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38

"Madam Speaker" is not Rep. Pelosi, but Rep. Diana DeGette, a Democrat from Colorado, who is serving as speaker pro tempore and presiding over the US House of Representatives for the debate on the impeachment of President Trump. https://denver.cbslocal.com/2019/12/18/diana-degette-impeachment-debate-preside-donald-trump-house-representatives-colorado/


37

The Speaker can grant ‘urgent questions’ to MPs on a subject - a mechanism which forces the relevant Government minister to appear in the House of Commons to respond to said question. As the Parliament.Uk website explains: If the Speaker is satisfied that the question is urgent and of public importance it is then granted; the Speaker does not have to ...


29

With an the recent talks that Pelosi is going to "discuss" the 25th amendment in order to get rid of president Trump, what is the process for this? Does it have to be voted in Congress and then voted in the Senate? The process is outlined in the amendment itself. It requires agreement by the vice president and "a majority of either the ...


25

The rule was introduced in 2001, following the 2000 election of Michael Martin. That election took place "by means of a conventional parliamentary motion with recorded votes on an amendment for each candidate". Due to the large number of candidates, the repeated ballots took 6 hours. The process was also politically charged, with party whips lobbying MPs to ...


24

In the UK system, the speaker is politically neutral, and this requirement of neutrality has been taken seriously by generations of speakers. Moreover it is quite common for the speaker not to be from the majority party. The speaker is not a governmental position, and it is quite common for the speaker to come from a minority party. The current Westminster ...


19

The part of the play which I believe you're referring to can be read here, and refers to the actions of Walter Harrison, then a government whip in a committee stage vote, not a vote in the main Commons chamber. Serjeant Please. Mr Speaker, there's been a difference of opinion regarding the votes on two bills at committee stage. Amendments to the ...


17

If the Speaker is seeking to continue in the position from the previous Parliament, then he or she runs as the Speaker rather than for a party (since the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act [2000] listed as "The Speaker seeking re-election"). Major parties don't run candidates against them, so there is not usually any meaningful opposition to ...


17

Yes. It is a flaw in the British system (I am British). On the other hand, most British voters are effectively disenfranchised, because their vote will never make a difference to the result: they live in seats where it is possible to predict which party will win without knowing anything about the candidates. A better system would involve appointing the ...


16

Within the House of Commons, the title "Right Honourable" indicates that the MP is a member of the Privy Council. (In other contexts, it is also used for some peers and Lord Mayors). MPs who are not Privy Counsellors are always referred to as "the Honourable member for X" or similar within the Commons chamber, but "Honourable" ...


13

The tradition of alternating parties is often mentioned, but is not really true. As Wikipedia's list of Speakers shows, it was broken most recently in 2000 when Michael Martin followed Betty Boothroyd (both Labour), and before that in 1959, 1965 and 1971, when there were 4 Conservative Speakers in a row! Even before then, this tradition is broken more than ...


12

One could feel disenfrachised for all sorts of reasons: you could be in a politically 'safe' seat, or be an environmentalist in one of the constituencies that the Green Party doesn't field a candidate, or even in Northern Ireland where the major parties don't stand. There was a candidate standing as a protest against this tradition in the last election, and ...


10

Rules of the House: https://naturalresources.house.gov/imo/media/doc/116-House-Rules-Clerk.pdf I 8(a): The Speaker may appoint a Member to perform the duties of the Chair. Except as specified in paragraph(b), such an appointment may not extend beyond three legislative days. ... and that's usually exactly what happens. The Speaker wields the gavel on ...


10

Does he still get to vote on matters, or is someone else appointed or elected to replace him? Neither. By convention: The Speaker does not vote, unless there is a tie, in which case they vote according to a fixed formula. The Speaker is not a member of any party (but the vast majority of the time, the Speaker is a former member of one of the major parties)....


9

Consider reading up on Robert's Rule of Order. The basic gist is that one person (the "speaker" in this case) acts as a sort of human semaphore to control and delegate access to the floor to only one person at a time. Without some such scheme, things would be likely to devolve into chaos. Robert's isn't what the UK parliament uses, but it is ultimately ...


8

Yes, they recognise them. It is not so hard. A teacher in a large school might have several hundred students, and know each one by face and name and target grade. A CEO of a medium sized company might pride themselves on knowing by name all of their several hundred employees. The Speaker of the House knows by name and state all 435 members. It's harder to ...


