fixed-term parliament

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One whose term is exactly fixed by law or constitutional mandate. Thus for example the United States House of Representatives has a term of exactly two years, and each Senator one of six years, with a third retiring by rotation every two years. The UK House of Commons by contrast has variable terms: the law fixes the maximum but not the minimum length of a parliament, so that incumbent politicians are free to dissolve parliament at what seems to them the most propitious time. Whilst the House of Commons has retained the powers of dissolution, the devolved assemblies and parliaments established in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, have fixed terms.

Subjects: Politics.

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