members of the Assembly of the Republic to the 15th Legislature of Portugal. All 230 seats to the Assembly of the Republic will be at stake.
Christoph Hoffmann is a German politician of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) who has been serving as a member of the Bundestag from the state of Baden-Württemberg since 2017.
Jürgen Martens is a German lawyer and politician of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) who has been serving as a member of the Bundestag from the state of Saxony since 2017.
Carin Visser is a South African politician. Since 2019 she has been serving as a permanent delegate to the National Council of Provinces. She is a member of the North West provincial delegation. She was a Member of the National Assembly of South Africa from 2017 to 2018 and a Member of the North West Provincial Legislature from 2018 to 2019. She was also a municipal councillor of the Tswaing Local Municipality. Visser served the provincial chairperson of the Democratic Alliance (DA) from 2015 to 2020.
Dirk Jan Stubbe is a South African politician serving as a Member of the National Assembly for the opposition Democratic Alliance since September 2020, and previously from September 2010 to May 2019. Prior to his tenure in the National Assembly, Stubbe was a Member of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature.
Chantel King is a South African politician and educator. A member of the Democratic Alliance, she was sworn in as a Buffalo City councillor in July 2015. King became a Member of Parliament in November 2016. She then became Shadow Deputy Minister of Science and Technology in January 2017. In December 2020 King was appointed as Shadow Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology.