In regard to politics and government bodies, the term whip is used to refer to a specific official within a government body or political party. For example, in the United States, many government bodies, such as the Congress and the Senate, have both Republican and Democratic whips. The government body in question will have both a Minority Whip and a Majority Whip. The Majority Whip refers to the individual who is granted this position within the majority party.
On the other hand, the Minority Whip is the individual who acts as the whip within the minority party. Therefore, if the Democratic Party is the majority party within the Senate, than the whip within the Democratic Party is the Majority Whip. Under the same circumstances, the whip within the Republican Party is the Minority Whip.
The specific status and responsibilities of a whip will vary depending upon the government body that is being considered. For example, in the United States Senate, the Majority Whip maintains the third greatest rank within the majority party. The Majority Whip holds a substantial amount of power. The primary responsibility of the Majority Whip is to ensure that all of the Senators within his/her political party vote accordingly.
If a few Senators within a political party vote contrary to the party’s ideals and standards, this can significantly diminish the likelihood of the party achieving the majority vote. Therefore, the Majority Whip will function to convince Senators within his/her party to vote the way in which party policy and higher party officials mandate.