Do the debates in parliament get crazy with people yelling and screaming?
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.
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Hi Melina. Yes, sometimes the debates in the Australian Parliament do get passionate and animated. This is actually a good thing so long as senators and members of the House of Representatives follow the Standing Orders – the rules.
Most debates in Parliament are about bills – proposed laws. Many bills are non-controversial, and the debates and votes are well-behaved. However, some bills are more contested and many members of parliament want to strongly put forward their views and represent the people of their electorate.
There is one part of the day when Parliament can get particularly lively. During Question Time, which occurs at 2pm every sitting day, there are usually many members of the public in the galleries along with the media to report on proceedings. With so much attention, some senators and members can be loud—and interject—as they seek to get their point across.
It is the responsibility of the Presiding Officers—the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives—to maintain order and ensure everyone follows the rules.
If the Standing Orders are not followed, the Presiding Officer can call the senator or member to order. They can also issue warnings and discipline a senator or member by ‘naming’ them which could lead to their suspension from Parliament.