The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of Georgeland. Parliament also includes the President of Georgeland and the Georgeland Senate. The House of Commons is one of three parliamentary chambers in the world to use that name. The other two are the lower houses of the United Kingdom and Canada. The chamber is sometimes referred to simply as the Commons or the House.
The House of Commons is the chamber in which government is formed. Most ministers come from the Commons, as do all Prime Ministers, Deputy Prime Ministers and Treasurers. The Constitution of Georgeland states that a person cannot be appointed as Prime Minister unless he or she commands a majority in the House of Commons. The Prime Minister, therefore, leads the party or coalition with a majority (50%+1) of all seats.
There are presently 265 Members of the House of Commons, elected from single-member constituencies using a preferential instant-runoff, or Alternative Vote system.
Each of the 265 Members of the House of Commons recieves the letters M.P., after their name, which stands for Member of Parliament. Technically members of the Senate are MPs as well, however, Senators are not referred to as MPs. Each MP represents a constituency, or district, of approximately 60-70 thousand voters. Each MP serves a three-year term; this was recently reduced from four. When a vacancy occurs in a seat, a special by-election is held to fill the seat. During this time, it is customary for one member of the opposing party to excuse themselves from debates so as to maintain the numbers. There is no guarantee of equal representation for the states in the House of Commons, as each state recieves a number of members in proportion to its population. Thus, Delmago Island recieves just one member, while East Mainland recieves seventy-one. In the Senate, six of seven states recieve the same number of Senators.
The presiding officer of the Commons is the Speaker who maintains order in the chamber. Like the Speakers of most Westminster-style parliaments, the Speaker is required to be as unbiased as possible and rarely takes part in debates. The Speaker recieves no vote on the floor of the Commons unless it is a casting vote. No Speaker has ever used a casting vote. The exception to this rule is during a conscience vote, also known as a free vote, where MPs are not required to follow a party line and may vote as they choose. In such cases, which are rare, the Speaker may cast their vote like any other member of the House. Unlike the British Speaker, the Georgeland Speaker continues to serve as a member of his or her party, and must contest his or her seat at a general election like every other MP. During periods between Speakers, such as after a general election, the Father of the Georgeland House of Commons presides from the chair over the selection of a new speaker.