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DrEntropy

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  1. Two Thirds vote to close debate, History

    Hi John, thanks for sending your article, I meant to post a reference to it here for the benefit of others, as I had just rediscovered it a few days ago while searching through the PJ index ! Cheers
  2. Has anyone investigated the source of the two-thirds vote requirement for "previous question" (and a few other things of course). I can't find anything in RONR 11th, but in the 1st edition the General mentions: "In ordinary societies more regard should be paid to the rights of the minority, and a two-thirds vote be required, as in this Manual, for sustaining an objection to the introduction of a question, or for adopting a motion for the Previous Question, or for adopting an order closing or limiting debate. In this respect the policy of the Pocket Manual is a mean between those of the House and Senate." I believe at that time the House (as now) used a majority vote, and the Senate had no such motion. Older sources seem to require a majority vote (e.g. Cushings) Was this a creation of the General?
  3. Two Thirds vote to close debate, History

    Thanks for your contribution to my thinking on this. I took a look in Parliamentary Law and there is a nice discussion about it that I will not repeat here, but it says that it should be "the same vote as required for suspending the rules", since in some sense it suspends the normal rules of debate. I note that the US House under it's current rules also requires a 2/3 vote to suspend the rules, but I don't know the history of that particular rule, but intend to pursue it! As for why "2/3" , I think it is a bit arbitrary, but it is also natural in that it is the next bigger fraction that is easy to calculate ( "twice as many for as are against").
  4. "Tradition" of not following procedure

    The most important person you have to convince is the presiding officer. I have found that you can more easily bring people on board by emphasizing that (at least for RONR) the rules themselves specify a somewhat relaxed attitude for most cases, especially for committees and small boards (where, for example, seconds are not required, and one can speak on a subject when no motion is pending). And consider this: RONR 11, page 456 "The president should never be technical or more strict than is necessary for the good of the meeting. Good judgment is essential; the assembly may be of such a nature, through its unfamiliarity with parliamentary usage and its peaceable disposition, that strict enforcement of the rules, instead of assisting, would greatly hinder business." Even if RONR is not your authority, I recommend it for becoming acquainted with the general principles of parliamentary law. And the little "RONR in Brief" which is a great resource for understanding the essentials.
  5. Cheat Sheet

    Ah, hand typing up cheat sheets. I remember doing that for this and a few other things ! Nice job on this one, it is tricky to get that formatting right on a typewriter!
  6. Carry Over of Motions

    Are you asking about adopted motions, or motions temporarily but not finally disposed of?
  7. p506 l. 9-11 RONR11, although it is stated the other way around: Someone else should report if the committee chair is the presiding officer of the assembly.
  8. Your say your society has bylaws addressing how to bring charges, so you will have to be the judge on how that meshes up with what is in Section 63 in RONR 11th. But in the end the action must be started by a member, perhaps one of the board members, maybe you? Most likely a member will have to make a motion offering charges, something like what is done on page 657 ll 5-17.
  9. co presidents

    Hah! Indeed. This is what tends to happen. Consider coming upon a scene with a fallen man lying on the ground. He is suffering grave injury. You have some EMT training and try to help, but someone has to call an ambulance. There are two people who have gathered near. Which strategy is more effective: a) "Someone call an ambulance", or b_) "YOU call an ambulance", pointing at one of the co-observers. ?? I know this has been harped on many times in this forum, but I don't think it can really be emphasized enough: Don't have co-anythings. But if you insist, be prepared to invent the rules for how to deal with the messes it creates.
  10. Strange response

    Under Robert's Rules of Order, any statement that begins "Under Robert's Rules of Order" has a 90% chance of being incorrect.
  11. The Reciprocal Reading of Bylaw

    In the end, it will be up to your association (in a meeting) to decide the meaning of the bylaws in this regard. Next time it comes up (e.g. if the chair rules the vote insufficient and you disagree) appeal (RONR p 255) from the ruling the chair. In debate on this appeal your association can deliberate and decide the meaning. See also page 588 and following in RONR11 for some principles of interpretation to help you. (The most important of which is: "Each society decides for itself the meaning of its bylaws.") It seems that when this bylaw was written it was not anticipated that anyone would want to undo an endorsement. In my opinion there is perhaps some ambiguity. The bylaw should be amended as soon as practical to clear this up.
  12. Ugh, I have been in your shoes. People who misunderstand the rules I can help. But stubborn folks who will stick to their misconceptions (either because they are self proclaimed experts or 'we have always done it this way') and not even try to learn, I cannot tolerate. I wish you the best of luck, and I think your course of action is probably the best.
  13. You have that luxury now, and I think Kim was suggesting you avail yourself of it. Perhaps bring him a fresh new copy of RONR in Brief and if feeling very generous, the full RONR. At the very least I would hope your presiding officer will see that the 2/3 requirement for an appeal can't be right. As for the motion to rescind, he is also probably not right, but the "vague reference" to a bylaw means there might be some interpretation issue. Maybe you could ask about that too, while sharing a cup of tea.
  14. Minutes approval committee

