In India, the speaker contests election for a seat in parliament on a party ticket and yet is expected to conduct in a non-partisan manner. Has this paradox affected the credibility of speaker's office? Discuss while comparing office of speaker of India with similar offices in UK and United States.

Published: November 21, 2017

There is a paradox in the office of speaker in India. A speaker in India, both in parliament (Lok Sabha) and state assemblies contests elections of MP or MLA on party ticket and then is elected as speaker by the other elected members of the same house. The position of speaker becomes even crucial when there are coalition governments and the parties in coalition compete each other to get their own person in speaker’s seat. Further, his position becomes more crucial in context with the key decisions related to anti-defection law. In such matters, the power of speaker is absolute and is subject to political abuse many a times in the form of eviction, suspension of protesting members of opposition. So, without a doubt, these aspects have affected the credibility of speaker.
The comparison of speaker in India and UK, US are as follows:

IndiaUKUS
Is an elected representativeIs an elected representativeNot required to be an elected representative
The Speaker can vote in case of a tieThe Speaker can vote in case of a tieThe Speaker can vote in case of a tie
Is not a part of CabinetIs a part of CabinetIs a part of cabinet
Speaker is not allowed to engage in politics openlySpeaker is not allowed to engage in politics openlySpeaker is allowed to engage in politics openly

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