Saturday 25 January 2020

How to avoid having a vote

Q Draft Heads of Bill published: Goes to Oireachtas Health Committee for consultation and deliberation with experts. No vote as there's no legislation to vote on.

Legislation published: Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill published and put on the Order Paper for debate in the Dail and Seanad.

Q Second Stage Debate: Government and opposition set out their stall on the legislation and invariably the wider topic. Nobody calls for a vote.

Q Committee: Amendments tabled, debated and accepted or rejected by Health Minister James Reilly, but nobody pushes rejected amendments to a vote.

Q Report and Final Stages: Wrap up debate and then final vote. Ceann Comhairle puts the bill to the Dail. Asks those in favour to say 'Ta', those against to say 'Nil'.

At this point someone is likely to call for a vote by saying 'Votail'. The bells ring in Leinster House for a vote. Uncertain the required number of TDs want a vote, Ceann Comhairle asks those calling for a vote to stand in their seats. If less than 10 TDs stand, Ceann Comhairle says a vote is not required.

Irish Independent

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