    I am looking for clarification of the rule on page 474 bottom: "When the next regular business session will not be held within a quarterly time interval (see pp. 89–90), and the session does not last longer than one day, or in an organization in which there will be a change or replacement of a portion of the membership, the executive board or a committee appointed for the purpose should be authorized to approve the minutes." Should this be read as "a significant portion" ? I mean every assembly has membership changes (new members join, people leave etc) from time to time, and I don't think this is meant to apply in those cases. Related question: For an executive board, what is the common practice? I have to admit every board I have been on does this wrong and lets the next board approve the previous board's minutes, even though often only a few members are in common between the two boards. I am thinking one approach is to appoint a committee of the board (perhaps the whole board) to meet directly after the board's last meeting and approve the minutes.
  15. Minutes approval committee

    Thanks Kim, this makes sense. But could the board, in it's instructions to the committee, realize result #b instead? This might be handy also for assemblies (rather then boards) who actually don't plan to meet again, or conventions of delegates.
  16. Minutes approval committee

    I hope folks don't mind me resurrecting this thread, but another question occurred to me since January. Stubborn neurons i guess. Anyway, my question is, when a committee is appointed to approve the minutes, how is the final approval recorded? Does the committee chair just inform the secretary of the results and then the secretary includes them in the official record? (With the notation "Approved by special committee" or some such?). Does the committee report to the new board the results?
  17. The Executive board can allow anyone they wish to attend their meetings, and even speak on motions if they so desire (through a motion to suspend the rules for example). However they cannot allow a non-member to vote, that violates a fundamental principle of parliamentary law (RONR page 263). If you want more members of the executive board (Committee chairs, in your case) amend the bylaws.
  18. Sequence of Public Hearing and Motion

    "public hearing" is not something addressed by Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised (RONR). A "Public hearing" is not part of the deliberative process described by RONR, but might be part of your process, in which case the answer will be found in your governing documents.
  19. Question about Rescinding a Previous Motion

    Note though that a majority vote of the entire membership (RONR p306) will also suffice, and might be easier to achieve depending on attendance of your board members.
  20. Motion to rescind

    The effect of the motion "To Rescind" is to cancel/ strike out a motion/resolution/etc that was adopted at a previous time. If a motion is not adopted, it can be renewed, that is simply offered again (with some restrictions, primarily that in general a motion cannot be renewed during the same session, however the matter could be reached in that case by a motion to reconsider). If a motion was not even made (or was withdrawn) then you can simply offer the motion at any time. Here, however, I suppose your use of the phrase legislative act implies this is some kind of governmental body, in which case there are likely to be special rules that apply to this particular body.
  21. OH! SO that is why we are seeing these odd subject lines. Yeah "Title" is ambiguous. It is likely configurable in the forum software. Note that even the FAQ on the forum doesn't make this crystal clear: " In the "Topic Details" section, fill in the "Title" box with a brief title for your topic. Note: Enter the title you wish assigned to your topic. Please do not enter your personal title in the "Title" box. I would propose replacing "Enter the title you wish assigned to ..." with "Enter the subject .."
  22. proposing amendment to bylaws

    If the bylaws are silent (and there is not some higher level document, e.g. a "Constitution" ) then the default (according to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, p581) is a previous notice and a 2/3 vote, or a majority of the entire membership. Such an amendment can be proposed by any member, just like any other motion. If the bylaws are silent, one amendment I would consider soon would be adding an article on amending the bylaws... and also one on specifying a parliamentary authority if that is also lacking.
  23. If a member believes that it would be strongly undesirable for the motion to be considered (for example, it is offensive) then, before any debate has begun, the member rises (without seeking recognition) and states something like "Mr President, I object to the consideration of the motion". A vote is immediately called for, and a two-thirds vote AGAINST consideration is required to prevent consideration of the motion. If the chair is reasonably certain that the member jumping up to "table" the motion intends something like this, he can assume the motion to object and put the question immediately. However, I would note that situations where objection to consideration is warranted are few and far between. Most genuine motions can benefit from some debate, and if the assembly in the end decides it would not like to make a direct statement on the subject, they can adopt the motion to postpone indefinitely.
  24. A member that has been recognized by the chair can use the floor for any proper purpose, including making of secondary motions that are in order at that time. But note that the member who made the motion has preference in recognition if he claims the floor in a timely manner (RONR Page 31). So if the maker of the motion has something to say about it, he gets his chance before anyone else can move to postpone, lay on the table or what have you. If a member is jumping up and shouting "I move to table that motion!", that is not in order, and most likely the member is misusing the motion lay on the table (As Hieu pointed out, see FAQ 12 and 13 on this site).
  25. "It doesn't say we can't"

    I can't find this as an exact quote, but the sentiment is basically correct- BUT this is talking about what a BOARD can do. The organization as whole, as represented at a properly called membership meeting with a quorum present, is a different matter. It doesn't need anything assigned to it, everything is under the memberships control by default unless the bylaws say otherwise. For most organizations it is this assembly of the members that is the highest authority (subject only to provisions of the bylaws and other such documents). For the question of whether a main motion is in order, see page 110-111. In this case I think #1 on that list might be the determining factor, and hinge on bylaw interpretation, for which see RONR 11th edition page 590 and following.
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