Comparison between Speakers of House of Representatives and House of Commons

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Comparison Between Speakers of House of Representatives and House of Commons:

  • The Speaker of the American House of Representatives is a party man. He belongs in the majority party in the House. The British Speaker, on the other hand, is a non-party man. After his election to the chair he severs all his relationship form his party and acts impartially.
  • The American Speaker openly favours his party in the House of Representatives. He is guided by his party interests. On the other hand, the British Speaker is an impartial person. He is not related to any party. He speaks the least after his election as the Speaker.
  • The British Speaker does not take part in the debates within the House, nor does he cast his vote. He only exercises a casting vote in case of tie and that too according to the American Speaker takes part in the debates, casts his vote and exercises his casing vote not impartially but as dictated by the interests of his party.
  • The decision of the British Speaker in final. There is no appeal against it. But the decision of the American Speaker is not final. An appeal against his decision can be made to the House. The House can reverse his decision.
  • The office of the British Speaker is not contested. The Speaker is re-elected. “Once a Speaker, always a Speaker” is the famous maxim in U.K. In general elections too, the opposition does not put up a candidate against him. In America, the office of the Speaker is contested. Both the parties put up their candidates. There is no question of his being elected unopposed. A party victorious at polls is apt to get elected its own man as the Speaker.
  • The American Speaker does not enjoy the prestige and honour which a British Speaker has, since the former is a party man.
  • The American Speaker does not have the power to decide as to whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not. The Parliament Act of 1911 has given such a power to the British Speaker.
  • The British Speaker possesses the full disciplinary authority over the members of the House. As such he can name a member for any number of days. The American Speaker cannot expel a member who is rowdy and does not obey the chair. The house can take final disciplinary action against a recalcitrant member.
  • The British Speaker can recognize the member. i.e. he can ask any of the aspirant speakers to speak. The American Speaker was deprived of this power in the 1910-11 revolt against him. Now, this is the privilege of the House itself.
  • The British Speaker’s authority is final regarding the interpretation of the rules of the House, but in U.S.A final opportunity in this matter rests with the House itself.
  • In U.K leadership of the House rests with the Prime Minister whereas in U.S.A the Speaker leads the House.
  • The British Speaker appoints Chairman of Standing Committees whereas the Committees are constituted by the selection committee. The American Speaker prior to 1910-11 possessed the power of appointing chairman as well as members. The latter was deprived of this power after revolt against speaker in 1910-11. Both the Speakers enjoy identical powers as well viz, presiding over the House, putting the question to vote, announcing the result of members, issuing the warrants in the name of the House, issuing writs for elections, heading the Administrative department, checking unparliamentary remarks and serving as channel between the House and the Chief Executive.

             

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