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House of Commons

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Presidency module

Parliament name Parliament of Canada - Parlement du Canada
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name House of Commons
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senate
Title Speaker of the House of Commons
Term - duration: 4 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, dissolution of the Parliament, death
Appointment - elected by Members of the House of Commons at the first order of business at the first meeting of a new Parliament and
- after Members' mandates are validated and after Members are sworn in
Eligibility - all Members, except Cabinet Ministers and party leaders, are eligible
- those not wishing to pose their candidacy must notify the Clerk of the House in writing by 6:00 p.m. on the day preceding the day on which the election is to take place
Voting system - formal vote, by secret ballot
- the Member presiding over the election read the names in alphabetical order of those who are eligible for post - the Clerk distributes the ballots and Members write the name of their choice. If no candidate obtains a majority of the votes in the first round, a second round will be held and so on - no new candidates are permitted and the candidates who receive 5% or less of the total votes cast, are dropped from the list - the candidate receiving the majority of the votes cast is elected
Procedures / results - the Member who has the longest period of unbroken service (but who is neither a Cabinet Minister, nor holds any office within the House, including a party leader) presides over the election during the voting
- the Clerk of the House supervises the voting and counts the ballots
- the presiding Member announces the results without any delay
- the results cannot be challenged
Status - ranks fifth in the Table of Precedence for Canada, after the Speaker of the Senate
- is charged with selecting a number of Members to comprise a Panel of Chairmen of Legislative Committees
- is honorary Chairman of all Parliamentary Associations to which Canada belongs
- represents the House of Commons with the public authorities and in international bodies
- in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees of the Whole or one of the 3 others chair occupants can assume his role and functions
Board - Board of Internal Economy is regulated by the Parliament of Canada Act
- iscomposed of 11 persons
- Chairman is the Speaker -
- is in charge of the administrative and financial matters concerning the House, its staff and its members
- usually meets once every two weeks
- has set up a number of sub-committees to examine specific issues
Material facilities - salary ($ 64 000)
+ expense allowance ($ 21 300) + supplementary allowance ($ 49 100 per annum)
- official residence + an appartment in the Centre Block
- official car and driver
- valets and additional support staff
Organization of parliamentary business - sessions of Parliament may only been convened by the Governor General
- enforces the rules governing speaking times which are outlined in the Standing Orders
- is responsible for grouping amendments at report stage for debate and voting purposes and for ruling on the admissibility of amendments offered at all stages of the legislative process
- decides whether or not a motion to establish a committee is procedurally admissible, but has no power to either propose or establish a House committee
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings but only as empowered to do so by the Standing Orders and precedents of the House
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Assembly
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- holds the ultimate authority to recognize list of Members who wish to speak and gives and withdraws permission to speak
- cannot request a vote on a matter but puts the question on a motion when debate collapses
- may adjourn the House if quorum cannot be reached at the beginning of a sitting, after he may verify quorum only if requested to do so by a MP
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations according to precedents
- there are procedures to allow the Speaker to receive and grant requests for emergency debates
Special powers - is an active participant for establishing the Chamber's budget, as Chairman of the Board of Internal Economy
- may hire, assign and promote his personnal staff, but the Human Resources Directorate is responsible for the administration, including recruiting
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- is responsible for safety and, in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Chamber
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - may rule motions out of order on procedural grounds
- takes only part in voting in the event of a tie
- is charged with appointing individuals to electoral boundaries commissions

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