Speaker (politics)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The term speaker is a title often given to the presiding officer (chair) of a deliberative assembly, especially a legislative body. The speaker's official role is to moderate debate, make rulings on procedure, announce the results of votes, and the like. The speaker decides who may speak and has the powers to discipline members who break the procedures of the house. The speaker often also represents the body in person, as the voice of the body in ceremonial and some other situations.

The title was first recorded in 1377 to describe the role of Thomas de Hungerford in the Parliament of England for ; in most other cultures other styles are used, mainly translations of chairman or president. In Canadian French, the Speaker of the House of Commons or a legislature are referred to as Président. By convention, these Speakers are normally addressed in Parliament as Mister Speaker, if a man, or Madam Speaker, if a woman.

Many bodies also have a speaker pro tempore or deputy speaker, designated to fill in when the speaker is not available.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Speaker (politics)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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