Confidence and supply
A confidence-and-supply agreement is one whereby a party or independent members of parliament will support the government in motions of confidence and appropriation or budget (supply) votes, by either voting in favour or abstaining. However parties and independent members normally retain the right to otherwise vote in favour of their own policies or on conscience on legislative bills.
A coalition government is a more formal arrangement than a confidence and supply agreement in that members from the junior party (i.e. the party with fewer seats) gain positions in the cabinet, ministerial roles and may be expected to hold the government whip on passing legislation.
In most parliamentary democracies, members of a parliament can propose a motion of confidence or of no confidence in the government or executive. The results of such motions show how much support the government currently has in parliament. Should a motion of confidence fail, or a motion of no confidence pass, the government will usually either resign and allow other politicians to form a new government, or call an election.
Most parliamentary democracies require an annual state budget, an appropriation bill, or occasional financial measures to be passed by parliament in order for a government to pay its way and enact its policies. The failure of a supply bill is in effect the same as the failure of a confidence motion. In early modern England, the withholding of funds was one of parliament's few ways of controlling the monarch.
Examples of confidence-and-supply dealsEdit
The Australian Labor Party Gillard Government formed a minority government in the hung parliament elected at the 2010 federal election resulting from a confidence-and-supply agreement with three independent MPs and one Green MP.
Twenty-two days after the 1985 Ontario provincial election, the Progressive Conservative government resigned, and the Liberal Party formed government with the support of the New Democratic Party. The parties referred to their agreement as "The Accord".
After the 2016 general election, a minority government was formed by Fine Gael and some independents, with confidence-and-supply support from Fianna Fáil in return for a published set of policy commitments from the government. Fianna Fáil abstains on confidence and supply votes, but reserves the right to vote for or against any bill proposed in the house or senate. The deal was to last until the end of 2018, with the possibility of renewal before then to bring it up to the maximum five-year term for a Dáil.
John Key's National Party administration formed a minority government in 2008 thanks to a confidence-and-supply agreement with the ACT, United Future and the Māori Party. A similar arrangement in 2005 had led to Helen Clark's Labour Party forming a coalition government with the Progressive Party, with support on confidence and supply from New Zealand First and United Future. After the 2014 election, National re-entered confidence-and-supply agreements with the centrist United Future, the classical liberal ACT Party, and the indigenous rights-based Māori Party. In 2017, despite National winning more votes than Labour in the election, NZ First chose to enter coalition with Labour to help them change the government, with support on confidence and supply from the left-wing Green Party.
Between 1977 and 1979, Jim Callaghan's Labour Party stayed in power thanks to a confidence-and-supply agreement with the Liberal Party, in a deal which became known as the Lib-Lab Pact. In return, the Labour Party agreed to modest policy concessions for the Liberal party.
After the parliamentary election, 2013, The Conservative Party was said to be looking for coalition talks with the Progress Party, Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats. Solberg said that while staying committed to cutting taxes, reducing the size of government and improving health care, she acknowledged a need to make policy concessions. "We will all have to give and take to get a policy stance that has a firm direction and will last over time. All three (other parties) will be tough negotiators in issues close to their hearts." Four-party talks involved the Conservatives, Progress Party (FrP), Christian Democrats (KrF) and Liberals. FrP demanded Siv Jensen become the new finance minister.
On September 30, the four parties on the right announced that they had reached an agreement for a minority cabinet consisting of the Conservative and Progress parties with confidence and supply from the Liberal and Christian Democratic parties.
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- Otherwise, when it is proposed by the Government itself upon a piece of legislation, "the Chambers are enslaved in the exercise of their principal function just because it was thought that their being master of the fiduciary relationship were to be reaffirmed on each bill": Argondizzo, Domenico; Buonomo, Giampiero (April 2014). "Spigolature intorno all’attuale bicameralismo e proposte per quello futuro". Mondoperaio.net. – via Questia (subscription required)
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