Who’s Who in Parliament: House Leaders

In Westminster-style parliamentary systems, the party (or parties) forming the government name a House Leader (the title may vary somewhat from jurisdiction to jurisdiction). While their titles may vary, their duties are essentially the same: to oversee the organization and conduct of business in the legislative body. Canada In Canada, each political party with representation in the House of Commons has a party House Leader who is a front bench Member of Parliament (MP) and familiar with parliamentary procedure. The House Leader is in charge of the party’s day-to-day business in the House of Commons, and usually conducts negotiations with the House Leaders of other parties on the conduct of debates, including negotiating certain “rules” such as how much time […]

Who’s who in Parliament: the Speaker

The term Speaker is a title often given to the presiding officer (chair) of a deliberative assembly, especially a legislative body. The Speaker’s official role is to moderate debate, make rulings on procedure, announce the results of votes, and the like. The Speaker decides who may speak and has the powers to discipline members who break the procedures of the house. The Speaker often also represents the body in person, as the voice of the body in ceremonial and some other situations. In most Westminster-style chambers, the Speaker does not have a deliberative vote, but only a tiebreaker, called the casting vote. The Speaker is also expected to remove him or herself from politics, and remain as neutral as possible. […]