The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Member of Parliament

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A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters of an electoral district to a parliament; in the Westminster system, specifically to the lower house.



In Australia, the term Member of Parliament refers specifically to a member of the Australian House of Representatives.

See also: List of members of the Australian House of Representatives


In Canada, the term Member of Parliament refers specifically to a member of the Canadian House of Commons.

See also: Members of the Canadian House of Commons

New Zealand

New Zealand has a single-chambered (unicameral) parliament. In New Zealand Member of Parliament is the term for a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives, although parliament technically consists of both the House and the Queen. The New Zealand House of Representatives has 120 MPs, elected every three years. There are 69 electorate (constituency) MPs, 7 of whom are elected by Maori who have chosen to vote in special Maori electorates. The remaining 51 MPs are elected from party lists. The speaker of the house is Margaret Wilson.

Before 1951, New Zealand had a two-chambered (bicameral) parliament, and there were two designations — MHR (Member of the House of Representatives, the body which survives today) and MLC (Member of the Legislative Council).

See also: New Zealand Parliament, New Zealand elections

United Kingdom

The British Parliament is divided into the House of Commons and the House of Lords; though it is often assumed that an MP is a member of Commons, they can be a member of either house. Nonetheless, the letters "MP" are appended as a post-nominal to an individual's name only if that person is a member of the House of Commons; that House currently has 659 members.

MPs in the House of Commons are elected and remain MPs until Parliament is dissolved (parliaments can last up to five years). The members of the House of Lords are officially appointed by the Monarch, but the selection is done by the British Prime Minister.

There are several special members of Parliament, including the Prime Minister, other government ministers, the Chief Whip of each party, Privy Counsellors, and the Speaker of the House.

Members of Parliament are technically forbidden to resign their seats. However, appointment to a "paid office under the Crown" disqualifies an MP from sitting in the Commons, and two nominally paid offices - the Chiltern Hundreds and the Manor of Northstead - exist to allow members to resign from the House. For more information, see the article Resignation from the British House of Commons.


The Malaysian Parliament also is modelled after the British Parliament with two houses, known as Dewan Rakyat (People's Hall) and Dewan Negara (Senate)

The representatives from the Dewan Rakyat are elected in the general elections, or by- elections, as opposed to the members of the Dewan Negara who are appointed by the King, in recognition to outstanding service to the country in various fields.The various State Governments also have the power to appoint Senators,propotionate to the state's size.

Currently, the Dewan Negara has 70 seats and the Dewan Rakyat has 219 seats.Of the 219, 199 seats belong to the government and 20 to the Opposition.

See also:

Last updated: 08-02-2005 17:59:04
Last updated: 08-17-2005 13:42:43