93

According to House practices, a select committee is a committee whose members are appointed (selected) by the Speaker. Conventionally the Speaker will receive recommendations from the minority leader and appoint those members, on the presumption that the minority leader knows best which members of their caucus are useful and appropriate for the subject the ...


63

Minority Leader McCarthy may have intended calling this action "unprecedented" as an attack, but Pelosi acknowledged that herself in her official statement: “With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members, I must reject the ...


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(...


27

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 ...


24

The Crown-in-Parliament would legislate to the effect that the name of the country would be Aotearoa as of some date. This would be the typical New Zealand parliamentary process as for other laws: A Bill would be introduced in the House of Representatives by an elected Member of Parliament. It would be passed by majority vote, three times after different ...


23

You're absolutely correct that by convention, applause is discouraged in the House of Commons (and indeed, the Lords). Erskine May, the guide to parliamentary practice, has this to say on the subject: All Members should maintain silence or should converse only in undertones. Whenever the conversation is so loud as to make it difficult to hear the debate, ...


22

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 ...


19

Closed door negotiations allow politicians to speak freely to each other without having to consider the inner-political consequences of every word they say. When negotiations are public, then there is always the risk that some journalist might take something a politician said in the heat of the moment out of context and publish it as their official position. ...


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 ...


15

Closed-door negotiations of international agreements are not unusual - for example trade treaties such as TPP were negotiated in secret. The nominal reason given is that a better agreement could be negotiated, without the domestic public reaction to each round of proposal being known to the counterparties. The less straightforward reason is that some groups ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


12

What then is the reason that there are so few polling sites in New York? Budget: there are 1107 election-day polling sites, and the cost of keeping them all open for a week and a half would not be justified by the benefit. Also logistics: many of those sites are used for other things during most days (although that is less of a problem with the current ...


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 ...


10

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 ...


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 ...


9

Negotiation often involves compromise. "If we do this, would you then do that? No? Is our this just not enough or is it unacceptable to you? What else would you want?" In the end, when there is a compromise both sides can live with, they can tell their constituents that concessions were necessary to achieve their goals. This often mixes quite ...


8

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 ...


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 ...


8

In general, the conduct of the chamber is a matter for the person in the chair. Guidance comes from Eskine May (full title: Erskine May: Parliamentary Practice), a regularly updated authority on current practice in the UK parliament. The relevant section is part of part 3, section 21 which states The Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons ...


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)


7

(Only addressing NZ => Aotearoa country name change. Not efforts at promoting the language, customs and local place names) If, by "the Crown" it refers to the Head of Commonwealth and assuming NZ has anything like the relationship we Canadians have with the "the Crown", then the answer is, no, it wouldn't. This would be a decision to ...


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

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."


6

The tradition of reading the bill goes back before the founding of the USA to the English Parliament. The medieval Parliament was composed of elected landowners (MPs), senior warlords (Barons) and senior clergy (Bishops). While clergy would be expected to be literate, the same could not be said of MPs or the Lords Temporal. Moreover, the cost of producing ...


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