Glossary of terms

This glossary provides definitions of the key terms used on this website and throughout the Indicators for Democratic Parliaments.

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Term Definition

The action taken by MPs to make a decision on pending legislation, amendments and other items requiring their discretion, in plenary or a committee setting. Voting regulations are codified in a chamber’s rules of procedure. Typically, members must be present to cast a vote, which is recorded on paper or through an electronic system. In some jurisdictions, however, voting may take place virtually (such rules were commonly enacted by parliaments during the COVID-19 pandemic). Members can also vote by voice or “en-bloc” through unanimous consent.