parliamentary Glossary p-q
In Australia, a parliament consists of a group of elected representatives and a person who represents the Queen. In the federal Parliament that person is the Governor-General. Parliaments make the laws for a country or a state. The parliament sat late into the night debating the complex proposal to modify the law.
(see Parliament of Australia)
Parliament House is the building where the federal Parliament meets. Between 1927 and 1988, the federal Parliament met in Provisional (or old) Parliament House. The Parliament has met in Australia’s new Parliament House since May 9 1988.
(also Australian Parliament, the Parliament)
The Parliament of Australia is an assembly of elected representatives, consisting of the Queen (represented by the Governor-General), the Senate, and the House of Representatives, that makes laws for the Australian people and residents. The Parliament of Australia meets regularly in Canberra.
A parliamentarian is a person who is elected at a democratic election to serve in a parliament. In the federal Parliament, parliamentarians are either members or senators. The parliamentarian represented Australia at the international conference.
(see also committee)
A parliamentary committee is a small group of members of parliament, usually from all parliamentary parties in one or both chambers, which studies, reports on, and makes recommendations about a particular subject. A parliamentary committee was set up to inquire into ways to improve road safety.
Parliamentary government is a system of government in which the Executive is answerable to the parliament and in which executive government is drawn from members of the parliament. Thus the parliament is supreme because it can make or break governments. Australia’s system of parliamentary government is similar to but not the same as the United Kingdom's system of government.
A parliamentary officer is a career official or employee of a parliamentary department which provides support services for a parliament. The Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the House of Representatives are the two most senior parliamentary officers of the Parliament.
A parliamentary party is a party with at least one member elected to a parliament. The Family First party became a federal parliamentary party with just one senator in 2004.
Parliamentary procedure refers to the set of rules and methods for carrying out the business of a house of parliament. Parliamentary procedure states that the Serjeant-at-Arms precedes the Speaker into the chamber.
The Parliamentary Triangle is a small area in Canberra in which the federal Parliament is situated and over which the Parliament has certain regulatory powers. The Parliamentary Triangle is bound by Capital Circle, Kings Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue Bridges and the southern shore of Lake Burley Griffin.
Party discipline is the control used by a parliamentary party to encourage its members in parliament to vote together. Party discipline in Australia is strong. Members of the major parties rarely vote against their party.
To be party-political is to focus on the affairs or interests of a political party, sometimes to the benefit of the party and not necessarily the benefit of the public. Most commentators realised that it was a party-political action.
A party room is the room where the parliamentary members of a political party hold meetings. The members met in the party room to discuss tactics for the upcoming election campaign.
The people’s house is the name sometimes used to refer to the House of Representatives reflecting that its members represent electorates of roughly equal population. The debate in the people’s house reflected the variety of opinions on the subject.
A petition is a document presented to a parliament by a person or group of people asking for action on a matter. The petition containing over 5000 signatures was tabled in the House of Representatives.
A plebiscite is a vote taken by electors Australia wide on a question of national importance, but not a constitutional matter. The plebiscite revealed that majority opinion was in favour of the change.
Calling a point of order is to question whether proceedings in a meeting are in accord with the rules or in a correct form. The Deputy Speaker called a point of order when the member used unparliamentary language.
A policy is a plan of action on a matter which is often based in an ideological position. Each party presented a different policy on education.
A political party is a group of people with similar ideas or aims, some of whose members stand at elections in the hope that they will be able to form government. The Australian Labor Party, the Liberal Party of Australia and the Nationals are all political parties.
- Politics is the activity associated with the governance of a state or country. When I leave university I want a career in politics.
- Politics refers to the activities involved in gaining or wielding power or success. The chairman of the board understood the politics of the company very well.
- A poll is a count of people, votes or opinions. The poll recorded the number of people for and against the proposal.
- To poll is to ask and record the opinion of the people. The prime minister agreed that the poll reflected a deep level of community concern.
- To poll is to receive a number of votes. The new party polled well during the election.
- To go to the poll is to hold an election. The minority parties went to the poll hoping to win four more seats.
Polling day is the day on which the people vote in an election. Polling day fell on the day of the grand final causing a lot of people to vote early.
