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Motion
Category Type of debatable item
Submitted by Parties, MPs, non-MPs (when seconded by an MP)
Item reference Mxx

A motion is an item that is used to debate a statement. This means that they have no effect on the TSR law, regardless of whether they pass or fail. Motions are often used to call upon the government to do something and so although they can be submitted by any party, commonly only opposition parties and individual MPs submit them. It is worth noting that motions are completely different from motions of no confidence.

In contrast to bills, it is much more common for motions to put forward statements concerning topical events, whether that be terrorist attacks, sudden changes in the economy or something else. However, they are not constrained to discussing topical events. For example, they could discuss tidal energy or road resurfacing or demntia awareness to, to name but a few topics.

Every motion that has been presented in the House has been recorded in the Motion Hansard, which is updated by the Speaker. This archive details who proposed a motion, when they proposed it, what the result of the motion was, and gives links to the various readings of the motion. When motions are put to the House, they are given an item reference. This will be 'M' followed by a number.

Motion formatting

There are almost no guidelines that motions have to follow and they can be as long or short as the proposer wishes. However, they are supposed to be in a field box and they should refer to the House, because it is ultimately the House that will decided whether or not they are carried in the end. For example, the first line of the motion should be something like "This House believes...", "This House condemns..." or "This House calls upon the Government to...". As mentioned above though, most motions call on the government to do something. Motions are essentially miniature essays and unlike bills, justifications and costings are included in the body of the text and not in a separate notes section.

Motion procedure

There is supposed to be no more than one motion in the House each day. However, Speakers do not always stick to this regulation. There are several stages in-between the submission of a motion and it being voted on. Firstly, the submitter of the motion, or party leader, either tags the Speaker to their motion or sends the Speaker a private message with the motion in order to submit it. The Speaker should then acknowledge the motion and let the person[s] know when it will be put to the House. When the motion is ready to be presented to the House, the Speaker will create a thread for it in the main forum and include the new motion in their MHoC update. The motion will stay in the House for a maximum of six days when it will then be withdrawn. The proposer may however request that the motion be sent to vote early.

After the motion is withdrawn, it will be placed in cessation for 7 days and will be withdrawn unless the proposer puts forward a second reading or asks for it to go to vote. Each motion may be undergo 3 readings, with the second reading lasting no longer than 4 days and the third reading lasting no longer than 3 days. Motions may also be amended when they go to vote. If a motion is sent to vote, all MPs will be able to vote either in favour, against, or abstain. After five days, voting will close and if the motion in question receives more votes in favour than it does against, it will pass. It is worth noting that the proposer has the power to withdraw a motion at any stage.

Number of motions

In March 2009, Alasdair successfully passed an amendment to introduce motions into the MHoC. The first official motion created was the Condemnation of Pakistani Government Motion in March 2009. Since then, there have been over 400 motions. However. a small number of motions in the past have been blocked by the Speaker and these can be viewed in Rejected Submissions. In April 2012, then-Speaker Metrobeans created the Motion and Bill Challenge - a challenge for the Government and other political parties to submit at least one motion a week. He then compiled tables each month of how many motions each party, and independents, had created. At the end of the term, the tallies were added up and the party with the highest number of motions produced would take the title for that term. This has remained a feature of the MHoC ever since.

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