“The Speaker is the mouthpiece of the House.”
The role of the Speaker is nearly as old as the Parliament itself. In the Westminster System, the Speaker represents the House and is responsible to it and all members, whether in government or opposition to ensure parliamentary procedure is practiced.
The Speaker calls upon members wishing to speak and allocates the call evenly between government and non-government members and. An important part of the Speaker’s task is to make sure that everyone is treated fairly within the framework set by the rules.
We sat down with The Hon. Jonathon O’Dea MP, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, alongside Ms Helen Minnican, Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, and Mr Simon Johnston, Sargent at Arms of the Legislative Assembly, to learn about the role of the Speaker in the Westminster System of Government.
The Hon. Jonathan O’Dea MP was elected as the 40th Speaker of the Legislative Assembly on 7 May 2019. During this panel discussion, Mr Speaker reflected on the importance of listening rather than speaking too much, contrary to the title of the role.
Hear about the role of the Speaker, past and present, and what happens in the chamber on a sitting day:
- Why does the Speaker get dragged to the Chair on the first day of Parliament?
- How do the Speaker and the Clerk work together on a Sitting Day?
- What does the Serjeant-at-Arms do and why does he/she carry a Mace?
- How does the Speaker make rulings in the House and maintain order when the House is sitting?
Watch the full panel discussion below.