A portfolio is the area of responsibility or duties of a minister. In the Cabinet reshuffle the minister was given the defence portfolio.
- Power is the right or ability to do something.
- Power is control, influence or authority over others. The government majority in both chambers gave the government the power to make changes.
Preferential voting is a system of voting in which a voter shows an order of preference for candidates, giving the number one to his or her first choice and the last number to the last choice. Preferential voting is used in elections for the House of Representatives.
A presiding officer is a member of parliament elected to be in charge of the proceedings and administration of a house of parliament. In the Senate the presiding officer is called the President and in the House of Representatives the presiding officer is called the Speaker. The presiding officers called on all parliamentarians to represent the Parliament well.
A press conference is a meeting between a person and reporters from newspapers, radio and television (the press), usually so the person can make an announcement or answer questions. The press conference was held in the courtyards of Parliament House.
1. The press gallery is a seating area set aside in each chamber specifically for press reporters. There were eight reporters in the press gallery during the debate on the food labelling bill.
2. The press gallery is the area in Parliament House set aside for the offices and studios of reporters from newspapers, radio and television. The press gallery sits on the second floor of Parliament House.
3. The press gallery is the group of people who work for the media in Parliament House. Members of the press gallery asked many questions of the Prime Minister at the press conference.
A press release is an announcement, statement or item of news prepared for and given to the press. The minister’s press release announced an increase in funding to schools.
The prime minister is the person chosen to lead the parliamentary party or coalition of parties that wins the most seats in the House of Representatives. The prime minister also leads the Executive. The Prime Minister of Australia flew to England for talks with the British Prime Minister.
Parliamentary privilege is the special legal protection granted to members and senators when they are elected to office, which enables them to carry out their duties. Privilege includes protection from legal action for words said in parliament. The senator was called to retract the statement he made under parliamentary privilege.
Proceedings are the formal actions and decisions of a house of parliament. The proceedings of a house of parliament are always recorded.
- A proclamation is an official public announcement. The day for a new federal parliament to assemble is fixed by the Governor-General by proclamation.
- A proclamation is the act of announcing the commencement of an Act or part of an Act. The proclamation of the new Act led to renewed discussion about its implementation.
Proportional representation is an electoral system such that all political parties are represented in proportion to the percentage of the total vote won by the party. Proportional representation in the Senate is designed to elect multiple senators to represent each state and territory.
To prorogue the parliament is to end a session of parliament and so discontinue meetings of the houses until the next session without an election intervening. Only the Governor-General can prorogue the federal Parliament.
The first parliament house built in Canberra was known as Provisional Parliament House. It was built as a temporary home for the Parliament of Australia and was intended to meet the needs of the Parliament for fifty years. Provisional Parliament House is now commonly known as Old Parliament House and it attracts many visitors each year.
A public servant is a person employed under executive government. The quarantine officer enjoyed being a public servant.
The public service refers to government departments and agencies, and the people who work for them. The public service is responsible for putting into effect government policy and decisions and legislation passed by the Parliament. The public service includes a range of government departments and offices such as Centrelink and Medicare.
To put the question is to ask for a decision on a motion. The Speaker put the question to the House.
The Queen is Australia’s head of state. Since 1973, the Queen's formal Australian title has been ‘Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth’. The Queen visited Australia during the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
- A question is a matter to be debated and voted on. The question ‘that the bill be read a second time’ was put and agreed to.
- A question in parliament is a request for information. The Attorney-General was asked five questions during Question Time.
A question on notice is a written question asked of a minister in a chamber or in estimates or committee hearings, which is answered in writing. Questions on notice are listed on the Notice Paper and remain listed until answered.
Question Time is a period of time in each house of parliament in which ministers are asked questions concerning their portfolio responsibilities by other members of parliament. Question Time is of special interest to members, visitors and the media.
A question without notice is a question asked orally of a minister where the minister usually has no warning of the content of the question. Questions without notice are asked during Question Time.
A quorum is the minimum number of people that have to be present to constitute a meeting as stated in the standing orders. The electronic bells rang to call members of the government to the chamber to form a quorum.