Motion vs Bill
In parliamentary system of democracy, there are many terms that are a source of confusion for common people. Two such terms are motion and bill. One often hears about a motion brought to attention by a member of parliament that was taken up for discussion by the parliament. Then there are bills of different types and the situation becomes all the more confusing when newspapers talk about how a motion got converted into a bill or how it failed to become a bill. Let us take a closer look at the two terms to remove all confusion from the minds of the readers.
A motion is a proposal moved by a member of the house to attract the attention of the house to something urgent or of public interest. It may be merely an opinion on a matter that might be considered urgent to be taken up by the house for discussion. A motion may be discussed in the house and even passed by the house but it doesn’t mean that any more action may logically follow. When the discussion on a motion takes the shape of a bill, it is deemed as a proposed law that is submitted to the parliament for consideration and approval.
A bill may come from the government, a private member or a committee, and it deals with matters that are of interest to public or the government. Thus a motion is a formal proposal put forward by a member that is put forward for the consideration of the house or a select committee while a bill is a draft of a proposed law based upon the motion. This proposed law is presented to the parliament for its perusal, discussion, and approval. In general, a motion on itself cannot become a law but it can lead to the development of a bill that may see the light of the day and eventually be passed by both houses of the parliament to finally become a law.
When a motion is raised by a member (in accordance with the rule of the house), it can be adopted, debated, amended, suspended or withdrawn as the house may deem fit. A member needs to give prior notice before he is allowed to raise a motion. A motion becomes a bill when it has been adopted and later passed and sent for the approval of both houses of parliament.