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Old 03-13-2019, 09:50 PM
Kiwi Fruit's Avatar
Kiwi Fruit is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hamilton, NZ, Male
Posts: 823
In the Westminster system, such as the UK and also Australia and New Zealand, MPs usually are required to vote the party line. It's a requirement of them remaining a member of the party caucus. If they don't vote that way, sometimes known as crossing the floor i.e. to vote with the opposition, they will be disciplined and may be expelled from the party.

There are MPs within the parliamentary systems known as whips. It's their job to see that MPs know how to vote on each bill.

If there is a free or sometimes called conscience vote, then MPs may vote as they see fit.

A shadow minister is the member of the opposition that has responsibility for critiquing a particular portfolio, shadowing the Government minister who is responsible for a particular ministry.

A back-bencher is just one of the troops. No responsibility for particular matters, but expected to back up the party line in Parliament.