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With drawing a motion


Guest Toby

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At our regular monthly meeting two weeks ago, there was a motion put on the floor, seconded, we had discussion and the motion passed. At our meeting this week, the person who made the motion, stood up and and asked to withdrawed his motion. The president accepted it and the person put a new motion on the floor. Is this correct procedure?

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And how close to a continuing breach is this?

That is a good question. I don't think that the President erroneously allowing an adopted motion to be withdrawn would rise to the level of a continuing breach in of itself. However, that the member then introduced a new motion throws a monkey wrench in the works. Then the question is whether the adopted motion being withdrawn is functionally the same as it being Rescinded and if so would the fact that no member (presumably) raised a timely Point of Order when the adopted motion was withdrawn nor when the new motion was introduced rise to a p. 244(B) violation?

I would say there is no continuing violation in this transaction because I don't believe that the withdrawn adopted motion fits any of the five exceptions on p. 244 and thus since presumably no timely Point of Order was raised when this occurred the adopted motion "went away". Since this is the case I don't believe the language in p. 244(B) "a main motion has been adopted that conflicts with a main motion previously adopted and still in force" would now apply because there was no motion "in force" when the new motion was made.

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I don't believe the language in p. 244(B) "a main motion has been adopted that conflicts with a main motion previously adopted and still in force" would now apply because there was no motion "in force" when the new motion was made.

I'm with Mr. Martin on this one. Just saying that an adopted motion has been "withdrawn" (which is parliamentarily meaningless) doesn't make it so. The adopted motion was never withdrawn because it can't be withdrawn. It's taken me years to (reluctantly) accept some of the "you snooze, you lose" consequences (like getting elected by a plurality when a majority is required) but this seems to be going too far.

Though perhaps it's just one more injustice I'll have to live with.

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I'm with Mr. Martin on this one. Just saying that an adopted motion has been "withdrawn" (which is parliamentarily meaningless) doesn't make it so. The adopted motion was never withdrawn because it can't be withdrawn. It's taken me years to (reluctantly) accept some of the "you snooze, you lose" consequences (like getting elected by a plurality when a majority is required) but this seems to be going too far.

Though perhaps it's just one more injustice I'll have to live with.

You seem not to have read my second post. :)

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I have a real problem with the notion that a chair can declare that any and all adopted and in-force resolutions have simply "gone away" based on the wishes of a single member to "withdraw" them. In this case, whether the second motion should stand depends upon whether it conflicts with the first motion (which I presume it did, or why move it at all?) and whether it was adopted by a margin large enough to have rescinded the original motion if things had been done properly. Apparently we don't know what the margin was.

Surely there is some recourse beyond firing the chair (which should have been done yesterday!) to rectify the situation Declaring an adopted motion "withdrawn" (at the next meeting, yet), is nonsense. The chair does not possess such a power, any more than he has the power to declare himself Emperor of the Moon (subject to appeal, of course).

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I have a real problem with the notion that a chair can declare that any and all adopted and in-force resolutions have simply "gone away" based on the wishes of a single member to "withdraw" them. In this case, whether the second motion should stand depends upon whether it conflicts with the first motion (which I presume it did, or why move it at all?) and whether it was adopted by a margin large enough to have rescinded the original motion if things had been done properly. Apparently we don't know what the margin was.

Surely there is some recourse beyond firing the chair (which should have been done yesterday!) to rectify the situation Declaring an adopted motion "withdrawn" (at the next meeting, yet), is nonsense. The chair does not possess such a power, any more than he has the power to declare himself Emperor of the Moon (subject to appeal, of course).

I agree that the motion should not just "go away" but what should the motion's status be if no timely Point of Order was raised? Although it might be grossly improper it would seem by the nature of the beast that is RONR that anything the Chair says goes unless a Point of Order is raised in a timely manner or the ruling is overruled upon Appeal or there is some p. 244 violation. It doesn't sound like any Point of Order was raised nor does it seem that there was an Appeal and I don't know where there would be a p. 244 violation where the withdrawn motion is concerned.

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I agree that the motion should not just "go away" but what should the motion's status be if no timely Point of Order was raised? Although it might be grossly improper it would seem by the nature of the beast that is RONR that anything the Chair says goes unless a Point of Order is raised in a timely manner or the ruling is overruled upon Appeal or there is some p. 244 violation. It doesn't sound like any Point of Order was raised nor does it seem that there was an Appeal and I don't know where there would be a p. 244 violation where the withdrawn motion is concerned.

I think it's pretty much the case that Chris H nailed it here, in Post #4, although it hurts (Mr Mt. pretty much expressed my position in Posts 6 and 8). It's not so much that what was done needs to be translated into parliamentary terms, as that what was done needs to be understood as what it really was (which parliamentary terms can clarify). First, what they did with the "withdrawal" was really ("functionally," as Chris H excellently put it) the equivalent of rescinding the motion -- so it was a done deal upon the chairman's declaring the motion withdrawn without anyone's objecting: in other words, nobody objecting (by raising a Point of Order) was effectively general consent by the assembly to the chairman's declaration. Abominable though it be. And all that holds, notwithstanding that what was done should have been called Rescinding, not Withdrawing.

