46

TL;DR It is what is known as an Open Question. By using such a a vague question as the opening strike the asker is then able to follow up with a Supplementary Question, unknown to the Prime Minister, about any aspect of her/his political business leaving the Prime Minister open to an unprepared response. The question is not asked once, but asked by every MP ...


43

From Parliament's website. Four tellers are required for a division to take place: two representing those voting for the motion and two representing those voting against. Two tellers - one from each side - are present in each division lobby to ensure a fair count. The result is then reported back to the occupant of the Chair, or the Woolsack, in the Chamber....


40

If you follow the evening votes on any live stream, you'll notice that Bercow has the voting lobbies locked 8 minutes after putting the question. Here's an excellent outline of how the UK parliament's division vote process works: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Division_of_the_assembly#United_Kingdom In the House of Commons, the Speaker says "The ...


30

Another answer claims that the current situation is unprecedented, which does seem to be true. Regardless of that, the investigation does seem to be authorized by the House Rules. Each committee may conduct at any time such investigations and studies as it considers necessary or appropriate in the exercise of its responsibilities under rule X. (Rule XI(...


26

Some answers look at whether there is a historical precedent. That is irrelevant. The question is what is required and what is not. There is no current requirement that a resolution be voted on by the House in order to initiate a formal, official impeachment inquiry. If a president were caught by eye-witnesses and on video performing blood sacrifices of ...


17

The Wikipedia article answers your question. A majority of Senators (i.e., 51 of the 100) is required to obtain a quorum, and only three senators out of 100 were present when the bill was voted upon. However, the Senate (and the House) conduct their respective businesses under the presumption that a quorum is always present, unless or until a completed ...


15

Hypothesis: Brexit is a "meatgrinder" The reason why people are unable to make sense of Brexit is that they keep thinking of it either in very concrete terms ("how is cross channel freight going to work exactly" etc), or in abstract slogans ("sovereignty"). Both of those are thinking far too big. The real purpose of running the Brexit process is to settle a ...


13

No. Mr Cippollone's letter is being laughed at as ridiculous by legal experts. Wow. This letter is bananas. A barely-lawyered temper tantrum. A middle finger to Congress and its oversight responsibilities. No Member of Congress should accept it, no matter his or her view on the behavior of Pelosi, Schiff, or Trump. Things are bad. Things will ...


12

ABA Journal (which tries to be pretty neutral politically) has some coverage of this in their news section; it's telling that they cited no experts siding with Trump, except for his lawyers, instead: Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, told the Associated Press that he thinks the constitutional arguments were made with a different ...


11

The EU parliament itself seems to have a procedure to use secret ballots in some cases: Normally MEPs vote by show of hands, and the President of the sitting determines the majorities in each case. If the show of hands is unclear, the president calls for an electronic vote to secure a more precise result. A roll call vote must be taken if requested by a ...


11

Does the US require a House vote to begin an impeachment inquiry? This document from the United States House of Representatives (History web page) indicates that a vote is required. Impeachment The House's Role The House brings impeachment charges against federal officials as part of its oversight and investigatory responsibilities. Individual ...


10

The Democratic and Republican parties, and major think-tanks, host orientations for entering "freshmen" Congressmen. These symposiums are normally held after the Congressmen-elect know that they are likely to be certified as winning their seats, but before their inaugurations. For example, this C-SPAN video discusses the 1994 Republican freshman class's ...


9

If there are no formal programs, how does the new blood get up to speed while still fulfilling their duties? I don't know about formal training, but members of Congress have staffs. Those staff members will often have experience, particularly those in senior positions like legislative advisor or policy director. I can also tell you that new members of ...


9

According to this article from PoliticsHome, the latest date on which a vote of no confidence could be held in order to have a general election before 31 October 2019 is 3 September, which could trigger an election on Thursday 24 October (see below for full analysis). This assumes that any election would be on a Thursday, which is a matter of convention, not ...


9

I have heard that practically such advice is decided by the Prime Minister, though I am interested in the formal process behind this. Such advice is decided by the Government. The idea that the Council itself presents advice is one of those quaint little fictions that underpins the UK's constitution. There's no vote of the Council or anything like that; the ...


