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an opinion expressed by means of voting. In the parliamentary practice of bourgeois states, the government’s general policy, its particular concrete actions, or the action of an individual minister may be submitted to a vote of confidence or no confidence. Since many countries do not have strict rules for posing a vote of confidence, every vote on government proposals in parliament can be regarded as a vote of confidence. The government itself can initiate and introduce the vote of confidence; it can propose that parliament vote on its programs or declarations or it can request a vote of confidence in connection with deliberations on a concrete legislative project. In the practice of bourgeois states a government based on a parliamentary majority frequently uses a vote of confidence to guarantee its stability and political authority. A vote of no confidence legally signifies a parliament’s refusal of confidence in the government. The initiative for posing a vote of no confidence can come from parliament or from the government itself; the latter, having received such a vote, loses the support of a parliamentary majority. The consequences of a vote of no confidence are varied. In Italy the constitution provides for an automatic resignation of the government; in such an event in the Federal Republic of Germany the president dismisses the government after the Bundestag has elected the new head of government, a chancellor. In bourgeois practice it does not infrequently happen that the chief of state, after acting in defense of the government, resorts to a dismissal of a parliament after a vote of no confidence.
IA. M. BEL’SON