All Members of the Legislative Assembly who are elected as
party candidates (i.e., not as
independent candidates) are often required to act as part of a group (their party). They will support their party's policies and generally do not disagree with their party's position in public.
Because the government will only remain in power with
the support of the majority of MLAs, it is common practice that Members of the government
caucus will vote together to avoid a defeat of the government in the Legislative Assembly. However, on occasion, the
Premier will permit a free vote, allowing Members of the government caucus to vote based on their individual preferences. In almost all instances, free votes are not considered votes of confidence (which are votes on whether the Legislative Assembly supports the government of the day).
Like the Members of the government caucus, Members of an opposition caucus usually support their party's policies and generally do not disagree with their party's position in public. On occasion, opposition Members will also be allowed to vote based on their individual preferences during a free vote.