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Foreign Policy Analysis
Members and Whips – Legislative Assembly

Members and Whips – Legislative Assembly

♪♪♪ MUSIC ♪♪♪ This is the meeting place,
or the chamber, of the Legislative Assembly, the lower house of the Parliament of
Western Australia. Fifty-nine elected politicians
sit in these seats and are known as members of the
Legislative Assembly or MLAs. Fifty-eight members
sit to my left or my right, with the fifty-ninth member,
known as the Speaker, sitting in the central chair
behind me. Members are elected to
single-member constituencies under a system of
preferential voting. Government members
always sit to this side, on the right of the Speaker, with the opposition
seated to the left. This seat is reserved
for the government Whip, who is chosen as a marshal
or team manager for their side of the house. They organise the lists
of party members who will go on to debate
the bills and other business. They’ve also got to
keep checking where and how many
members are available for voting on important matters.Lock the doors.Members, the question isthe words to be deleted
be deleted.
All those in favour
pass to the right of the Chair;
all those against
pass to the left.
I appoint the
member for Balcatta
for the ayesand the member for Vasse
for the noes.
Along with other duties, the Whips are usually appointed
as tellers during divisions when the house divides into
yes and no positions. They then tally, or count up, all the votes
on their side of the house. The opposition, on the other
side of the chamber, also has a designated whip. The term “whip” comes from
the world of fox hunting where a whipper-in
uses a dog whip to keep control of
the hunting hounds and to stop them
straying from the pack. In a sense, parliamentary whips are keeping control
of their side of the house. Luckily, in their role today, they don’t need to
use a real whip. ♪♪♪ MUSIC ♪♪♪

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