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On what motion did they vote?


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Motion was made and seconded to adopt a written resolution. After some debate, a motion "call the question" was made and seconded. After some discussion, the chair stated "Let's call the question".

The vote was 5/0. On what did they vote? adopting the resolution?

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On what did they vote? adopting the resolution?

Since none of us (I presume) was there, it is not possible to answer that question. Certainly what should have happened is that the chair should have announced that the vote was now on the motion for the previous question (that motion is not debatable), and that the effect of an affirmative 2/3 vote would be to end debate and immediately bring to a vote the motion to adopt the resolution. It is the duty of the chair to make sure that the group knows what they are voting on and what the effect of that vote will be.

But perhaps you can provide a little more information that will be helpful - what happened after the 5-0 vote was taken?

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After a member had moved the Previous Question (what some refer to as "calling the question") a vote should have been immediately taken on whether to force the pending motion to vote without any further debate or other lower ranking motions being applied to it (amendment, postponing the motion, etc). If 2/3 were in favor of ordering the Previous Question (forcing the pending motion to vote) then a vote is taken. However, if less than 2/3 were in favor of ordering the Previous Question the pending motion would continued to be considered.

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Motion was made and seconded to adopt a written resolution. After some debate, a motion "call the question" was made and seconded.

Okay so far, though the name is wrong, It is the motion for the Previous Question. Let's call it the "PQ"

After some discussion,

<BUZZER SOUND> Oops, wrong. The motion for the Previous Question is not debatable. The chair should have immediately put the motion (that is, the PQ, not the main motion) to a vote by saying something like:

It has been moved and seconded to order the previous question. Those in favor of ordering the previous question will rise
<wait to see about how many stand, then say:>
Be seated. Those opposed will rise. <wait and see> Be seated.

The reason this can't really be taken by a voice vote is that it requires a 2/3 vote to order the PQ, and you can't gauge that by ear. It takes twice as many standing for Yes votes as those standing for No votes. If it's close, you can repeat the vote and have each side remain standing until counted.

If twice as many (or more) vote yes, then the motion (PQ) passes, debate is cut off, and a vote is immediately taken on the main motion.

If not, then the PQ fails, debate is not cut off, and the main motion is still under discussion

the chair stated "Let's call the question".

The vote was 5/0. On what did they vote? adopting the resolution?

Beats me. It sounds like the chair (who we now know did not follow the right procedure) finally agreed that debate should be cut off, and said "Let's call the question," waiting to see if anyone objected. But the members (who we now know did not recognize the improper procedure) apparently did not object or raise any point of order (for example, that discussion should not have resumed at the sound of the BUZZER above) but instead remained silent. Silence is consent.

The vote was 5/0. On what did they vote? adopting the resolution?

Maybe. I'll bet that's what the chair thought was happening. But if nobody asked (or raised a point of order, or parliamentary inquiry) at the time, then we're all guessing.

The chair should make sure members know what they are voting on, and members should demand that they know what they are voting on, any time there is a vote.

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