Chapter 08 : Voting on questions
Chapter 8: Voting on questions
Decisions on the voices or on division
When a motion is the subject of a vote, the Speaker will state the question e.g. “That the motion be agreed to” or “That the bill be now read a second time”. The Speaker then says “Those in favour say “aye” to the contrary “no” and declares the result based on the voices, e.g. “The ayes (or noes) have it”.
A division is called when the Speaker’s expressed opinion as to whether the “ayes” or “noes” have it, is challenged (S.O. 173). A division can only be called by one Member who gave voice against the majority as declared by the Speaker (S.O. 174).
The call for a division must be made before any new motion is proposed or other proceedings commenced.
If there are five or fewer Members on one side in a division, the Chair will declare the question at once and the names of those Members opposing the majority are recorded in the Votes and Proceedings (S.O. 181).
- Chapter 19 New South Wales Legislative Assembly Practice, Procedure and Privilege;
- Standing Orders 173-187.
The bells are rung for four minutes when a division is called, except when there are successive divisions and there has been limited or no intervening debate, in which case the Speaker may order that the doors be locked and the vote taken forthwith.
- Section 19.3 New South Wales Legislative Assembly Practice, Procedure and Privilege.
Divisions called before 10.30 a.m. on days when the House meets at an earlier time are deferred until 10.30 a.m. and any business then before the House is interrupted and recommenced after the division(s) (S.O. 187).
- Section 19.1.4 New South Wales Legislative Assembly Practice, Procedure and Privilege.
A Member may not vote in a division on a question if the Member has a direct pecuniary interest in the question under discussion. Such interest must be one of direct personal pecuniary benefit and not something, which is shared in common with other citizens (S.O. 176-7).
The fact that a Member has a pecuniary interest in a matter which the House is discussing does not prevent them from participating in the debate, only from voting on the matter.
Taking points of order during a division
Members taking a point of order during a division must remain seated and attract the attention of the Chair (S.O. 180(2)).
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