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appropriations process
the process by which governments decide how they will spend money
describes a legislature with two chambers, usually an upper chamber and a lower chamber
cloture motion
a vote to end a filibuster and force a vote; typically requires a supermajority to enact
two or more different parties that decide to cooperate in order to form a majority in a legislative chamber
the people whom a legislator represents
a model of representation in which a legislator acts based on the preferences of their constituents
descriptive representation
a type of representation in which the representative shares demographic characteristics with the people they represent
Duverger’s law
a principle that states that electoral systems with plurality systems of voting and single-member districts will have two main political parties
executive dominance
a phenomenon in which leaders expand their powers beyond their prior limits and are able to justify those expanded powers so that they are seen by many as legitimate and acceptable
a set of parliamentary rules designed to extend debate to delay or stop legislation from receiving a vote
sessions in which members of a legislature talk to and question a panel of people, likely made up of experts and bureaucrats, about a particular issue or piece of legislation
legislative committees
groups of lawmakers who work together on a particular policy area
legislative deference
a phenomenon in which legislatures cede power to another branch of government, either by refusing to take action or by approving anything the other branch wants
legislative delegation
a system of cooperation between members of the same political party for when a legislator must vote on an issue outside their areas of expertise; rather than doing additional research, the legislator can rely on the opinions of members on the relevant policy committee
a deliberative body that is granted the authority to create laws that govern a society
majority party
the party that holds more than 50 percent of seats in a chamber
majority rule
the idea that the support of more than 50 percent of a voting body is required to come to any decision
minority party
any party that does not hold more than 50 percent of seats in a chamber
mixed systems
electoral systems that combine features of proportional representation and plurality election systems
multimember districts
legislative districts that are represented by multiple legislators
nonprofessional legislatures
legislatures that meet for limited periods of time and provide members only limited pay, reflecting the part-time nature of the job
the process of regularly monitoring and reviewing the actions of agencies or other political actors
parliamentary procedures
the rules that are followed in a political system to structure and guide debate
parliamentary system
a political system in which the executive, often a prime minister, is also a part of the legislature
partisan representation
a model of representation in which legislators are expected to vote with their political party
an electoral system in which the candidate who receives the most votes wins the election
the division of people or groups between two extremes on an issue or position
a model of representation in which a legislator seeks a balance between delegate and trustee approaches
presidential system
a political system in which the executive, often a president, is separate from the legislature
professional legislatures
legislatures that meet year-round, have professional staff, and pay legislators a professional wage so that legislating is their primary job
proportional representation
an electoral system in which the relative support that political parties receive from the population is reflected in the makeup of the legislature
public laws
laws governing the relationship between a government and individuals that apply to all people
semi-presidential systems
political systems that have some characteristics of presidential systems and some characteristics of parliamentary systems
single-member district
a legislative district that is represented by only one legislator
the idea that individual legislators will focus on one or two policy areas to develop expertise on those issues, rather than learning about all issues
a legislator who introduces a piece of legislation and who is often instrumental in its passage
substantive representation
a type of representation in which a representative shares policy and ideological beliefs with the people they represent
a given proportion of a voting body greater than 50 percent that is required to agree in order to come to a decision; typically reserved for especially important or consequential decisions
a model of representation in which a legislator relies on their own judgment when it differs from that of their constituents
describes a legislature with a single chamber
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