Skip to main content Start of content

Voice Votes

Once debate on a motion has concluded, the Speaker puts the question to the House. After reading the text of the motion, the Speaker then asks, “Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?” In the absence of any dissenting voice, he or she will declare the motion carried.

If the Speaker hears a dissenting voice, he or she may first verify whether the House wishes to have the motion declared carried or defeated simply “on division”. Members who do not wish a motion to be carried unanimously, but who do not want a recorded division, may indicate their position by simply stating “on division”. The Speaker will then declare the motion carried or lost on division.

When it is obvious that the House wishes to divide on the question, the Speaker will take a voice vote. He or she will ask for the decision of the House by saying, “All those in favour of the motion will please say ’yea’”; and then, “All those opposed will please say ’nay’”. The Speaker listens to both responses, judges the voices and the sense of the House, and states his or her opinion as to the result: “In my opinion, the yeas (nays) have it”. If there is no objection, the Speaker then declares the motion carried or lost, as the case may be; however, if five or more Members rise to signal a demand for a recorded vote, the Speaker will say, “Call in the Members”.

Top of page