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Rights versus Powers

Guest Petrosh

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Would someone kindly explain . . . the difference between rights and powers?

I would suggest that, in the context of parliamentary procedure, members have rights (e.g. the rights to attend meetings, make motions, speak in debate, and vote). The membership (as a body) also has the "power" (though I'd prefer to say the "authority") to establish and confer authority on other individuals (e.g. officers) and bodes (e.g. boards and committees).

You might say that rights are inscribed in ink (or, if you've a Biblical bent, carved in stone), while authority is written in pencil. Taking one's rights away is about the most serious (and procedurally difficult) thing a society can do. Stripping someone of his authority can be as simple a matter as choosing someone else (see FAQ #20).

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