That part of the Parliamentary day which attracts most public attention is the daily question period in the House of Commons. Any Cabinet Minister may be questioned by any Member of the House on matters relating to his responsibilities. Questions may be asked orally without notice or set down in writing. The first 40 minutes of each parliamentary day are devoted to oral questions. These relate to the current issues of the day and are frequently asked in order to emphasize a matter of public urgency. It is the Speaker's responsibility to ensure that questions conform to the rules of order and that as many members as possible get the opportunity to ask their questions. It is recognized practice that he favours the opposition parties in calling on members during the question period.
The question period has to a great extent replaced the ancient right of the citizen to petition the Crown and Parliament. petitions are no longer an effective method of securing the redress of grievances. If members are dissatisfied with a reply to a question they have the opportunity to raise the matter again between 10:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.