Commonly Used Terms in Parliament

“Glossary to find out definitions for words and phrases commonly used in the Parliament.”

Re – Election Takes place due to rigging, booth capturing, countermanding or employing any other unfair means during elections
Bye Election When seat is rendered vacant (Due to death, resignation or any other subsequent disqualification of member originally elected)
Midterm election If LS or state assembly is dissolved well before the expiry of its full term then the elections are held to constitute new house
Leader of Opposition Leader of largest opposition party in LS having at least 1/10th of the strength of the house
Lame Duck Session Refers to last session of old parliament, held after a new LS has been elected as a result of general elections. Lame ducks under it are those members who were part of old house but could not get re-elected for the new house
Filibuster Parliamentary device of long winded speeches, not necessarily relevant to delay a matter under consideration for voting (Not practised in India)
Snap Vote Refers to a vote taken unexpectedly without voters being briefed or informed about it in advance
Gerry Mandering Reorganisation of electoral districts by political party in power in attempt to gain advantage in upcoming elections
Hung Parliament After a general election, when no political party or combination of parties is in position to form a government by majority
Guillotine When due to lack of time, demand of grants are put to vote whether they are discussed or not in the house on last working day of allotted time
Quorum Minimum required number of members present to validly transacts the business of the house (1/10th of total members of the house including presiding officer)
Point of order A process, which when raised has effect of suspending the proceedings before the house & member who is on his legs gives away

Breach of privileges & contempt of parliament

  • When any individual or authority disregards any of the privileges & immunities, either of the member or of the house, the offence is called breach of privileges.
  • Any act which impedes either the house or performance of official function of the house or of any of its member, is called contempt of parliament

Delegated / Subordinate legislation

  • MPs / MLAs make laws only in broad skeletal form, Executives fill up the minor details
  • When legislatures outsource the law making work to the executives, then it is known as delegated / subordinate legislation
  • Committee on subordinate legislation examine the rules & regulations made by the executives & submit its report to the house
  • Hence parliament continues to keep its control over delegation
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