STANDING ORDERS CHAPTER 3

SPEAKER, DEPUTY SPEAKER AND ACTING SPEAKERS

6 When Speaker to be elected

 

(1)

Immediately after they have been sworn in, the members present at the opening of the first session of a Parliament must elect a Speaker.[1] If the Office of Speaker becomes vacant at any other time, no business may be transacted until a new Speaker is elected.

 

(2)

The election of a Speaker takes precedence over any other business or motion and must not be interrupted by any other proceeding.

 

(3)

Subject to SO 7, the House must continue to sit until a Speaker is elected.

7 Chairing the election

 

(1)

The Clerk chairs the election of the Speaker.

 

(2)

The Clerk may suspend the sitting for up to two hours during an election as he or she sees fit.

 

(3)

If the House has had to sit to an unreasonably late hour, the Clerk may adjourn it, without a question being put, to the next working day.

8 Nominations

 

The House must elect a Speaker from members nominated in the following way. The Clerk must:

 

(1)

Ask whether there are any nominations.

 

(2)

Allow adequate time for nominations to be made and seconded.

 

(3)

Ask if the member nominated consents.

 

(4)

Ask whether there are any further nominations and then wait a further 30 seconds.

 

(5)

Repeat this process, if necessary, until there are no further nominations. When there are no further nominations, the Clerk declares that the nominations are closed.

 

(6)

If only one member is nominated, the Clerk declares that member elected.

9 Withdrawal of candidate

 

A candidate may withdraw from nomination by rising and requiring his or her name to be withdrawn. A candidate may not do so while a vote is being taken. If a candidate's withdrawal results in only one candidate remaining, that candidate is declared elected as Speaker.

10 Voting procedure

 

If more than one member is nominated for the position of Speaker, the voting procedure is as follows:

 

(1)

The Clerk rings the bells for three minutes with the doors unlocked. He or she then orders the doors to be locked.

 

(2)

The Clerk announces the names of the candidates who have been nominated and seconded. Each member present will be issued with a ballot paper certified by the Clerk.

 

(3)

Each member writes down on the paper the name of his or her preferred candidate. The surname is sufficient unless there is more than one candidate with the same surname. In that case, the initials or the electorate of the candidate should be added.

 

(4)

Each member puts the ballot paper into the ballot box on the table of the House.

 

(5)

Any ballot not cast within three minutes of all voting papers having been issued will be disallowed. The Clerk will announce to the House when one minute of the period remains.

11 Counting the votes

 

In all ballots and special ballots, the votes must be counted in the following way:

 

(1)

The proposer of each candidate names a member to be scrutineer. The same scrutineer acts in all ballots.

 

(2)

The doors are unlocked.

 

(3)

The scrutineers and the Deputy Clerk retire with the ballot box and count the votes.

 

(4)

If a counter believes that a vote is informal, he or she may request a decision on the matter by the Clerk:

 

 

(a)

the Clerk then goes to the room where the votes are being counted;

 

 

(b)

the number of votes received by any candidate will not be disclosed to the Clerk;

 

 

(c)

a vote is valid if, in the Clerk's opinion, it identifies the candidate selected by the member voting.

 

(5)

The scrutineers give the Clerk a written report on the results of the count.

12 Restriction on discussion of other matters

 

While an election of Speaker is in progress, no member may address the House except to nominate or second a candidate.

13 Identifying the successful candidate

 

If a candidate obtains more than half of the votes of members present, he or she is elected Speaker. If no candidate obtains sufficient votes, the candidate with the lowest number of votes is eliminated, and another vote is held between the remaining candidates. This process is repeated until one candidate receives more than half of the votes of members present.

14 Resolving tie of two candidates for first place

 

(1)

If only two candidates remain and the number of votes for each candidate is equal, a second ballot is held. After the second ballot, if the candidates still have equal votes, the Clerk must announce that fact. Unless one of the candidates withdraws from the election, the Clerk must then say 'As the votes are equal, it is necessary to take an open vote to decide this question'.

