The Speaker’s Constitutional Role

As well as providing for a Speaker, the Constitution prescribes certain powers and duties exercisable by the Speaker. These include:

  • Responsibility for the issue of a writ for a by-election whenever a vacancy occurs in the Legislative Assembly between general elections
  • Administering (by commission of the Governor) the oath or affirmation of allegiance to any member not present at the opening of Parliament and to new members elected during the course of a Parliament
  • Exercising a casting vote if the number of votes on a question before the House is equal
  • Receiving a member's resignation from his or her seat. The member cannot nominate a date in the future for the resignation being effective; it is effective the moment the letter of resignation is received by the Speaker.