Articles on Parliament

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South Africa’s Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng making a ruling on secret ballots in Parliament at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg. Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

There are dangers behind giving South African MPs the right to a secret ballot

A motion of no confidence - secret or open - in South Africa's president will be destabilising. There's value in ensuring that such a hefty decision is made openly and with courage of conviction.
British Prime Minister Theresa May called on Tuesday for an early election. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Theresa May’s snap election gamble, explained

Wondering how the U.K. government can just decide to dissolve itself and call for a general election? As our expert explains, it's not uncommon.
South Africa’s Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan flanked by his deputy Mcebisi Jonas and Director-General Lungisa Fuzile. GCIS

Explainer: the nitty-gritty of South Africa’s annual budget

A lot more goes into the making of South Africa's final national budget than many people realise. The process involves extensive legalities designed to ensure public oversight.
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki at May Day celebrations in 2003. He failed to challenge a decision by the ANC to recall him in 2008. EPA

Thabo Mbeki undermined South Africa’s constitution by putting his party first

Former South Africa's President, Thab Mbeki, has made a remarkable intervention that condemns parliament's failure to act against President Jacob Zuma. But he is eight years too late.
Australia’s political representatives have the ability to legislate on a wide range of matters. Marriage is one of them. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Explainer: what is parliament’s role in the marriage equality debate?

As the government hints the marriage equality plebiscite may be delayed until 2017, calls intensify for the parliament to legislate on the issue instead. So what is parliament's role here?
Five crossbench members of the House of Representatives will take their seats in the 45th parliament, including Bob Katter, Andrew Wilkie, and the Nick Xenophon Team’s Rebekha Sharkie. Lucas Coch/AAP

Explainer: who are the independents and minor parties in the lower house?

After a slim victory, how the Coalition works with the crossbench MPs will prove important to the success and stability of the Turnbull government.
Parliamentary budget offices are considered international best practice – they are intended to bring more honesty to the budget process. Shutterstock

Who watches the watchmen? Lessons from Uganda’s budget office

The scandal at Uganda's Parliamentary Budget Office shows that figuring out the proper roles, functions, internal controls, and capacities is more pressing than ever.

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