Chamber of Deputies

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The Floor of the House

The centre of activities of the Chamber of Deputies is the Floor of the House, which is where major decisions are made, debates are held on the items on the Chamber of Deputies' agenda, most legislative bills are discussed and voted on, confidence in the Government is granted or revoked, policy-setting acts (motions and resolutions) are discussed and questions and interpellations are made.

The work of the Chamber of Deputies is organised on the basis of forward planning. To this end, a work programme and order of business are set out in advance, and serve as reference points for the organisation of the activities of the Floor of the House and the Committees.

Most votes on the Floor of the House are conducted by roll-call using an electronic system that immediately records the name of the voting MP and the result of the vote. The system allows each Deputy to vote from his seat in the House by activating his/her voting station (by means of an identity-checking system) and using a voting card associated with his or her name. Thanks to the electronic voting and the calculation of the results, it can be determined immediately whether there is a legal quorum in the House.

The list of Deputies voting, together with the vote cast by each, is published in the verbatim report of the sitting.

Each voting station has three buttons: a green one for an "Aye", a red one for a "Nay" and a white one for a vote of abstention. For resolutions of the Chamber of Deputies to be valid, a majority of Deputies must be present in the House (half the total number plus one), as specified by the Constitution. This is the "legal quorum."