 

(2)

Before taking the open vote, the Clerk rings the bells for three minutes with the doors unlocked. He or she then orders the doors to be locked, and reminds the House that an open vote is to be taken. The Clerk indicates a side of the House for each candidate and directs members to vote by taking a seat on their preferred candidate's side. Each member present must vote.

 

(3)

The Clerk then appoints tellers for each side. The tellers count the votes. The candidate who receives the greater number of votes is declared elected Speaker.

 

(4)

If, after an open vote, the candidates receive the same number of votes, the Clerk will announce that fact, immediately adjourn the House without any question being put and arrange for another meeting to take place within seven days. The Clerk will notify members of the day and time appointed for that meeting.

 

(5)

At a further meeting another open vote will be held in relation to the candidates following the procedure laid down in paragraphs (2) and (3). This will be repeated until one candidate is elected Speaker.

15 Resolving tie for smallest number of votes

 

(1)

If more than two candidates remain and there is a tie for the smallest number of votes, the tie must be resolved by a special ballot.

 

(2)

A special ballot is held only between those candidates who have tied with the smallest number of votes. Members must write on the ballot paper the name of the candidate they wish to retain. The one who gets the smallest number of votes is eliminated. The names of all other candidates must be submitted to the next ballot for the election of Speaker.

 

(3)

If the special ballot itself results in a tie for the smallest number of votes, a further special ballot is held in which only the names of the candidates with the smallest number of votes in the special ballot are submitted.

 

(4)

If it is still impossible to determine which candidate is to be excluded because the further special ballot has resulted in a tie for the smallest number of votes, the Clerk must announce that fact. Unless one of the candidates withdraws from the election, the Clerk must then say 'As the votes are equal, it is necessary to take an open vote to decide this question'.

 

(5)

Before taking the open vote, the Clerk rings the bells for three minutes with the doors unlocked. He or she then orders the doors to be locked, and reminds the House that an open vote is to be taken. The Clerk indicates a side of the House for each candidate and directs members to vote by taking a seat on their candidate's side. Each member present must vote.

 

(6)

The Clerk must appoint tellers for each side. The tellers must count the votes. The candidate who receives the smallest number of votes is eliminated from the next ballot for the election of Speaker.

16 Preservation of voting papers

 

The Clerk must preserve the ballot papers for one month, and must then destroy them unless directed not to by the House.

17 Speaker takes the Chair

 

When a Speaker has been declared elected, the nominator and seconder escort him or her to the Chair.

18 Election of a Deputy Speaker

 

(1)

The House must elect a Deputy Speaker.

 

(2)

The election of a Deputy Speaker is governed by SOs 6 to 16, except that:

 

 

(a)

where the election is at the opening of the first session of a Parliament, it must take place immediately after the election of the Speaker;

 

 

(b)

where a subsequent vacancy occurs, the election will take place as the last item of formal business on a day to be determined by the Speaker within six sitting days of the vacancy arising;

 

 

(c)

the Speaker presides over the election.

 

(3)

The Deputy Speaker holds office for the duration of the Assembly, unless the House directs otherwise.

19 Temporary relief of Speaker

 

The Deputy Speaker will take the Chair whenever requested by the Speaker.

20 Panel of Acting Speakers

 

Each session the Speaker will appoint a panel of members who will preside in the House whenever requested by the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker.

21 Absence of Speaker

 

When the Clerk advises the House of the Speaker's unavoidable absence, the Deputy Speaker performs the duties and exercises the authority of the Speaker in relation to all proceedings of the House until the return of the Speaker or until the House decides otherwise. The Deputy Speaker may nominate one of the Acting Speakers to act as Deputy Speaker.

22 Electing an Acting Deputy Speaker

 

(1)

If both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker are absent from the House, the House may elect a member to act as Deputy Speaker until either the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker is present.

 

(2)

The election is conducted in the same way as the election of the Speaker.