Whip (politics)

A whip is an official of a political party whose task is to ensure party discipline in a legislature. This means ensuring that members of the party vote according to the party platform, rather than according to their own individual ideology or the will of their donors or constituents. Whips are the party's "enforcers". They try to ensure that their fellow political party legislators attend voting sessions and vote according to their party's official policy. Members who vote against party policy may "lose the whip", being effectively expelled from the party.

The term is taken from the "whipper-in" during a hunt, who tries to prevent hounds from wandering away from a hunting pack.

Additionally, the term "whip" may mean the voting instructions issued to legislators,[1] or the status of a certain legislator in their party's parliamentary grouping.


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