In the third of a three-part

In the third of a three-part

Another parliamentary expression used in the legislative context is ‘Filibustering’.

What does ‘Filibustering’ mean in the parliamentary/legislative context? The Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines

‘Filibuster’ as “prolonged speaking or other action which obstructs progress in a Legislative

Assembly while not technically contravening the required procedures.”

In its historical context, the term has been defined as “a person engaging in unauthorised warfare against a foreign state.”

‘Filibustering’ is to deliberately waste time during a debate by making overlong speeches or raising unnecessary procedural points.

In this way a Bill or a motion may be ‘talked out’: ie stopped from making progress within the time allowed.

A ‘filibuster’ is a parliamentary procedure where debate over a proposed piece of legislation is extended,

allowing one or more Members to delay or entirely prevent a vote on the proposal.

It is sometimes referred to as ‘talking out a Bill’ or ‘talking a Bill to death’

and characterized as a form of obstruction in a Legislature or other decisionmaking body.

Ancient Rome One of the first known practitioners of the ‘filibuster’ was the Roman Senator, Cato the Younger.

In the third of a three-part In debates over Legislation, he especially opposed, Cato would often obstruct the measure by speaking continuously until nightfall.

 As the Roman Senate had a rule requiring all business to conclude by dusk, Cato’s purposefully long-winded speeches were an effective device to forestall a vote.

Cato attempted to use the filibuster at least twice to frustrate the political objectives of Julius Caesar.

In the third of a three-part Etymology The term ‘filibuster’ ultimately derives from the Dutch ‘vrijbuiter’ (‘freebooter’, a pillaging and plundering adventurer).

The Oxford English Dictionary finds its only known use in early modern English in a 1587 book describing ‘flibutors’ who robbed supply convoys.

In the late eighteenth century, the term was re-borrowed into English from its French form ‘flibustier’, a form that was used until the midnineteenth century.

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