If you are looking for the current make-up of the house, see House of Commons
|Number of MPs||50|
An MP (Member of Parliament) is a representative of the voters to a parliament. MPs are expected to vote on all legislation items that go to the Division Lobby and attend all bill discussions. Also, unlike other MHoC members, they have the power to post in the Division Lobby, submit bills and motions under their name, and propose and second amendments.
There is no minimum time members have to be in the MHoC for before becoming MPs but it is uncommon for people to become MPs straight away. If an MP is replaced, the relevant party has to notify the Speaker in their relevant Q&A thread. Also, they are expected to list all their current MPs in these threads.
Following general elections, each party will be assigned a number of seats based on how many votes they received in the election. They will then be expected to either elect or assign an MP for each seat and notify the Speaker of their MPs within 7 days who will admit them to the MP user group. The Speaker shall then allocate each MP a seat number. Party leaders have until the first Division Lobby results are announced at the start of a new term to change the seat number allocated to their MPs. Seats belong to the party, so if an MP resigns mid-term (or the party removes them if their rules allow for that) the party select someone else to replace them.
Independent MPs win their seat by standing as independent candidates in general elections. They are allowed to join a political party and take their MP seat with them if they wish. However, this will not affect the party in power. If they later decide to leave the party that term, they can take their seat with them. However, a normal MP who leaves a party cannot take their seat with them; seats always remain within the party they were assigned, unless they are take away by the Speaker (see below).
There is no limit to how long a member can serve as an MP, with some even serving as one for several years. The longest-serving MPs in the House can receive the role of Father of the House.
If an MP will be unable to carry out their duties for a period of time or suddenly vanishes, their party can appoint a proxy MP (stand-in MP) to temporarily serve in their absence. Proxies can be from the same party as the absent MP or from a different political party. The length by which a proxy can serve can be very variable, varying from a few hours to a few months. If a party wishes to deploy a proxy, they need to notify the Speaker so that the current MP can be removed from the user group and the proxy put into place. MPs whose seats are being proxied have the right to instruct their proxies how to vote on particular items and proxies should obey these demands.
MP Activity and Voting Reviews
Ideally, MPs should vote on all legislation that enters the Division Lobby. If an MP does not vote on 2 consecutive pieces of legislation or they have a low turnout, the Speaker will contact their party leader to discuss their position as an MP. If a particular seat has a voting attendance of less than 70%, they will be highlighted as under consideration for removal in voting reviews.
Voting reviews take place four weeks after the State Opening of Parliament and take place every four weeks thereafter. Voting reviews are published in the Divison Lobby and they detail how every MP voted on each piece of legislation, their turnout and whether they proxied or not. As has been mentioned, voting reviews also highlight seats that have a turnout of less than 70%. If this percentage is not raised to 70% or above by the next voting reviews, the seat in question shall be stripped from the party and a by-election will be triggered. Also, if a seat has a turnout of less than 70% at a voting review and it has already been highlighted that term in any voting review, it too will be stripped from the party and a by-election will be triggered. It is worth nothing though, that as well as losing seats at by-elections, parties can also gain them. Seats can also be taken away from MPs if their party is closed down by the Speaker, and this too would trigger a by-election. In exceptional circumstances, the Speaker may choose not to conduct a voting review or to not carry out a by-election, and should inform the House of such intention.
MPs can also lose their status if a successful motion of no confidence, proposed and seconded by party members, is passed against them. These will take place within the respective party subforum and the Speaker will offer their assistance with the process if necessary. However, unlike voting reviews, parties do not lose the seat if an MP is removed in this way. Instead, they are expected to reallocate the seat, whether that be through an election or an appointment, to another member.
Number of MPs
At present, there are no more than 50 MPs in the House at any point, except when the d'Hondt method of calculations requires one more, in which case 51 may be permitted. However, there have been several suggestions in the past to expand the number of MPs in the MHoC.
During the 9th Parliamentary Term, 01kij114 put forward an amendment which proposed to increase the maximum number of MPs from 50 to 60. The main conern that members had was that parties would struggle to fill their seats. Some members even wanted to decrease the number of seats but most disagreed with this particular idea as there were still lots of people who wanted to become MPs. Following advice from several members, for a second reading, 01kj114 raised the number of MPs to 65 on his amendment. However, when sent to vote, the amendment failed by 1 vote. Discussions on the topic started again in the 10th Parliamentary Term but another amendment was not created.
In the 22nd Parliamentary Term, PetrosAC put forward an amendment of his own to increase the number of seats to 60. However, it was not well received as members suggested it would just lead to an increase in 'voting robots', and it failed when voted on, with 12 in favour and 26 against.
All MPs receive daily updates from the Speaker by private message. These updates usually notify them of any new items in the House, which items have entered cessation, which items have been withdrawn, and sometimes, the Speaker may convey their stance on a particular matter. There is no set layout for these updates. Some Speakers have opted to make them purely focused on administration whereas others have decided to include a brief message as well. Speakers are expected to post every party update that they send in the Speaker's Chamber. A few MPs have admitted in the past that they would prefer not to receive MHoC updates but they are sent them regardless.