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Encyclopedia > Speaker of the House

The term Speaker is usually the title given to the presiding officer of a country's lower house of parliament or congress (ie: the House of Commons or House of Representatives).


In most cases a speaker is elected from amongst the members of the assembly by the members, and no whips are allowed in the selection. Nonetheless, a speaker from the ruling party is usually chosen.


In many nations, especially those with the Westminster System of government, the position of Speaker, modelled after the British office, is an official charged with enforcing procedural rules. The speaker decides who may speak and has the powers to discipline members who break the procedures of the house. Ideally, the speaker in a Westminster-derived legislature is political neutral and is not concerned with substantive issues. The only exception to this rule is when there is a tie-vote in the legislature. In this case, it is legitimate for the Speaker to vote along partisan lines.


Despite being an impartial position, the Speaker in a Westminster system has to stand for re-election if they wish to stay. In the Republic of Ireland the Speaker is deemed to have been elected if they seek re-election; in the United Kingdom it is a constitutional convention that no major party will put up a candidate against the 'Speaker seeking re-election'.


Often the speaker performs his duties in a non-partisan manner, but in the United States, the Speaker is the most powerful position in the United States House of Representatives and participates in legislating.


Some nations have a ceremonial president of their lower house of parliament instead of a speaker. It is very rare for an upper house to have a speaker; though see also Lord Chancellor.


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Speaker (politics) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (353 words)
The term Speaker is usually the title given to the presiding officer of a country's lower house of parliament or congress (i.e., the House of Commons or House of Representatives).
Often the speaker performs his duties in a non-partisan manner, but in the United States, the Speaker is the most powerful position in the United States House of Representatives and participates in legislating.
Speaker of the Riksdag (Speaker of the Swedish parliament)
Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (677 words)
In New Zealand The Speaker of the House of Representatives is the individual who chairs the country's legislative body, The House of Representatives (commonly known as ' Parliament').
The Speaker is expected to conduct the functions of the office in a neutral manner, even though the Speaker is generally a member of the governing party.
The current Speaker is Margaret Wilson, a member of the Labour Party, which is the dominant party in the governing Labour/Progressive coalition.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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