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A whip is an official of a
political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote specific political ideology ...
whose task is to ensure
party discipline Party discipline is the ability of parliamentary members of a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have sim ...
in a
legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, ...
. This means ensuring that members of the party vote according to the
party platform A political party platform or program is a formal set of principle goals which are supported by a political party or individual candidate, in order to appeal to the general public, for the ultimate purpose of garnering the general public's support ...
, rather than according to their own individual ideology or the will of their donors or constituents. Whips are the party's "enforcers". They try to ensure that their fellow political party legislators attend voting sessions and vote according to their party's official policy. Members who vote against party policy may "lose the whip", being effectively expelled from the party. The term is taken from the " whipper-in" during a hunt, who tries to prevent hounds from wandering away from a hunting pack. Additionally, the term "whip" may mean the voting instructions issued to legislators, or the status of a certain legislator in their party's parliamentary grouping.


Etymology

The expression ''whip'' in its parliamentary context, derived from its origins in hunting terminology. The ''
Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal historical dictionary A historical dictionary or dictionary on historical principles is a dictionary which deals not only with the latterday meanings of words but also the historica ...
'' defines the term ''whipper-in'' as, "a huntsman's assistant who keeps the hounds from straying by driving them back with the whip into the main body of the pack". According to that dictionary, the first recorded use of the term ''whipper-in'' in the parliamentary sense occurs in 1772. However, P.D.G. Thomas in ''House of Commons in the Eighteenth Century'' cites two examples of the use of the term that pre-date 1772.House of Commons briefing note: The Whip's Office Doc ref. SN/PC/02829. Last updated 10 October 2008


In countries using the Westminster system


Australia

In the
Parliament of Australia The Parliament of Australia (officially the Federal Parliament, also called the Commonwealth Parliament) is the legislative branch A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind ...

Parliament of Australia
, as well as in the parliaments of the six states and two self-governing territories, major political parties have whips to ensure party discipline and carry out a variety of other functions on behalf of the party leadership. The most important function of the whip's office is to ensure that all members and senators are present to take part in votes in the chamber (maintaining
quorum A quorum is the minimum number of members of a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the body of ethics, Procedural law, ...
and preventing
censure motion A censure is an expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism. In parliamentary procedure, it is a Debate (parliamentary procedure), debatable main motion that could be adopted by a majority vote. Among the forms that it can take are a stern ...
s). Unlike in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, Australian whips do not hold official office, but they are recognised for parliamentary purposes. In practice, Australian whips play a lesser role than their counterparts in the United Kingdom, as
party discipline Party discipline is the ability of parliamentary members of a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have sim ...
in Australia tends to be tighter. Their roles in the chamber include taking divisions, and maintaining a " pairs book" which controls the ability of members and senators to leave the parliament building during sittings, as well as the entitlement to be absent during divisions.
Liberal Party The Liberal Party is any of many political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, ...
whips are appointed by the leader of the party, while
Australian Labor Party The Australian Labor Party (ALP), also simply known as Labor and historically spelt Labour, is the major , one of two in , along with the . It has been in in the since the . The ALP is a federal party, with in each . They are currently i ...
whips are elected by the
Caucus A caucus is a meeting of supporters or members of a specific political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold si ...
. For Labor and the Liberals, the chief whip is assisted by two deputy whips.


Canada

In
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
the Party Whip is the member of a political party in the
Canadian House of Commons The House of Commons of Canada (french: Chambre des communes du Canada, link=no) is the lower chamber of the bicameral Parliament of Canada, which also comprises the Monarchy of Canada, sovereign (represented by the Governor General of Canada, g ...
, the
Canadian Senate The Senate of Canada (french: region=CA, Sénat du Canada) is the upper house of the Parliament of Canada. The Senate is modelled after the British House of Lords and consists of 105 members appointed by the Governor General of Canada, governor ...

Canadian Senate
or a provincial legislature charged with ensuring party discipline among members of the
caucus A caucus is a meeting of supporters or members of a specific political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold si ...
. In the House of Commons, the whip's office prepares and distributes vote sheets identifying the party position on each bill or motion. The whip is also responsible for assigning offices and scheduling
speaker Speaker may refer to: Roles * Speaker (politics), the presiding officer in a legislative assembly * Public speaker, one who gives a speech or lecture * A person producing speech, sometimes also called a speaker-hearer Electronics * Loudspeaker, a ...
s from his or her party for various bills, motions and other proceedings in the House.


