Glossary

A glossary of parliamentary terms

A-Z index of glossary terms

Use the letters below to reveal a list of glossary terms.

P

Term

Parliament

A group of elected politicians who debate and make laws.

Last Updated 15/07/2020

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Term

Parliamentary Supremacy

This is the doctrine in UK constitutional law that the Parliament of the United Kingdom is the sovereign law-making body. This means it is supreme to all other governmental institutions and may amend or repeal any legislation passed by previous parliaments with a majority.

Last Updated 15/07/2020

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Term

Participation

Taking part in the democratic process. People can participate by voting, by standing for election, by joining a political party, submitting a petition, or by taking part in a local or national campaign. You can also participate in a Committee Inquiry by responding to a Consultation.

Last Updated 15/07/2020

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Term

Parties

These are groups of people who have similar views. Most politicians belong to a political party, although it is possible to be elected as an independent candidate.

Last Updated 14/07/2020

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Term

Petition

A process through which members of the public can bring specific issues to the attention of the Senedd. Petitions can be submitted by individuals or organisations on any topic within the Senedd's legislative competence. All admissible petitions that collect the support of at least 5 individuals are considered by the Petitions Committee.

Last Updated 09/12/2020

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Term

Pierhead

An iconic red-brick, Grade One listed building, the Pierhead was once the focal point of commerce in Wales. The Pierhead is now a unique visitor, events and conference venue for the people of Wales.

Last Updated 09/12/2020

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Term

Plenary

This is the term used to describe the full meeting of all 60 Members in the Siambr (the main chamber of the Senedd building) to conduct business. Plenary meetings currently take place on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons during Term Time.

Last Updated 09/12/2020

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Term

Policies

These are the plans of a political party, usually set out in their manifesto.  They say what that party would hope to do if they won the election.

Last Updated 15/07/2020

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Term

Pre-legislative scrutiny

Consideration of draft legislation by a Parliamentary or Senedd committee before the formal legislative process starts.

Last Updated 15/07/2020

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Term

Presiding Officer

The Presiding Officer (Llywydd) is elected by all 60 Members of the Senedd and serves impartially. The Presiding Officer’s main role is to chair Plenary, maintain order and ensure that Standing Orders are followed.

Last Updated 09/12/2020

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Term

Primary Legislation

This refers to the laws passed by the UK Parliament in Westminster, the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Senedd.

Last Updated 15/07/2020

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Term

Principal Accounting Officer

Last Updated 09/12/2020

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Term

Privy Council

A meeting of the Queen and her Privy Counsellors who are members of the government. Senedd Bills will be approved at Privy Council.

Last Updated 15/07/2020

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Term

Proceedings

Any proceedings of the Senedd, including Plenary and committee meetings.

Last Updated 15/07/2020

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Term

Proportional Representation

Proportional representation is an electoral system in which the distribution of seats corresponds closely with the proportion of the total votes cast for each party. The 20 Regional Members are elected through Proportional Representation using the Additional Member System.

Last Updated 15/07/2020

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Term

Proxy Voting

Proxy voting is available to Members who are absent from the Senedd for reasons of childbirth, care of an infant or child as a result of a new adoption or surrogacy arrangement, or who have suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth. A Member eligible to vote by proxy must agree with the Member nominated as their proxy when the proxy vote will be cast and how it will be exercised on each vote.


A Member designated as a proxy must act in strict accordance with the instruction given by the absent Member. The Presiding Officer’s discretion will be used to determine compliance in these circumstances.

Last Updated 03/12/2020

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Term

Public gallery

Above the Siambr in the Senedd building is a public gallery, and members of the public are welcome to sit in the gallery and view Plenary. There are normally 120 seats available, with 12 wheelchair spaces, and these can be booked up to three weeks in advance. Each Senedd committee room also has a public gallery with normally 30 seats and four wheelchair spaces, again these can be booked up to three weeks in advance of a meeting. When a committee meets in Private you may not be able to sit in the Public gallery for some or all of the meeting.

Last Updated 15/07/2020

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