How-To: Second and Third Reading

Where the bills which wish to become law are first debated and discussed before they head to division.
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Barclay A.A. Stanley
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How-To: Second and Third Reading

Post by Barclay A.A. Stanley »

Second and Third Reading

The main purpose of Second Reading is to provide the main bulk of the debate on the Bill that is currently sitting before Parliament. During Second Reading, amendments may be offered, but be aware that the government is not likely to accept them, so use this opportunity sparingly. Once it has been moved to this forum, debate will last for a period of not less than four days unless a motion to guillotine is passed by the Government.

For the purposes of the game, Second and Third Reading are condensed.

Anyone may move an amendment during Second and Third Reading, but it is up to the government (or the opposition, in the case of an opposition PMB) in the person of the sponsor or House Leader whether to accept these amendments. It is not advisable to move a whole lot of amendments in Second Reading every time, because amendments are, in my experience at least, only accepted in the most exceptional cases. Any move for an amendment or acceptance of an amendment must be posted in bold text so we can discern them amidst the remarks in the debate.

If the bill is considered on an opposition day, the Shadow Leader of the House is “House Leader of the Day” and thus the rules for the House Leader apply to him, while the rules for the Shadow Leader apply to the Government’s House Leader. Like in First Reading, all motions reserved to the (Shadow) Leader of the House may also be made by a party leader.

Amendments can be moved to a vote at the request of a party leader or by AV decision at the application of a faction; frivolous use of this rule will not be appreciated and might attract IC repercussions.

Guillotine Motions
If the Government wishes to guillotine debate and move it straight to division, they may do so by saying in bold "Mr. Speaker, I beg to move that debate be guillotined". This should only be done in situations where all sides of the House have nothing further to say, and in extreme cases where this is not the case the Speaker may refuse. As soon as the motion is made, we’ll judge whether it can be granted or not. If granted, the bill will skip the remainder of Second Reading and Third Reading entirely and be moved directly to division.

Extension of debate
It is possible for the House Leader or Shadow House Leader to move for an extension of debate. The House Leader can do this by saying something like “Mr Speaker, more time will be allocated for debate on this matter” or “Mr Speaker, I beg to move that debate be extended”. In either case, unless the extension is clearly unnecessary, the Speaker will extend debate at his discretion by up to 48 hours.

The Shadow House Leader may also move for an extension of debate. He may, however, only “move that debate be extended”. Unless the government voices an objection, the Speaker may grant this request and extend debate at his discretion by up to 48 hours, unless the extension is clearly unnecessary. As a rule, debate extensions requested by the opposition are granted less frequently than extensions requested by the government.

Debate may be extended only once, and motions to extend debate will not be entertained after the Speaker has ruled on a previous motion.

Passing through Second and Third Reading
After four days have passed, the bill will be automatically moved to division. An exception may be made at the discretion of the Speaker if the government fails to respond egregiously to comments in the debate.
Lt. Col. Sir Barclay A.A. Stanley, Rtd., KBE
Member of Parliament for Macclesfield

Armed with nothing but a pint of gin, Sir Barclay went to battle against the forces of Communism, Socialism, and Liberalism.
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