Lord Speaker (Ebenthal)

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Lord Speaker of Conclave
Conclave of Ebenthal New Logo2.png
Incumbent
The Marquis of Rozandir

since 29 June 2020
StyleThe Most Dignified
AppointerThe King
Term lengthNo term limits are imposed on the office
Inaugural holderEric de Pádua
Formation21 November 2014

The Lord Speaker (Portuguese: Lorde Orador; formely known as First Lord of the Conclave) is the chief officer and highest authority of the College of Peers of the Realm, the unicameral parliament of Ebenthal, acting as speaker of the house. The Lord Speaker is appointed by the King among parliament members of the major party to serve with no term lenght, for a life tenure or until be dismissed by the monarch.

The Lord Speaker presides over the College's debates, determining which members may speak and which amendments are selected for consideration. The Lord Speaker is also responsible for maintaining order during debate, and may punish members who break the rules of the College. The Lord Speaker takes part in debate and vote, holding exclusively the power of a second vote to break ties. Aside from duties relating to presiding over the College, the Speaker also performs administrative and procedural functions. In addition, they remain a constituency Peer of the Realm.

Competences

Presiding office

The Lord Speaker's primary function is to preside over the College of Peers. The Lord Speaker's powers are extensive. Most importantly, the Lord Speaker calls on members to speak; no member may make a speech without the Lord Speaker's prior permission. By custom, the Lord Speaker alternates between members supporting the Government and those supporting the Opposition. Members direct their speeches not to the whole House, but to the Lord Speaker, using the words "Most Dignified Lord/Lady Speaker". Members must refer to each other in the third person by the name of their noble titles or their ministerial titles (not their names); they may not directly address anyone other than the Lord Speaker (who does call them by name). In order to remain neutral, the Lord Speaker generally refrains from making speeches, although there is nothing to prevent him or her from doing so.

During debate, the Lord Speaker is responsible for maintaining discipline and order, and rules on all points of order (objections made by members asserting that a rule of the College has been broken); the decisions may not be appealed. The Lord Speaker bases decisions on the rules of the College and on precedent; if necessary, they may consult with the sovereign before issuing a ruling. In addition, the Lord Speaker has other powers that may be used to maintain orderly debate. Usually, the Lord Speaker attempts to end a disruption, or "calls members to order", by loudly repeating "ORDER! ORDER!". If members do not follow instructions, the Lord Speaker may punish them by demanding that they leave the College for the remainder of the day's sitting or muting them for the rest of the session, in case of [much more common] online meeting. For grave disobedience, the Lord Speaker may "name" a member, by saying "I name [Mr/Mrs X]." (deliberately breaching the convention that members are only referred to by reference to their constituency, "The Most Dignified Member for [Y]"). The House may then vote to suspend the member "named" by the Lord Speaker for a week for a first offence. In case of "grave disorder", the Lord Speaker may immediately adjourn the entire sitting

In addition to maintaining discipline, the Lord Speaker must ensure that debate proceeds smoothly. If they finds that a member is making irrelevant remarks, is tediously repetitive, or is otherwise attempting to delay proceedings, they may order the member to end the speech. Before a debate begins in which "many members have expressed a wish to speak" or in which allotted parliamentary time is short, the Lord Speaker may ask honorable members for (in reality demand) short speeches, under which they set a time limit. At the same time, however, the Speaker is charged with protecting the interests of the minority by ensuring sufficient debate before a vote. Thus, the Lord Speaker may disallow a closure, which seeks to end debate and immediately put the question to a vote, if the Lord Speaker finds that the motion constitutes an abuse of the rules or breaches the rights of the minority.

Before the Peers of the Realm, excluding the Lord Speaker, vote on any issue, the Lord Speaker "puts the question"; that is, they orally state the motion on which the members are to vote, and the members present say "yes" or "no". If this voice vote indicates a clear majority the result will usually be accepted, but if the acclamation is unclear or any member demands it, a division (vote in the aye and noe lobbies in which members names are taken) takes place. The Lord Speaker may overrule a request for a division and maintain the original ruling; this power, however, is used only rarely, usually when members make frivolous requests for a division to delay proceedings.

Casting votes

When the Yes and Nos are tied, the Lord Speaker must use the casting vote. The principle is always to vote in favour of further debate, or, where it has been previously decided to have no further debate or in some specific instances, to vote in favour of the status quo. For example, the Lord Speaker would vote against a closure motion, or the final passage of a bill, or an amendment.

Since the College of Peers has over 16 voting members, tied votes are very common and Lord Speakers are often called upon to use the casting vote.

Other functions

According to parliamentary rules, the Lord Speaker is the highest authority of the College of Peers and has final say over how its business is conducted, as well as other key choices, for example, which tabled amendments are selected for votes. In addition to the role of presiding officer, the Lord Speaker performs several other functions on the behalf of the College of Peers. The Speaker represents the body in relations with the Sovereign and non-parliamentary bodies. On important occasions of state, the Lord Speaker presents Addresses to the Crown on behalf of the College. The Lord Speaker performs various procedural functions such as recalling the College from recess during a national emergency, or when otherwise requested by the Government.

The Lord Speaker is also responsible for overseeing the administration of the College. He appoints needed staff, determines their salaries, and supervises the general administration.

Finally, the Lord Speaker continues to represent his or her constituency in the College. Like any other Peer of the Realm, the Lord Speaker deals with issues raised by constituents and attempts to address their concerns.

Appointment

Formely the Lord Speaker would be freely appointed by the King among Peers of whichever party or coalition has a majority in parliament. This, however, was changed through the October Reform Act. Since then, it is up to the major party assembled to choose by any means available the person who will be formaly appointed Lord Speaker by the King who, in turn, get to freely choose the Vice Lord Speaker among the peers of that same party.

Following the formal appointment by the monarch, the Lord Speaker shall take an oath of loyalty to the constitution and the King of Ebenthal. From then on the appointed person shall enjoy the right of adress of The Most Dignified and the title of Lord Speaker and Peer of the College of Peers of the Realm.

The Lord Speaker cannot hold any judicial power, but can serve any ministerial office concomitantly, though without the right to accumulate wages. Furthermore, under Article 19th of the Ebenthali Constitution of 2015, no member of the Ebenthali Royal Family can be appointed as Peer of the Realm, and thus, as Lord Speaker, in order to prevent absolute dynastic rule.

List of Lord Speakers

No. Name Portrait Office Party Sovereign
I Eric de Pádua, Count of Three Marys 21 November
2014
17 June
2015
Worker's Party Arthur I
II Vinicius Dias, Marquis of Wallia 18 June
2015
12 January
2017
Conservative Party Arthur I
III Nilo Moreira, Count of the Hidden Mound 13 January
2017
05 November
2017
Conservative Party Arthur I
IV Gabriel Silva, Count of Ardo 05 November
2017
09 August
2019
Moderate Party Arthur I
V Thiago Walker, Duke of Guanabara 10 August
2019
30 December
2019
Conservative Party Mateus I
Only one appointed by High King Mateus I
VI Nícollas Reis, Duke of Launceston 31 December
2019
29 June
2020
Moderate Party Arthur II
VII Jonathan, Marquis of Rozandir 29 June
2020
present Conservative Party Arthur II