India

In
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...
, the concept of the whip was inherited from colonial British rule. Every major political party appoints a whip who is responsible for the party's discipline and behaviours on the floor of the
house A house is a single-unit residential building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and functio ...
. Usually, they direct the party members to stick to the party's stand on certain issues and directs them to vote as per the direction of senior party members. However, there are some cases such as Indian Presidential elections where whips cannot direct a
Member of Parliament A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people who live in their constituency An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) ...
(MP) or
Member of Legislative Assembly Member may refer to: * Military juryA United States military "jury" (or "Members", in military parlance) serves a function similar to an American civilian jury, but with several notable differences. Only a Courts-martial in the United States, Gene ...
(MLA) on whom to vote. Should a whip's order be violated by a member of the same party, then the whip can recommend immediate dismissal of that member from the house due to indiscipline and the Speaker of the respective house can decide on the matter (without time limit). Should the whip choose not follow up on the violation his/her official whip order by own party member due to any reason, then any member of house can do so to the Speaker.


Ireland

Whips exist for all parliamentary parties in
Dáil Éireann Dáil Éireann ( , ; ) is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorporated community i ...
and
Seanad Éireann Seanad Éireann ( , ; "Senate of Ireland") is the upper house of the Oireachtas (the Irish legislature), which also comprises the President of Ireland and Dáil Éireann (the lower house). It is commonly called the Seanad or Senate and its me ...

Seanad Éireann
. The
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...
chief whip is normally a
Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach The Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach is a junior ministerial post in the Department of the Taoiseach of the Government of Ireland , image = , date = , state = Republic of Ireland, Irel ...
, and attends
cabinet meeting A cabinet is a body of high-ranking State (polity), state officials, typically consisting of the Executive (government), executive branch's top leaders. Members of a cabinet are usually called cabinet Minister (government), ministers or secret ...
s. The whips of each house meet weekly to set the agenda for the next week's business. The
Technical Group In politics, a technical group or mixed group is a heterogenous parliamentary group A parliamentary group, parliamentary party, or parliamentary caucus is a group consisting of members of the same political party or electoral fusion of parties in ...
in the Dáil and the analogous Independent groups in the Seanad nominate whips to attend these meetings even though there is no party line for their whips to enforce. Whips also coordinate
pairing In mathematics, a pairing is an ''R''-Bilinear map#Modules, bilinear map from the Cartesian product of two ''R''-Module (mathematics), modules, where the underlying Ring (mathematics), ring ''R'' is Commutative ring, commutative. Definition Let ''R ...
. The timing of most votes are difficult to predict and TDs are expected to stay within earshot of the division bell at all times. All TDs are expected to vote with their party and to receive permission if they intend to be absent for a vote.
Free votes A conscience vote or free vote is a type of vote in a legislative body A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. Legislatures form important ...
are not a common feature of the Irish parliamentary tradition but they do happen on occasion, and there are calls for them to happen more often. For instance,
Fianna Fáil Fianna Fáil (, ; meaning 'Soldiers of Destiny' or 'Warriors of Fál'), officially Fianna Fáil – The Republican Party ( ga, audio=ga-Fianna Fáil.ogg, Fianna Fáil – An Páirtí Poblachtánach), is a conservative Conser ...
usually allowed a free vote on abortion bills, as in the Protection of Human Life In Pregnancy Act. From 1998, whips and assistant whips may be entitled to an allowance on top of their base legislator's salary. In 2011, these allowances varied proportional to the size of the group, with
Fianna Fáil Fianna Fáil (, ; meaning 'Soldiers of Destiny' or 'Warriors of Fál'), officially Fianna Fáil – The Republican Party ( ga, audio=ga-Fianna Fáil.ogg, Fianna Fáil – An Páirtí Poblachtánach), is a conservative Conser ...
's Dáil whip's allowance the highest at €19,000.


