The role of a whip, in a political party, is both powerful and demanding. The Majority whip of any party, at any legislative level, is a highly respected role with some major responsibilities. Have you been hearing the term and feel curious about what a majority whip is? Let us first take a look at the role of a whip in a political party:
What is a whip in a political party?
The term, Whip, does not imply the weapon used to inflict pain as a form of punishment. The term comes from the hunting term “Whipper-in”. A Whipper-in was a person who helped huntsmen keep the hounds in form during the hunt. So, they had to ensure that the dogs followed the hunting party and did not stray.
Similarly, the role of a political party whip is to keep the members of the party in line. This official role is seen in many countries like the UK, Australia, India, Malaysia, Canada, and the US. In different countries, the powers of the whip, vary depending on the legislative structure of the nation. In many of the countries, disobeying the whip could result in getting kicked out of the public office as well as the party.
In the US, the role of the House of Representative whip for the Republican party was created in 1897. The Democrats had their first Senate whip in 1900.
For the Senate, the Democratic party had the first whip in 1913, while the Republicans appointed the first whip in 1915.
While the whip is a highly powerful person in the US legislative body, disobeying them does not mean exile from public office. However, obedience and disobedience can result in, congressional committee promotions and demotions. All parties in the US have whips at state, federal, and local levels.
A whip, also means, voting instructions coming from the party that their legislative members must follow.
What is a majority whip?
So, now that you know who a whip is, let us see what a Majority whip is and what their roles are. In the US, the Majority whip, simply put, is the whip of the Majority Party.
This is the third-highest ranking position, of the majority party in the Senate. Only the party leader and the president pro tempore, outrank the Senate’s majority whip.
It is also the third-highest ranking role in the House of Representatives. Here, the House majority whip is outranked by the party leader and the speaker.
Their role is to assist the floor leader. They act on behalf of the party, to ensure that the members’ votes support the party’s agenda. They also ensure that members of the party are in attendance during votes. They have the responsibility to count the party’s votes. When any member is not in line with the party, it is up to the whip to figure out how to get the legislator to support the party again. In the absence of the floor leader, they also act as the floor leader.
The Majority whip, in a nutshell, is the person who has to ensure that the majority party members continue to vote for and support the party’s agendas.
What is a minority whip?
A minority whip is basically the whip for the minority party in the Senate, the House, and local legislation. In both the Senate and the House, they are only outranked by the minority leader. They have lesser numbers of legislators to whipper-in than the majority whip, as the minority party has fewer legislators than the majority. However, the roles of the minority and the majority whip are pretty much the same for their parties.