So by the time the second motion was made, the action that the first motion had governed had already been rescinded. There was, therefore, no conflict.

(thinking about Official Opinions 17 and 18, I'm painfully reminded that I can't ever keep them straight in my mind more than a few minutes. (By "ever," I don't mean since the Universe was created, or even only since I was born -- just for a paltry five years or so.))

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[snip]

Then again....

The arguments that Mr Mt and Mr Novosielski (I don't find it as easy to type it as he does, but it's sure fun trying -- it's a challenge, like Captcha) put forward, with which I think any remotely sane person goes along, hold some water if we challenge the acting principle, which Chris H crystallized with apparent admirable distress, as "it would seem by the nature of the beast that is RONR that anything the Chair says goes [&c]." But does it?

Suppose someone, following the rules, were to move that the chairman be declared Emperor of the Moon (presumably under New Business -- what would a committee, reporting with a recommendation, have been instructed to do?), and suppose that the motion were duly adopted. (See top of p. 333 for potential impediment, then breezily disregard.) It would then be the formal position of this organization that its chairman is the Emperor of the Moon.

Now, is what happened procedurally different from a chairman's erroneously declaring that a motion were adopted, or lost?

Maybe it isn't; but maybe it is. It would be hard to refute the argument that a chairman spouts gibberish, of no significance or standing, when he announces, out of nowhere, that he's Chairman of the Moon (credit him with some humility). By this way of thinking, we can similarly consider his declaration that the motion (back to Guest Toby's issue) was withdrawn, to have no standing.

In which case, the first motion is comfortably still in place, unaffected (like my public demeanor). For the sake of the jots and tittles, someone might provoke a violation and have a point of order ruled on (and successfully appealed).

Whew! What a relief. Except that we then have to consider the new motion's conflict.

And perhaps finally, and more than incidentally, we have been inferring that the second motion conflicted with the first by its nature. But Guest Toby,* would you please nail this down for us? If it doesn't, then the monkey wrench goes away.

__________

*(Hi mom!)

(Sorry, Guest Toby, I couldn't resist; Toby is my mother's name.)

N.B. The parenthetical bit about my public demeanor was an inane pun. Please disregard. If only this typewriter had a "backspace" button.

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What happen is we were having election of officers and only had one office contended. After voting was closed and the meeting started, one of the candidates withdrew from the race , which left just his opponent. The votes were counted by order of the president, and the indiviual that withdrew won. It made some people upset, so the motion came to void the whole election and have new nomination at the next meeting. It passed, then at our last meeting, He ask to withdraw his motion. Then he made a motion to hold nomination for just the office that was contended.

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the indiviual that withdrew won.

I'd say you have an incomplete election. So forget all the intervening nonsense and complete the election (i.e. vote again). You can re-open nominations or not. You can vote for someone who wasn't nominated.

And, if your bylaws do not require a ballot vote, and there is only one nominee, the chair can declare that nominee elected "by acclamation" (i.e. without a vote).

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What happen is we were having election of officers and only had one office contended. After voting was closed and the meeting started, one of the candidates withdrew from the race , which left just his opponent. The votes were counted by order of the president, and the indiviual that withdrew won. It made some people upset, so the motion came to void the whole election and have new nomination at the next meeting. It passed, then at our last meeting, He ask to withdraw his motion. Then he made a motion to hold nomination for just the office that was contended.

Well that changes everything. The election stands and even though he withdrew from the election he was still elected (because there is no requirement that someone be nominated in order to be elected). An election to office cannot be Rescinded (unless the elected was not at the meeting and was never notified or was notified and declined the office) [RONR p. 298]. If the member doesn't want to serve he must resign.

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What happen is we were having election of officers and only had one office contended. After voting was closed and the meeting started, one of the candidates withdrew from the race , which left just his opponent. The votes were counted by order of the president, and the indiviual that withdrew won. It made some people upset, so the motion came to void the whole election and have new nomination at the next meeting. It passed, then at our last meeting, He ask to withdraw his motion. Then he made a motion to hold nomination for just the office that was contended.

Well, in that case, the nomination to "void the whole election" was parliamentary nonsense, since the "winner" presumably didn't accept, and the election was incomplete. There was nothing to void at that point. So you'll have another round of voting. Of course only the incomplete office could have been affected, because elections for the other offices were complete, and it's too late now.

The only remaining question is about reopening nominations for the office that wasn't completed, and that's fine, and can be done at any time prior to the election by a majority vote. It doesn't conflict with anything.

But you still ought to at least censure your chairman for failing to know the first thing about his primary responsibility.

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