Malaysia

Party whips in Malaysia serve a similar role as in other
Westminster system The Westminster system or Westminster model is a type of parliamentary A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ...
-based parliamentary democracies. However, party discipline tends to be tighter in Malaysia and therefore the role of the whip is generally less important, though its importance is heightened when the government majority is less in the lower house.


New Zealand

In New Zealand, the concept of the whip was inherited from British rule. All political parties that have four or more members in Parliament have at least one party whip, although
Green Party A Green party is a formally organized political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have similar ideas about poli ...
whips are called ''musterers''. Parties with 25 to 44 members are allowed two whips (one senior and one junior), and parties with 45 or more members are entitled to three whips (one senior and two junior). Whips act in an administrative role, making sure members of their party are in the debating chamber when required and organising members of their party to speak during debates. Since the introduction of
proportional representation#REDIRECT Proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical, and to ideolog ...
in 1996, divisions that require all members in the chamber to vote by taking sides (termed a ''personal vote'') are rarely used, except for
conscience vote A conscience vote or free vote is a type of vote in a legislative body where legislators are allowed to vote according to their own personal conscience rather than according to an official line set down by their political party A political p ...
s. Instead, one of the party's whips votes on behalf of all the members of their party, by declaring how many members are in favour and/or how many members are opposed. They also cast proxy votes for single-member parties whose member is not in the chamber at the time of the vote, and also cast proxy votes during personal votes for absent members of their parties and for absent members of associated single-member parties.


United Kingdom

In British politics, the
chief whip The Chief Whip is a political leader whose task is to ensure the Whip (politics), whipping system that tries to ensure that members of the Political party, party attend and vote as the party leadership desires. United Kingdom In Politics of ...
of the governing party in the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpor ...

House of Commons
is customarily appointed as
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury is a senior ministerial position in the British Government The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United Kingdo ...
so that the incumbent, who represents the whips in general, has a seat and a voice in the
Cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filing ...
. By virtue of holding the office of Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury, the government chief whip has an official residence at 12 Downing Street, although the chief whip's office is currently located at 9 Downing Street. Government whips report to the prime minister on any possible backbench revolts and the general opinion of MPs within the party, and upon the exercise of the
patronage Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows on another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings, popes, and the wealthy have provided to artists su ...

patronage
, which is used to motivate and reward loyalty. In the sense of 'voting instructions', there are three categories of whip in British politics that are issued on particular business. An expressed instruction on how to vote could constitute a breach of
parliamentary privilege Parliamentary privilege is a legal immunity enjoyed by members of certain legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, pat ...
, so the party's wishes are indicated unequivocally but indirectly. These whips are issued to MPs in the form of a letter outlining the parliamentary schedule, with a sentence such as "Your attendance is absolutely essential" next to each debate in which there will be a vote, underlined one, two or three times according to the severity of the whip: *A ''single-line whip'' is a guide to what the party's policy would indicate, and notification of when the vote is expected to take place; this is non-binding for attendance or voting. *A ''two-line whip'', sometimes known as a ''double-line whip'', is an instruction to attend and vote; partially binding for voting according to the party's position, attendance required unless prior permission given by the whip. *A ''three-line whip'' is a strict instruction to attend and vote according to the party's position, breach of which would normally have serious consequences. Permission to not attend may be given by the whip, but a serious reason is needed. Breach of a three-line whip can lead to expulsion from the parliamentary political group in extreme circumstances, and even to expulsion from the party. Consequently, three-line whips are generally only issued on key issues, such as votes of confidence and
supply Supply may refer to: *The amount of a resource Resource refers to all the materials available in our environment which help us to satisfy our needs and wants. Resources can broadly be classified upon their availability — they are classified in ...
. The nature of three-line whips and the potential punishments for revolt vary among parties and legislatures.


In other countries


Spain

In both houses of the
Cortes Generales The Cortes Generales (; en, Spanish Parliament, lit=General Courts) are the bicameral Bicameralism is the practice of having a legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative ...
, the Spanish legislature, political parties appoint a member to the role of ' (deputy
spokesperson A spokesperson, spokesman, or spokeswoman, is someone engaged or elected to speak on behalf of others. Duties and function In the present media-sensitive world, many organizations are increasingly likely to employ professionals who have receiv ...
), which is the third authority of the
parliamentary group A parliamentary group, parliamentary party, or parliamentary caucus is a group consisting of members of the same political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's election ...
after the leader and the spokesperson. The deputy spokesperson enforces
party discipline Party discipline is the ability of parliamentary members of a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have sim ...
in every vote, being thus the equivalent of a party whip in English-speaking countries.


South Africa

Although South Africa uses a
proportional representation#REDIRECT Proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical, and to ideolog ...

proportional representation
system, the concept of a political party whip, which was inherited from colonial British rule, has been maintained. In 2017,
African National Congress The African National Congress (ANC) is a social-democratic political party in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the Southern Africa, southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of ...
secretary general
Gwede Mantashe Samson Gwede Mantashe, popularly known as Gwede Mantashe (born 21 June 1955) is a communist, South African politician, and trade unionist, who as of 18 December 2017, serves as the National Chairperson of the African National Congress The A ...
said "Voting according to conscience doesn't work in a political party system. We all get into the list of things and go to Parliament as parliamentarians of the ANC ..There will be no voting against the ANC."


Taiwan

Party whips exist in most of the major parties of the
Legislative Yuan The Legislative Yuan is the unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliament'' or ''unicam ...
. For example, in the
Democratic Progressive Party The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is a Taiwanese nationalist and center-left Centre-left politics (British English) or center-left politics (American English), also referred to as moderate-left politics, are political views that l ...
the party whip is the Caucus leader. In the
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT), also referred to as the Guomindang (GMD) or the Chinese Nationalist Party, is a political party in the Taiwan, Republic of China, initially Republic of China (1912–1949), on the Mainland China, Chinese mainland and ...
the party whip is the executive director of the Policy Committee or the caucus leader. When voting for critical bills, whips may issue a top-mobilization order asking members to attend the assembly. Party members failing to obey the order will be suspended or expelled from the party.


United States

In the United States there are legislatures at the local (city councils, town councils, county boards, etc.), state, and federal levels. The federal legislature (
Congress Congresses are formal meetings of the representatives of different countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, ...

Congress
), the legislatures in all states except for
Nebraska Nebraska () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Nebraska
, and many county and city legislative bodies are divided along party lines and have whips, as well as majority and minority leaders. The whip is also the assistant majority or assistant minority leader. Both houses of Congress, the
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is ...
and
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
, have majority and minority whips. They in turn have subordinate "regional" whips. While members of Congress often vote along party lines, the influence of the whip is weaker than in the UK system. American politicians generally have considerably more freedom to diverge from the party line and vote according to their own or their constituency's conscience. One reason is that a considerable amount of money is raised by individual candidates. Furthermore, neither members of Congress, nor any other person, can be expelled from a political party, which are formed simply by open registration. In addition, because
preselection Preselection is the process by which a candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective recipient of an award or honor, or a person seeking or being considered for some kind of position; for example: * to be elected to an office — in th ...
of candidates for office is generally done through a
primary election Primary elections, often abbreviated to primaries, are a process by which voters can indicate their preference for their party's candidate, or a candidate in general, in an upcoming general election A general election is a political voting el ...
that is open to a wide number of voters, candidates who support their constituents' political positions, rather than those of their party leaders, cannot easily be rejected by their party due to a democratic mandate. Because members of Congress cannot serve simultaneously in
Executive Branch The executive (short for executive branch or executive power) is the part of government that enforces law, and has Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (polity), state. In political systems based on the principle ...
positions, a whip in the United States cannot bargain for votes by using potential promotion or demotion in a sitting administration as an inducement. There is, however, a highly structured committee system in both houses of Congress, and a whip may be able to offer promotion or threaten demotion within that system instead. In the House of Representatives, the influence of a single member individually is relatively small and therefore depends a great deal on the representative's seniority (i.e., in most cases, on the length of time they have held office). In the Senate, the majority whip is the third-highest ranking individual in the majority party (the party with the most seats). The majority whip is outranked by the majority leader and, unofficially, the
president pro tempore A president pro tempore or speaker pro tempore is a constitutionally A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule o ...
. As the office of president pro tempore is largely honorific and usually given to the longest-serving senator of the majority, the majority whip is in reality the second-ranking senator in the majority conference. Similarly, in the House, the majority whip is outranked by both the
majority leader In U.S. politics (as well as in some other countries utilizing the presidential system A presidential system, or single executive system, is a form of government in which a head of government (President (government title), president) lead ...
and the
speaker Speaker may refer to: Roles * Speaker (politics), the presiding officer in a legislative assembly * Public speaker, one who gives a speech or lecture * A person producing speech, sometimes also called a speaker-hearer Electronics * Loudspeaker, a ...
. Unlike the Senate's presiding officer, the Speaker is the leader of his or her party's caucus in the House. In both the House and the Senate, the minority whip is the second highest-ranking individual in the minority party (the party with the lesser number of legislators in a legislative body), outranked only by the
minority leader In politics of the United States, U.S. politics (as well as in some other countries utilizing the presidential system), the minority leader is the floor leader of the second largest caucus in a legislature, legislative body. Given the two-p ...
. The whip position was created in the House of Representatives in 1897 by Republican Speaker Thomas Reed, who appointed James A. Tawney as the first whip. The first Democratic whip, Oscar Wilder Underwood, was appointed around 1900. In the Senate, the position was created in 1913 by John W. Kern, chair of the Democratic caucus, when he appointed J. Hamilton Lewis as the first whip, while Republicans later chose James Wadsworth as the party's first in 1915.


In popular culture

British author and politician
Michael Dobbs Michael John Dobbs, Baron Dobbs (born 14 November 1948) is a British Conservative Party (UK), Conservative politician and author, best known for his ''House of Cards (novel), House of Cards'' trilogy. Early life and education Michael Dobbs was ...
wrote a trilogy of books, centered around a fictional party whip named
Francis Urquhart Francis Ewan Urquhart is a fictional character created by British politician and author Michael Dobbs Michael John Dobbs, Baron Dobbs (born 14 November 1948) is a British Conservative Party (UK), Conservative politician and author, best kno ...
, which was dramatised and broadcast by the
BBC The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a public service broadcaster, headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London. It is the world's oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcasting, broadcaster in the world by ...

BBC
between 1990 and 1995. The first book in the trilogy, titled ''House of Cards'', was adapted into a
television series A television show – or simply TV show – is any content produced for viewing on a television set A television set or television receiver, more commonly called the television, TV, TV set, tube, telly, or tele, is a device that combines a ...
and the title has also been used for subsequent series based on other countries' political systems. In ''House of Cards'', Francis Urquhart is the
Chief Whip The Chief Whip is a political leader whose task is to ensure the Whip (politics), whipping system that tries to ensure that members of the Political party, party attend and vote as the party leadership desires. United Kingdom In Politics of ...
for the
UK Conservative Party The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...

UK Conservative Party
and the trilogy charts his ambitious rise through his party's ranks until he becomes
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
. In the American remake of ''
House of Cards A house of cards (also known as a card tower, card castle) is a structure created by stacking playing cards on top of each other, often in the shape of a pyramid. "House of cards" is also an Expression (language), expression that dates back to 16 ...
'', Frank Underwood is the
House Majority Whip Party leaders and whips of the United States House of Representatives, also known as floor leaders, are elected by their respective parties in a closed-door caucus by secret ballot. With the Democratic Party (United States), Democrats holding a ...
for the
US Democratic Party The Democratic Party is one of the Two-party system, two Major party, major, contemporary political parties in the United States. It was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party. ...
. The series charts Underwood's ambitious rise through his party's ranks until he becomes
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...

President
. The name ''Frank Underwood'' was chosen to have the same initials as the original trilogy's protagonist Francis Urquhart, and to reference
Oscar Underwood Oscar Wilder Underwood (May 6, 1862 – January 25, 1929) was an American lawyer and politician from Alabama (We dare defend our rights) , anthem = "Alabama (state song), Alabama" , image_map = Alabama in Unit ...
, the first ever party whip for the US Democratic Party.


References


External links

* {{Cite EB1911, wstitle=Whip, volume= 28, page=590
Political terminology Technical terminology of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The ...
Parliamentary titles Government occupations Legal professions