Q:

What is a political whip?

A:

Both the U.S. Senate and House elect majority and minority whips who are responsible for taking party member attendance and counting votes. Also known as assistant party leaders, whips occasionally stand in for party leaders when they are absent. At times whips round up party members for votes.

The term "whip" is derived from the fox-hunting phrase "whipper-in," which described the hunting team member in charge of preventing the dogs from wandering away during a fox chase. The first Senate whips were appointed in the early 1900s along with party leaders.

On a regular basis, whips assist floor leaders and ensure party members are in attendance during particular votes. They do this by asking their staffers to call the staffers of other party members and query as to how they plan to vote. Their staffers then enter this information into a spreadsheet.

When votes appear to be close, the whip visits party members who are on the fence and attempt to resolve their concerns or offer to help with passage of a bill the given party member is in favor of in return for the desired vote.

The day prior to the vote, the whip designates a team to poll party members one more time regarding their intended voting decisions.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a political activist?

    A:

    A political activist is someone who is involved in the political process for the sake of promoting, impeding or raising awareness of a certain issue or set of issues. Political activism typically involves engagement beyond just voting, whether it be through protest, demonstration or lecture.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who are the political elite?

    A:

    The political elite are the most informed, educated and politically active people who have a strong influence on public officials. Throughout the United States, about 7 to 9 percent of adults fall under the category of the political elite.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are political factors?

    A:

    A political factor is an activity having to do with government policy and its administration that has the potential to change or influence a business. New legislation is one example of a political factor because it can impact the company's operations by either requiring or prohibiting it to act in a particular way.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the fundamental goals of political parties?

    A:

    In the American political system, political parties serve the purpose of providing a platform for like-minded individuals to rally around a particular ideology. These parties then influence legislation and governing, receiving support from constituents favoring particular ideologies. While members of both major American political parties maintain more similarities than differences, many fundamental goals of these parties are quite different than their counterpart.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore