Members of parliament (also parliamentarians ; representatives ; deputies or representatives of the people ) are those who are entitled to vote in an assembly, e.g. B. Parliament or National Assembly , elected persons.
MPs are to be separated from electors . While MPs represent voters for a certain period of time, electors only have one vote in a single specific election. If MPs are subject to an imperative mandate , one speaks of councils . Members of local self-government bodies speak as a member of parliament in colloquial terms . Members of parliament can be freely elected , but members of parliament can also emerge from sham elections , be appointed or receive a mandate by virtue of office or birth .
In most states, MPs enjoy legal immunity ; In other words, they are not subject to criminal prosecution unless Parliament has initiated proceedings to lift their immunity. Due to the principle of indemnity , they cannot, in principle, be held responsible outside of parliament for statements made in parliament. They usually receive a parliamentary allowance .
The swearing-in of MPs, the MPs' oath was common in the past, but is now a marginal phenomenon in democracies.
Situation in individual countries
In Germany , the members of the German Bundestag ( members of the Bundestag ) are elected every four years in a general, direct, free, equal and secret ballot and, as representatives of the entire German people, are not bound by orders or instructions and are only subject to their conscience ( Free Mandate ). However, this principle is opposed to the faction discipline that can be observed in practice .
The elected members of the state parliament of a federal state in Germany are referred to as members of the state parliament or, in Berlin, also as members, because the Berlin state parliament is the house of representatives . The abbreviations for the corresponding members of the state parliaments are MdL (member of the state parliament), MdA (member of the Berlin House of Representatives ), MdBB (member of the Bremen citizenship ) and MdHB (member of the Hamburg citizenship ).
In Austria , a member of parliament is also referred to as a mandate ( lat. "Commissioner"). He is elected and sent to one of the public corporations . There are members of the National Council and the state parliaments . Since the country representatives are not directly elected in the Federal Council , they are referred to as members of the Federal Council and not as MPs.
The rights and obligations are regulated in federal laws and the corresponding state laws. Examples are the immunity , which offers a member of parliament protection against prosecution, or the Remuneration Act, which regulates remuneration and expense allowances.
A wild MP is someone who was on the candidate list of a party at the time of his election, but later left the party. But since he was elected by the people, he retains his mandate . He is not subject to any group discipline and, as usual, according to Art. 38 I S. 2, decide according to his conscience. If the majority is tight, he can " tip the scales ".
The elected MEPs of the European Parliament are known as Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) or, unofficially, MEPs . They have been directly elected in European elections every five years since 1979 ; previously the members of the EU Parliament were determined by the parliaments of the member states.
The European Parliament currently has 736 members.
In the USA in particular the elected members of the House of Representatives - i. e. the second chamber of Congress , so the US Parliament - as "deputy" or more precisely ( "Congressman" . English Congressman / -woman ), more rarely, as "representatives" ( Representatives ), respectively.
- Werner J. Patzelt : MPs and their occupation. Interviews, surveys, analyzes. With a foreword by Rita Süssmuth , Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-05-002413-5 .
- Werner J. Patzelt: MPs and their occupation. Of true prejudices and false prejudices (= essentials ). Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2014, ISBN 978-3-658-05449-6 .