parliamentary Glossary m-0
The Mace is a symbol of the authority of the House of Representatives and of the Speaker. The Mace is carried by the Serjeant-at-Arms. The Mace was originally a weapon of war that was shaped like a club.
(see first speech)
(see also second chamber)
The Main Committee is a smaller second chamber of the House of Representatives in Parliament House. The Main Committee exists to give members more time and opportunity to debate bills that are not controversial. The Main Committee is sometimes called the second chamber. The non-controversial bill was debated in the Main Committee.
A majority is the greater number, or more than half. The government has the majority in the House of Representatives.
A mandate is the authority which a parliamentary party which wins government may believe it has to implement policies which were the subject of an election campaign. The government claimed it had a mandate to increase spending on the armed forces because it had campaigned on that issue and won the election.
A matter of public importance or MPI is a debating opportunity when members or senators agree to discuss public policy and government performance and where a vote is taken at the end of the discussion. The Matter of Public Importance listed for today is unemployment.
Matter of Urgency
(see urgency motion)
A mayor is the person elected to lead a city or shire council. The mayor chaired the council meeting.
1. The media is made up of people such as journalists who work for radio, television, magazines and newspapers. The media reported on the Treasurer’s budget speech.
2. The media is a system of communication and includes radio, television, magazines and newspapers.
A member is a person who is elected to the House of Representatives. There are 150 members in the current House of Representatives.
(see also MP)
A member of parliament is a member of either house of parliament. The current Parliament is made up of a total of 226 members of parliament.
A minister is both a member of parliament and a member of the Executive. This means that a minister is usually in charge of a government department that is responsible for enacting the law. The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is responsible for putting related laws into action throughout Australia.
Ministerial responsibility is the principle that ministers are accountable to the parliament for their actions and decisions and for actions and decisions taken on their behalf. Ministerial responsibility is a key feature of the Australian system of governance.
The ministry is the collective body of government ministers headed by a prime minister, who are formally appointed by the Governor-General as his or her ministers of state and together with the Governor-General form the Executive. The ministry contains both senior and junior ministers.
A minority government is a government formed by a party or coalition of parties and Independents, which does not have a majority in the House of Representatives in its own right. A minority government is more common in Australian state parliaments than the federal parliament.
A minor party is a political party that is neither in government or in opposition. Minor parties have a much smaller number of members in the parliament than major parties. The minor party presented a platform that was markedly different to the platform of the larger parties.
A monarch is a sole ruler of a country who usually inherits the position, such as a king or queen. The current monarch of Australia is Queen Elizabeth II.
A monarchy is a country ruled by one person who usually inherits the position, such as a king or queen. The British monarchy has been established for hundreds of years.
A motion is an idea or proposal put forward at a meeting of the House of Representatives or the Senate for consideration, debate and decision. The minister moved a motion that the member be suspended.
To move a motion is to make a formal proposal at a meeting. The senator moved a motion to suspend business until the next day.
MP stands for Member of Parliament. However it is specifically reserved for members of the House of Representatives who may use the initials MP after their names. Senators, while being members of parliament, do not use these initials. The first federal Cabinet of 1901 decided that members (and not senators) should use the abbreviation MP.
A municipality is an area of land which has its own local government. There over 650 separate municipalities throughout Australia.
‘No’ is the word used for showing disagreement to a proposal in parliament. The Speaker asked all those in favour to say ‘aye’ and those against to say ‘no’.
A vote or a motion of no confidence is a means by which the House or Senate expresses dissatisfaction with the performance of the government or a minister. The minister’s position was threatened when the opposition moved a vote of no confidence in him.
The noes are the votes of members of parliament who vote ‘no’ on a particular matter.
A non-government member is any member of the House of Representatives who does not belong to or support the government. Non-government members of the House of Representatives sit on the benches to the left and front of the Speaker.
A notice of motion is an announcement of intention to put forward a motion for consideration, nearly always for a later day. The member of parliament introduced a notice of motion during the day’s proceedings.
The Notice Paper is a document that is updated and published each sitting day and which lists all outstanding business before either house. The Notice Paper lists orders of the day, notices of motion, notices of intention to present bills, as well as questions on notice.
An oath of allegiance is a declaration, using God’s name, made by members of parliament stating that they will be loyal to the Queen. Members of parliament may also choose to make an affirmation of allegiance which does not use God’s name. The new members of parliament made an oath of allegiance to the Queen during their swearing-in ceremony.
The Office of Parliamentary Counsel (OPC) is an office of legal workers who draft or prepare proposals for new government laws. The Office of Parliamentary Counsel drafted the new bill dealing with workplace relations.
An ombudsman is an official whose job is to look into people’s complaints against executive government or public servants. The ombudsman investigated complaints from people who felt unfairly treated by the government department.
The opposition is the second largest parliamentary party or coalition of parties after the government in the House of Representatives. The opposition opposes what it believes to be wrong in government policies or actions. The opposition is also Australia ’s alternative government should voters decide in their favour during a federal election. The opposition met in their party room to discuss Question Time tactics.
An opposition backbencher is a member of parliament who belongs to the opposition party or parties, but who is not a shadow minister. The opposition backbencher abstained from voting on the controversial bill.
- Order is the correct or proper actions or conduct in meetings of a house or committee. Mr President called for order in the proceedings when senators became disruptive.
- An order is a decision of the House of Representatives or the Senate which results in the issuing of directions to committees, parliamentarians and officers. If the House of Representatives agrees to the motion, then the witness will be under order of the House to give evidence.
The Order of Business is the daily agenda showing items of business to be dealt with in the Senate in a particular day. The Order of Business in the Senate is also known as the 'Red'.