Opposition (parliamentary)
Overview
 
Parliamentary opposition is a form of political opposition
Opposition (politics)
In politics, the opposition comprises one or more political parties or other organized groups that are opposed to the government , party or group in political control of a city, region, state or country...

 to a designated government, particularly in a Westminster
Westminster System
The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system of government modelled after the politics of the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom....

-based parliamentary system. Note that this article uses the term government
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

as it is used in Parliamentary systems, i.e. meaning the administration or the cabinet rather than the state. The title of "Official Opposition" usually goes to the largest of the parties sitting in opposition with its leader being given the title "Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Opposition
The Leader of the Opposition is a title traditionally held by the leader of the largest party not in government in a Westminster System of parliamentary government...

".

In First Past the Post assemblies, where the tendency
Duverger's law
In political science, Duverger's law is a principle which asserts that a plurality rule election system tends to favor a two-party system. This is one of two hypotheses proposed by Duverger, the second stating that “the double ballot majority system and proportional representation tend to...

 to gravitate into two major parties
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 or party groupings operates strongly, government and opposition roles can go to the two main groupings serially in alternation.
Encyclopedia
Parliamentary opposition is a form of political opposition
Opposition (politics)
In politics, the opposition comprises one or more political parties or other organized groups that are opposed to the government , party or group in political control of a city, region, state or country...

 to a designated government, particularly in a Westminster
Westminster System
The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system of government modelled after the politics of the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom....

-based parliamentary system. Note that this article uses the term government
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

as it is used in Parliamentary systems, i.e. meaning the administration or the cabinet rather than the state. The title of "Official Opposition" usually goes to the largest of the parties sitting in opposition with its leader being given the title "Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Opposition
The Leader of the Opposition is a title traditionally held by the leader of the largest party not in government in a Westminster System of parliamentary government...

".

In First Past the Post assemblies, where the tendency
Duverger's law
In political science, Duverger's law is a principle which asserts that a plurality rule election system tends to favor a two-party system. This is one of two hypotheses proposed by Duverger, the second stating that “the double ballot majority system and proportional representation tend to...

 to gravitate into two major parties
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 or party groupings operates strongly, government and opposition roles can go to the two main groupings serially in alternation. In this context, the opposition forms a recognised, even semi-official "government-in-waiting". Its "opposing" can degenerate into a charade pending the eventual exchange of roles and occupation, or reoccupation, of the Treasury benches.

The more proportional a representative system, the greater the likelihood of multiple political parties appearing in the parliamentary debating chamber. Such systems can foster multiple "opposition" parties which may have little in common and minimal desire to form a united bloc opposed to the government of the day.

Some well-organised democracies, dominated long-term by a single faction, reduce their parliamentary opposition to tokenism
Tokenism
In the arts, employment, and politics, tokenism is a policy or practice of limited inclusion or artistic and/or political representation of members of a traditionally marginalized group, usually creating a false appearance of inclusive practices rather than discrimination, intentional or not...

. Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 exemplifies a case of a numerically weak opposition; South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 under the apartheid regime maintained a long-term imbalance in the parliament. In some cases tame "opposition" parties are created by the governing groups in order to create an impression of democratic debate.

See also

  • Loyal opposition
    Loyal opposition
    In parliamentary systems of government, the term loyal opposition is applied to the opposition parties in the legislature to indicate that the non-governing parties may oppose the actions of the sitting cabinet typically comprising parliamentarians from the party with the most seats in the elected...

  • Official Opposition (Canada)
    Official Opposition (Canada)
    In Canada, Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition , commonly known as the Official Opposition, is usually the largest parliamentary opposition party in the House of Commons or a provincial legislative assembly that is not in government, either on its own or as part of a governing coalition...

  • Official Opposition (India)
    Official Opposition (India)
    Official Opposition is a term used in India to designate the political party which has secured the largest number of seats in the Lower House of parliament but is not a part of the ruling party or coalition....

  • Official Opposition (Ireland)
  • Official Opposition (New Zealand)
    Official Opposition (New Zealand)
    The Official Opposition in New Zealand is usually the largest political party or coalition which is not a member of the ruling government. This means that the political party, while still involved with the political process in New Zealand, they do not have ministers or their supporters in a...

  • Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (United Kingdom)
  • Opposition (Australia)
    Opposition (Australia)
    Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition in Australia fulfils the same function as the official opposition in other Commonwealth of Nations monarchies. It is seen as the alternative government and the existing administration's main opponent at a general election...

  • Opposition (Malaysia)
    Opposition (Malaysia)
    The Opposition in Malaysia is a term used to describe political parties represented in the Parliament of Malaysia that are not in government either on their own or as part of a governing coalition. Note that this article uses the term government as it is used in parliamentary systems, i.e...

  • Opposition (Croatia)
    Opposition (Croatia)
    The Opposition in Croatia is a term used to describe political parties represented in Parliament which are not a part of the government supported by the parliamentary majority....

  • Opposition Party (United States)
    Opposition Party (United States)
    The Opposition Party in the United States is a label with two different applications in Congressional history, as a majority party in Congress 1854-58, and as a Third Party in the South 1858-1860....

  • Shadow cabinet
    Shadow Cabinet
    The Shadow Cabinet is a senior group of opposition spokespeople in the Westminster system of government who together under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition form an alternative cabinet to the government's, whose members shadow or mark each individual member of the government...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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