Originally published on the DaninOttawa.com site on June 24, 2011.
Basically every member of the opposition has an opportunity to speak on this legislation. In turn, members of the Government also have a brief chance to respond to these opposition member statements. As there are over 100 members of the opposition, there is a fair bit of time collectively that can be used for the debate. The lay term for this is often referred to as a 'filibuster', when all members collectively speak on an issue. Internally both sides of the house generally break their caucuses into “teams” and each team takes a shifts set by a schedule. Eventually at some point the Opposition will either run out of members to speak on this legislation, or they will decide to have no further members rise to speak. At that point a vote will be called. For this reason, if your shift is not in the house, you cannot be too far away lest you miss the vote. This is where each caucus will likely have a very active Whip who will be busy keeping track of their respective members. My shift ended at 3am, although I will remain within both the house and the precinct- I must confess that I will be off to find some coffee.
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