I was going YouTube browsing for some old 80s songs from my college days, and ran into Manfred Mann's Demolition Man, which was a guilty pleasure from that era. While Sting wrote it (and did versions of it with the Police and as a soloist) and Grace Jones had the biggest hit with it, the MM version had a sort of growling vibe to it that makes it a good candidate to play at a MMA card.
However, I wound up getting a new term in my poli-sci vocabulary when I did a little research into the chorus. It includes "I'm a three-line whip, I'm the sort of thing they ban..."
What, pray tell, is a three-line whip? You could picture Indy Jones or Grace Jones using it, but instead, Sting lifted it from British politics. A good hunk of the Peanut Gallery will know that a whip in a legislative setting is the guy (or gal) who enforces party discipline and gets members to go along with the party line.
That role has more power in parliamentary parties, since the party can pull rank and pick a candidate for a seat. Thus, you will have a lot of "closed votes" where the party will expect members to toe the line. Here's the Wikipedia for political whipping-
Scott Brown can be thankful we don't have those type of whips. The Tea Partiers are trying to whip him for voting for the financial regulation bill, but Brown might wear that as a badge of honor in a run for reelection. He'd be hard to primary and showing some independence might help in the 2012 general. It's still a bad bill economically but not a bad move for Brown's career; he's too moderate to get a GOP presidential nomination, even as a good-looking young pol who won The Kennedy Seat, so his best political move is be a good senator.
In the United Kingdom, there are three categories of whip that are issued on particular bills. These whips are issued to MPs in the form of a letter outlining Parliamentary schedule, with the sentence "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 double line whip, is an instruction to attend and vote in a particular way, but without sanction; partially binding for voting, attendance required unless prior permission given by the whip.
- A Three Line Whip is a strict instruction to attend and vote in a particular way, breach of which could have serious consequences; binding for both attendance and voting. Non-attendance permission can 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 may lead to expulsion from the party. Consequently, three-line whips are generally only issued on key issues, such as votes of confidence and supply. The nature of three line whips and the potential punishments for revolt varies dramatically among parties and legislatures.