From Law & Religion UK
If, as the critics are suggesting, the Chair of the House of Laity should maintain some kind of Speaker-like impartiality all the time, that might preclude him from speaking in debates that he was not chairing. One option would be to adopt a system similar to the Speaker and the Deputy Speakers in the House of Commons, under which the person in the Chair pro tem has only a casting vote in the event of a tie and may not vote on the first round – although this seems somewhat excessive for a body that only meets two or three times a year and which is, at least in principle, apolitical. But that still does not solve the problem of perceived lack of impartiality when that person is not actually in the Chair. Nor is anyone (so far as we are aware) suggesting that the Chairs of the Houses of Bishops and of Clergy should be “impartial”: to suggest otherwise – in effect, that the two Archbishops should somehow stand back from debates on contentious issues because of their chairing role – is surely reductio ad absurdum. So why single out the Chair of the House of Laity in
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