8

According to Wikipedia, the procedure is threefold. First, there are investigations by congressional committees. Second, the House of Representatives draws up articles of impeachment and votes on them. When these votes are passed then the defendant is impeached. Third, the Senate holds a trial. If two-thirds of the Senate votes to convict on (one of) the ...


7

Yes, the PM is a member of parliament, and subject to the same requirements of orderly conduct as any other MP. If the speaker "names" the Prime Minister, he must leave the chamber. The only MP exempt from this rule is the speaker (or the deputy speaker when acting as speaker)


6

Immediately: Nothing. Other than the legal advice actually being published. I don't believe a penalty has been applied. The motion refers to "Ministers" rather than named individuals. It's a rare but well-defined process: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt199899/jtselect/jtpriv/43/4310.htm points out in para 310 that it's actually been made a ...


6

Which other European countries have secret voting by representatives in the national legislature? There are countries where (at least some) votes by representatives in the national legislature are secret. For example, the Netherlands. The Dutch House of Representatives uses written voting when voting about people. In Dutch (from parlement.com): Stemmingen ...


6

This is the typical process in a system based on proportional representation and a party list. For example using the D'Hondt method of apportion. For example, in the Netherlands, Andeweg and Irwin state that "If a vacancy occurs it is filled by beginning at the top of the list and continuing down until a candidate on the list accepts election."


5

The rule change is permanent (I think) but narrow in scope. It only pertains to the budget bill. Source: ...takes from the Speaker's table the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 59) making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2014 and ...relating to House Joint Resolution 59 may be offered only by the Majority Leader or his designee.


5

What changes would have to be made to British law to change this process? Would a simple act of parliament be sufficient? Sufficient? Yes, because there is no higher form of law in the UK (e.g. like a constitutional amendment in the US). Necessary? Not necessarily, because much of the UK's unwritten constitution relies on custom and practice. A ...


5

No. There is nothing like that at the federal level. When states have such provisions, they are generally included in the state constitution. The United States Constitution has no such provision. Voters directly elect members of the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, and also directly elect members of the electoral college who in turn elect the U.S. ...


5

The delay is actually providing time for two vital political tasks, within the UK's Conservative and Labour parties. The Conservative Party needs time to take in the mess that the country is in, because they couldn't form a clear idea of what their problems were with the EU. A lot of the Conservatives have been labouring for years under the idea that ...


4

I read that the vote was scheduled for December 10th, not December 12th, but two days make little difference to the question. The EU has a key budget meeting on December 13th. It makes sense that they would want a decision by then. Brexit is important for the EU, it is more important and more controversial for the UK. After the brief Gibraltar hiccup, there ...


4

There is not currently a way for the federal government to hold a national vote on anything, including referenda. All elections in this country officially happen at a state level (or lower). Remember, in presidential elections, voters in each state pick electors who compromise the Electoral College. (In a certain sense, the Electoral College itself ...


4

Answering my own question (and someone please post a correct answer if I'm wrong), I believe what's going on is a way to make it much more difficult to reopen debate on routine appointments. To prevent the minority party from re-debating routine appointments, one senator moves to reconsider the vote which just happened, and an ally immediately moves to ...


3

There is a change in process but no change in intent from the 2016 and 2012 conventions. Here is the relevant text from 2016 The term “presidential candidate” herein shall mean any person who, as determined by the National Chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, has accrued delegates in the nominating process and plans to seek the ...


3

The answer to your question depends on the form of the abstention. The most important question to answer is: Are the abstaining Senators present for the vote? If the abstaining Senators are present: the abstention has no effect whatsoever. The voting standard to invoke cloture on a nomination is simple majority. Thus as long as more Senators vote in favor ...


3

To answer my own question, it appears this is simply a procedural tactic used to delay the consideration of a resolution until the next legislative day. The "rule" refers to Senate Rule XIV Paragraph 6, which states: All other resolutions shall lie over one day for consideration, if not referred, unless by unanimous consent the Senate shall otherwise ...


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