Both Westminster Houses sit more frequently than many legislatures. Time in the Commons is government controlled, but a proportion is allocated to Opposition parties and private Members. Governments frequently move to vary rules to secure their own business. The Lords is not government controlled: business proceeds by agreement. The conventions of debate are intended to foster an exchange of views rather than oratory. The Speaker calls Members, enforces discipline, rules on orderliness, and selects amendments for debate. Empowering the majority party to adopt privileged special orders from the Rules Committee controlled by the Speaker impacts on information availability, debate, and amendment spontaneity otherwise guaranteed by standing rules. Preoccupation toward certainty of time and issue, facilitated by clustered and postponed votes, together with minimalization of minority amendment prerogatives have restricted open debate and provoked extraordinary minority responses. By contrast, the supermajority votes needed in the Senate to limit debate (cloture) greatly advantages the minority party.
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