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Mechanism of voting and recording of votes in Parliament

December 24th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

The convention for passing Bills in the Parliament is by orally communicating agreement or disagreement with the proposed motion (whether a Bill should be passed or not, for example). When a motion is put to vote the speaker says, ‘Those in the favour of the motion say Aye and those opposing it say No.’ According to the voice vote, the Speaker decides whether the Bill is accepted or negated by the House.

If a member is not happy with a voice vote, it can be challenged and a division can be asked for. The procedure for division entails the Speaker to announce for the lobbies of Parliament to be cleared. Then the division bell rings continuously for three and a half minutes and so do many connected bells all through Parliament House and Parliament House Annexe. MPs come from all sides into the chamber and the doors are closed. The votes are recorded by the Automatic Vote Recording Equipment.

For example, in the Winter Session of the Parliament, four appropriation bills (financial Bills) were passed by voice vote amidst the interruptions from the opposition and two bills i.e. The Orissa (Alteration of Name) Bill, 2010 and The Constitution (One Hundred and Thirteenth Amendment) Bill, 2010 (Amendment of Eighth Schedule) were passed through division. For these Bills the voting took place together. The votes recorded were: 298 ayes and 0 noes.

  1. Yogesh
    December 30th, 2010 at 19:17 | #1

    Where is the voting record of different MPs available?

    • December 30th, 2010 at 22:32 | #2

      No voting record of individual MPs is available. When a division is asked for, there is a record of total number of votes for and against, but no details of individual votes are maintained. Most motions and legislation are passed through voice-votes.

  2. Karsh
    January 18th, 2011 at 16:36 | #3

    What if the ratio of ‘ayes’ and ‘noes’ is 50-50, or close to it. Wouldn’t the speaker face an issue then? Also, what if some determined members shout their choice out louder than the others, causing the result to change? This sounds like figments of imagination but they could well happen

  3. February 1st, 2014 at 09:33 | #4

    Yes…………..I also have the same doubt……………how can we judge the voice…………if the members( minority) who oppose the motion have louder voice than the the members( having majority) whose voice is bit smaller………..then is it right on the part of speaker to declare that oppsite side who r in minority have won………….?

  4. Harsh
    February 18th, 2014 at 20:59 | #5

    Is voice vote a norm while passing bills, or is it used in exceptional cases?

  5. Harsh
    February 19th, 2014 at 22:58 | #6

    Indeed, it seems voice vote can be extremely imprecise since one lobby could shout louder than the other.
    In case of the Telangana bill, could you explain why the speaker went for voice vote instead of a rising vote or a vote where the lobbies could stand separately and show their respective strengths?

  6. BEN
    July 9th, 2015 at 19:17 | #7

    what kind of bills can be passed by voice vote?

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