from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Chiefly British The rear benches in the House of Commons where junior members of Parliament sit behind government officeholders and their counterparts in the opposition party.
- n. New members of Congress considered as a group: "a revolt of the backbench fueled by a powerful lobbying campaign” ( Washington Post).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. In a house of legislature following the model of the Westminster system (such as the UK House of Commons), any bench behind either of the front benches and occupied by rank-and-file members.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. any of the seats occupied by backbenchers in the House of Commons of Great Britain.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. any of the seats occupied by backbenchers in the House of Commons
Frontbenchers must all work to sustain backbench morale, they were told, even by making their share of backbench speeches outside their own responsibilities.
All petitions hitting the landmark total are referred to the backbench business committee, which decides certain motions for Parliamentary debates.
I can't recall another backbench initiative like this in recent times.
My own view is that 'backbench' councillors are well paid, but Board Members earn every penny.
The elder statesman in May left Singapore's cabinet, where he served as minister mentor, and, while still a member of Parliament, he has moved to the backbench, reserved for less-influential policy makers.
Pick some working class backbench nomark to generate some headlines and let the real culprits sneak out of town (To Washington DC to meet Obama on Tuesday to be precise)
As for the Tories, backbench interventions showed that many of them have bought into the Blair/Bush ‘War on Terror’ even more strongly than their Labour counterparts.
On the one hand, backbench members and talk radio yakkers have an incentive, at least given the demonstrated conservative market, to stake out the most extreme position, so that whatever the speaker does winds up being defined as weak-kneed mush given, again, the obvious fact that Boehner can't actually get this stuff enacted into law.
It seems to me that Gordon Brown just hid his distaste for the old-Etonian better than his backbench colleague.
As he later wrote as a backbench blogger for the Guardian see panel no PM or opposition leader who was "slow-witted, corrupt or simply not up to the job" would survive.