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Speaker recognition


Guest Johnny

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Can the presiding officer ignore those wishing to be recognized?

If so, under what circumstances?

Yes, there are circumstances where no interruptions are allowed, or where no motions of a certain kind are allowed.

Needless to say, that implies that circumstances will dictate what and when.

Q. Did you have a particular instance in mind?

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Can the presiding officer ignore those wishing to be recognized? If so, under what circumstances?

A couple I can think of. The wishful speaker :

1. is a non-member with no right to speak anyway

2. has spoken once already and it's clear there are others still wishing to speak their first time

3. has spoken twice already on the question

This is not to say the chair should simply ignore the person, but perhaps at least briefly explain why he isn't being recognized. It might be the person has risen for another purpose (Point of Order, to give notice, Question of Privilege, etc), so the chair might best at least ask "For what purpose does the member rise?" But if, to the chair, it's a plain and simple case of debate and something legitimately prevents the speaker from having the floor, the chair may be right.

What did you have in mind?

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Can the presiding officer ignore those wishing to be recognized? If so, under what circumstances?

I do not know of any instances where the presiding officer can willfully ignore someone who rises to claim the floor. He will have to make some response, if only to refuse to recognize the member, as required under the rules, or restore order to an unruly gallery.

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I do not know of any instances where the presiding officer can willfully ignore someone who rises to claim the floor. He will have to make some response, if only to refuse to recognize the member, as required under the rules, or restore order to an unruly gallery.

Couldn't the presiding officer ignore a nonmember trying to be recognized but before recognizing the next member remind the people present that only members have a right to participate in the meeting and everyone else are guests and are there to observe the proceedings only (assuming no rule grants nonmembers extra rights)?

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Couldn't the presiding officer ignore a nonmember trying to be recognized but before recognizing the next member remind the people present that only members have a right to participate in the meeting and everyone else are guests and are there to observe the proceedings only (assuming no rule grants nonmembers extra rights)?

Well, the presiding officer is still responding to the unruly guest, though indirectly.

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I do not know of any instances where the presiding officer can willfully ignore someone who rises to claim the floor. He will have to make some response, if only to refuse to recognize the member, as required under the rules, or restore order to an unruly gallery.

What about David's suggestion, when the person " . . . has spoken once already and it's clear there are others still wishing to speak their first time"? There is no rule that the chair has to acknowledge every member who is seeking the floor, when the chair assigns the floor to a different member.

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What about David's suggestion, when the person " . . . has spoken once already and it's clear there are others still wishing to speak their first time"? There is no rule that the chair has to acknowledge every member who is seeking the floor, when the chair assigns the floor to a different member.

Just because the chairman assigns the floor to someone who is entitled to it does not mean that he ignores others who might have risen at about the same time.

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Just because the chairman assigns the floor to someone who is entitled to it does not mean that he ignores others who might have risen at about the same time.

What if several rise at about the same time, which happens frequently? You would just assign the floor to someone, not address all those that rose, is that right?

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What if several rise at about the same time, which happens frequently? You would just assign the floor to someone, not address all those that rose, is that right?

If the chairman is unable to form an opinion as to who is entitled to the floor, he can immediately put the question to a vote of the assembly, and the person who receives the most votes is assigned the floor, RONR (10th ed.), p. 370, ll. 19-22.

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What about David's suggestion, when the person " . . . has spoken once already and it's clear there are others still wishing to speak their first time"? There is no rule that the chair has to acknowledge every member who is seeking the floor, when the chair assigns the floor to a different member.

Just because the chairman assigns the floor to someone who is entitled to it does not mean that he ignores others who might have risen at about the same time.

You're begging the question. As far as those other members are concerned, they have been ignored, and in a perfectly proper manner. You seem to be saying that if the ignoring is proper, it's not called ignoring, but that doesn't answer the question.

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You're begging the question. As far as those other members are concerned, they have been ignored, and in a perfectly proper manner. You seem to be saying that if the ignoring is proper, it's not called ignoring, but that doesn't answer the question.

Realistically, the chairman is going to have to make some kind of response when one or more members rise to claim the floor. He can't just ignore them. The rest of all this is pretty silly.

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If the chairman is unable to form an opinion as to who is entitled to the floor, he can immediately put the question to a vote of the assembly, and the person who receives the most votes is assigned the floor, RONR (10th ed.), p. 370, ll. 19-22.

That's not what I asked.....I never said the chair didn't know who to assign the floor to. I asked why can't you ignore several who have risen at the same time in favor of one?

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What if several rise at about the same time, which happens frequently? You would just assign the floor to someone, not address all those that rose, is that right?

Right. (And it might take the knowledge and application of several pages of rules in RONR to determine who that someone should properly be.)

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You're begging the question. As far as those other members are concerned, they have been ignored, and in a perfectly proper manner. You seem to be saying that if the ignoring is proper, it's not called ignoring, but that doesn't answer the question.

Realistically, the chairman is going to have to make some kind of response when one or more members rise to claim the floor. He can't just ignore them. The rest of all this is pretty silly.

Yes, he is going to respond by recognizing one of them and ignoring the rest. :)

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Can the presiding officer ignore those wishing to be recognized? If so, under what circumstances?

Johnny, do you have anything to add to this discussion? Or are you perhaps Guest_Guest?

I was re-thinking this and came up with one other possibility for you: when voting is ongoing (with one possible exception as noted on page 408).

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This has to do with a member of a body of which I am the presiding officer. We have two individuals that like to make irrelevant points, and I no longer wish to give them the floor.

"The chair must recognize any member who seeks the floor while entitled to it." (RONR 10th Ed., p. 28 l. 17-19)

"Debate must be confined to the merits of the pending question." (RONR 10th Ed., p. 41 l. 27-28)

As has been discussed, in the case of several members attempting to obtain the floor, they can only go one at a time, but eventually any member who is entitled to the floor should be recognized by the chair. That said, the members must speak to the merits of the question. You, as the chair, are charged with making sure these rules are followed. In the case of these two members, read page 626ff for remedial procedures.

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This has to do with a member of a body of which I am the presiding officer. We have two individuals that like to make irrelevant points, and I no longer wish to give them the floor.

The floor is not yours to give. It belongs to the members and the assembly as a whole. If you cannot assign the floor in an impartial manner, it might be better for you to resign your office.

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This has to do with a member of a body of which I am the presiding officer. We have two individuals that like to make irrelevant points, and I no longer wish to give them the floor.

Since you have no way of knowing in advance whether the points will be irrelevant, it would not be appropriate for you to ignore the members or to decline to give them the floor when they are entitled to it. You should assign the floor as usual for the members, and if a member begin to make comments which are not germane to the pending question, then you may address the situation at that time. See RONR, 10th ed., pgs. 626-628 for information on the appropriate steps.

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