7

I suspect, but have not yet found a smoking gun, that the answer lies in the previous election in 2000: This was the last Speaker election to be conducted by means of a conventional parliamentary motion with recorded votes on an amendment for each candidate. With an unusually large number of candidates, a significant number of MPs spoke in favour of ...


7

If a Speaker hasn't resigned the position prior to a General Election, and is seeking to be re-elected as an MP, then the electorate will know. Convention even says that their "party" allegiance on the ballot paper should say "The Speaker seeking re-election". If there isn't a sitting Speaker seeking re-election as an MP then the electorate will not know as ...


7

Firstly, it's not always the case that we have an odd number of MPs - while in some states/territories the number of MPs is fixed by legislation, in the Commonwealth House of Representatives, the number of MPs depends on the distribution of the population - at present, it's 150, which is of course an even number. (source) Thus, appointing an outside Speaker ...


6

The Constitution does not give a lot of power to the Speaker. The original Constitution in fact gave zero power to the Speaker. The 25th Amendment does give some power to the Speaker, but it also gives power to the Secretaries who aren't elected either. The House rules do give power to the Speaker, but they can, at least in theory, be changed just as easily ...


5

The question refers to the Speaker of the House as Commons as "a single keyholder of three to the Palace of Westminster" - but this is not quite right. The three keyholders referred to here are the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Lord Speaker (representing the House of Lords), and the Lord Chamberlain (representing the Queen). However, they only have ...


5

These other methods may include sending letters to the relevant government minister, discussing in (or outside of) cabinet, or other informal meetings. In the past, whenever I have written to my MP on an issue (who is neither Speaker nor Minister), he has followed up with a letter to the relevant government minister, and forward said minister's reply to me.


5

It's a good question. I wanted to comment on Kevin's very good answer but I am not yet allowed to do that. My understanding is that the Speaker is elected as an MP unchallenged in their constituency, by convention. So the other main parties do not stand candidates against the Speaker in any general election. This makes sense, because the Speaker does not ...


5

One bit of "playing hardball" that's already happened: on 30th November 2021, the Deputy Speaker allowed at least two opposition MPs to use the word "liar" of the Prime Minister - the Speaker having first allowed one of those opposition MPs to table a motion in an unusual form that made it possible to construct a reasoned argument as to ...


4

If the Speaker is formerly a member of the party in government, as well as all the Deputy Speakers, won't that cause issues for the party in power? As they lose a few crucial votes which would have come from those members. The Speaker and the Deputy Speakers are drawn from opposing sides of the house such that the net effect of lost votes is 0 (I.E. both ...


4

In many, perhaps all, countries there is the "Constitution" (a legal document) and the "constitution" (the rules and traditions which describe how the government should behave). The constitution includes things like "democratic norms". From time to time parts of the constitution may be written into documents such as "House ...


4

Politicians often appear on T.V. as so-called "talking heads". A political program will invite two or three politicans from opposing parties to discuss a controversial topic, give their opinions, try to score "points" off their opponents. You also see government ministers doing their business around the country and overseas. So there are photoshoots at EU ...


4

It's worse than that - the Speaker can't vote on issues, so his or her constituents aren't even represented in Parliament. And, yes, it disenfranchises voters, not to mention the local party. For example, when Harriet Harman announced that she was planning to run to succeed Bercow, her Camberwell and Peckham Labour Party urged her to pull out, and hinted ...


3

No. Ties are rare, but one happened recently, prompting this question to be explored in parliament and in the press. By tradition, the Speaker votes for any proposal (be it from the government or not) in a procedural vote in order to allow further discussion. However, in the final vote, the Speaker votes against it, on the reasoning that he or she should not ...


2

Regarding "1.": no, according to Wikipedia, which cites a CRS report for this info: Every person elected speaker, however, has been a member. The report itself says, in slightly more detail: In the 1997, 2013, 2015 (both instances), 2019, and 2021 elections, votes were cast for candidates who were not then Members of the House, including, in the ...


2

While such a scenario is unlikely to materialise, theoretically, is it realistic for Kevin McCarthy to be elected the Speaker of the House? Is there any mechanism that allows for the Speaker's election to be delayed if the Democrats do not have enough members present on the floor for the vote on January 3? Much of this is addressed in The authority to ...


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