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Sean Hunt

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Everything posted by Sean Hunt

  1. In retrospect, I think I had myself confused with notices. Sorry!
  2. I don't have my copy of the Rules on me, but my memory is that a nomination can be unilaterally withdrawn, until nominations close, at which point it can only be withdrawn by unanimous consent.
  3. This is not specifically a typo, per se, but I feel that the paragraph at the bottom of pg. 263 and the top of pg. 264 could use some love. It begins by saying that a rule protecting absentees cannot be suspended, and then goes on to imply, but not directly say, that they can be suspended if there are no absentees. I think it should be explicit that, if all people protected by the rule are present, then the rule can be suspended (with the exception noted in the footnote). Additionally, I think it would be helpful to refer to this paragraph in the index under "suspension of notice of meetings" and similar things.
  4. The reason is because they are both motions that capture the assembly's reaction to a particular action taken. A censure is simple, it is the assembly formally expressing its disapproval. A ratification is the opposite. It is the assembly formally expressing its approval. In this sense, the effect of the motion to ratify to give effect to the action can be seen as incidental. Even if that weren't specifically called out, any action to punish those who took that action would be, inherently, contrary to the motion approving of those actions. Thus ratify gains its effect of cementing the prior action.
  5. I've always been curious about complex systesm of rules and such, and I play Nomic on the Internet. I started in parliamentary procedure, however, when I discovered the online practice of the Canadian House of Commons Procedure and Practice. This is also what got me started on late-night Hansard sessions in high school. At some point in my investigations I learned of Robert's Rules, then promptly checked out the library's copy and read it. I had no occasion to use it, however, until I came to university, whereupon I immediately became the most knowledgeable member of my faculty's student association with regards to parliamentary procedure. I joined the council, presided on and off, was elected to the University Senate and later the Board, and served a year as chair of the school-wide students' council (though I have never been a member). I also served as parliamentarian for a contentious general meeting with several hundred attendees, which was a lot of fun (we had six motions pending at once! Six!) There's a running joke that I can't participate in any organization without rewriting the bylaws. It's not that far from the truth. I'm now starting to make the transition into paid work, which is exciting as this is something I really enjoy.
  6. I'm not sure I agree. One of the defenses of repeated balloting is that if there are strongly opposed candidates, neither of whom can get a majority, a compromise candidate can be elected. It seems like it would be awfully difficult to convince a majority to even consider the compromise candidate without debate. I suppose it could happen, but more likely, at some point somebody is going to say "Maybe we should just agree to elect Mr. C" whether or not it's in order.
  7. I'm curious why nominations would have to be open at all for an election to be debateable. On top of the fact that I can't think of anything in the book to support that view, it has been the practice in every organization I have been a part of to ascertain who is running before entertaining debate (and the debate initially has usually included questions asked of the candidates and answered in turn, which I know is not technically correct). I would say that there is nothing indicating that the election becomes a new question, so absent any motions adopted otherwise, members' opportunities to debate an election do not reset between ballots.
  8. Perhaps after the member moving it has made a number of motions which have already ruled to have been dilatory, such as repeated points of order. As a chair, if the member told me he was moving it legitimately, I would take that at face value, and accept the motion, but if a member is trying to obstruct business, he might at least be honest about it, in which case I would probably rule it out of order.
  9. So the chair should disallow the motion if it is obviously being moved solely to gain more speaking time?
  10. The motion to Postpone Indefinitely is indeed a different question, but debate is allowed on the main question, unlike with other subsidiary motions. For instance, if a member repeatedly made amendments to a motion that, despite presenting different questions, clearly were introduced solely to prevent the main motion from coming to a vote, the chair should, as I understand it, rule such motions to be dilatory and out of order---such as an incident in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario where, in opposition to a bill to amalgamate several municipalities into one, the opposition introduced an amendment for each street in any of the affected municipalities to the effect that the residents of that street would receive a public consultation on the matter (sadly, they were ruled in order and the Legislative Assembly took several days to dispose of all the amendments). So my question is why this use of Postpone Indefinitely is explicitly a legitimate use of the motion. The notion that it presents a different question is not necessarily sufficient, given the other circumstances where the chair can rule a motion to be dilatory.
  11. I don't refer to the use of the motion to kill the question without voting, which is precisely why it exists, but rather to simply get more debate time. Surely this use of the motion is a waste of time and a subversion of the notion that two-thirds are required to extend debate, yet at the same time, this is clearly expressed in RONR as being one of the uses of the motion.
  12. I would go so far as to say, as much as it may be sacrilege, that an organization is free to ignore RONR in its entirety as it conducts its deliberations.
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