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Glossary

M

Mace
The symbol of the authority of the House of Representatives and the Speaker, made of silver coated in gold, with a crown at one end.
maiden speech
(see also first speech)
Former name for a first speech, sometimes still used in the House of Representatives.
Manager of Government Business in the Senate
(see also Leader of the House)
A minister appointed by the government to manage its business in the Senate.
Manager of Opposition Business in the House
(see also Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate)
A shadow minister appointed by the opposition to manage its business in the House of Representatives.
Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate
(see also Manager of Opposition Business in the House)
A shadow minister appointed by the opposition to manage its business in the Senate.
marginal seat
A seat, or electorate, where the winning candidate received less than 56% of the final vote.
Matter of Public Importance or MPI
A discussion in Parliament about the government’s actions or policies; the topic is usually raised by a shadow minister and, in the House of Representatives, responded to first by the minister in charge of the relevant government department.
mayor
The head of a city or town council.
media
Newspapers, television, radio stations and other organisations that collect and publish information.
member
A person elected to the House of Representatives, also referred to as an MP.
member of parliament
A person elected to the House of Representatives or the Senate.
minister
A member of the government who has been given an area of responsibility for how Australia is run, known as a portfolio; the Prime Minster and ministers make up the executive government.
ministerial responsibility
The principle that a minister should be accountable to the Parliament for their actions and decisions, as well as those of their government department.
ministry
(see Executive and executive government)
minority government
A government formed by a party or coalition of parties that does not have a majority in the House of Representatives, but governs with the support of the majority of members.
minor party
A political party that has only a small number of members elected to Parliament.
monarch
A head of state, such as a king or queen, who has inherited their position.
money bill
A proposed law that introduces a tax or suggests the spending of money for a particular purpose.
motion
An idea or proposal put forward for consideration, debate and decision.
move (a motion)
To make a formal proposal at a meeting.
municipality
An area of land that has its own local government.

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