Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums
stature

figuring out chair ruling category and response

Recommended Posts

Hi . This is a strategy question based on an unclear behavior of our President.

 

If the Chair says 'I'm not going to allow that motion" and immediately recognizes the next person,

What should be done  - a Point of Order that there was no ruling on the motion or an Appeal from the Decision of the Chair making the Chair explain, or first  Request Information on why the Chair decided that?  

 

This is a typical thing our President does to control what is talked about with our members at meetings.  By going to the next person immediately, the next person begins making their new motion (and is interrupting that new person to make the Chair respond to why my motion is 'not allowed' okay?).  The motions 'not allowed' are business motions, within regular business for our group, not attacking other members or anything illegal, they just simply are motions the President doesn't like. I'm interested in what strategy needs to be taken to assure my motions can be heard. Or do I simply need to be faster in demanding a fully explained ruling?  and then appeal it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the Chair says 'I'm not going to allow that motion" and immediately recognizes the next person,

What should be done - a Point of Order that there was no ruling on the motion or an Appeal from the Decision of the Chair making the Chair explain, or first Request Information on why the Chair decided that?

I'd raise a Point of Order that the chair is required to either rule the motion out of order (and give the reason why) or state the question on the motion. He can't simply not allow it.

This is a typical thing our President does to control what is talked about with our members at meetings.

If this is typical behavior, the best strategy is to get a new President.

By going to the next person immediately, the next person begins making their new motion (and is interrupting that new person to make the Chair respond to why my motion is 'not allowed' okay?).

A Point of Order may interrupt a speaker if necessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest stature

thank you, and an explanation in response to a Point of Order  is going to be the hard part for this president, given explanation in the past like 'we can't do that' (with nothing further to say why we can't do that)

 

i agree we need a new President but I'm one against an army of people that don't know Robert's Rules so they don't  see what is being done by the Chair/President is not right regarding our motions

 

(( I forgot to sign on before replying so I got to play with the puzzle captcha - I think that's much more fun, and not annoying like a letters and numbers captcha - thank you for using captcha puzzles !!!))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's useful to differentiate understanding RONR from understanding the fundamental principles.  Your members may not understand RONR, and this may complicate appeals (I have some recent experience with that - but you have the advantage of being able to make motions and speak in debate), but they can be made to understand the fundamental principles far more easily than the details of parliamentary procedure.  Your objection is that the chair is being a bully and not permitting perfectly valid motions to be made (according to what you've said, anyway.)  You don't need to be an expert on RONR to see why that's a problem.  You don't need to know RONR to be able to grasp, when its explained to you, that the chair is supposed facilitate business, not block it, and is expected to be impartial - and that blocking business you don't like is not exactly being impartial.  

 

Of course, you should also try to get them to understand RONR, but if you call out this behavior, most honest people will be able to see what's going on.  If you act confident about your knowledge, raise a point of order, and force him to respond, either he'll have a response, or he won't.  If he does, well, maybe he's right, or maybe you can make a good point on appeal.  If he doesn't have one, and is left sputtering, guess who looks better when elections roll around.  They don't need to be parliamentarians to decide not to reelect a bully.

 

On the other hand, you say you're one against an army.  The 'against' indicates, perhaps, that the assembly supports this behavior, and would support it on appeal.  This can happen - after all, we evolved to like father figures, chieftans, etc.  They make us feel safe.  You can appeal to the virtues of democracy, but if the people desire a dictator, then either you convince them otherwise, or a dictator they shall have.  If the latter is the case, then you need to decide if this interferes with your participation in the group to the point where you choose not to participate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And if I can make a suggestion, take a copy of the current version of RONR with the relevant passages bookmarked so when the Chair says "You can't do that." (e.g. interrupt a speaker for a Point of Order) you can show him (and the assembly on Appeal) what RONR really says.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good advice here, I'll try it !  I was also thinking how it could blow up on me though:

 

If I raise  a point of order to find out the official ruling and get a 'you can't do that' then next 

I'd raise a point of order "the chair is supposed facilitate business, not block it, and is expected to be impartial " and then

the Chair/President will rule in favor of himself being non-biased.  then

I'd raise an appeal stating the president is biased in favor of his agenda and by this time the people

will lose interest in the underlying motion and not focus on what the discussion was (business)

and may go into personalities and fighting which is what I want to stay away from because it would be  

a quick business killer.  I want people to stay open to business ideas and not think of this as voting down

one person in general in all things just to show blind support for another person in general in all things,

I want the focus to be on business and the motion 

 

Or can I simply appeal to  get him out of the chair and put in the vice president during this exchange

to get a proper ruling on the motion?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good advice here, I'll try it ! I was also thinking how it could blow up on me though:

I think the advice from recent posts was reasoning to persuade your fellow members to join your cause outside of meetings. The point being, even if they do not understand the rules, the idea that everyone should have a chance to make legitimate motions is (hopefully) an idea that most people can get behind.

 

I'd raise a point of order "the chair is supposed facilitate business, not block it, and is expected to be impartial " and then

the Chair/President will rule in favor of himself being non-biased. then

I'd raise an appeal stating the president is biased in favor of his agenda and by this time the people

Don't do either of these things.

 

Or can I simply appeal to get him out of the chair and put in the vice president during this exchange to get a proper ruling on the motion?

A motion to Suspend the Rules may be made to remove the President from the chair, but this requires a 2/3 vote. An Appeal places the decision on the ruling in the hands of the assembly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me clarify my late-night remarks.  I was talking about things to say outside of meetings to gain a support group, and perhaps during debate on an appeal.  The items I mentioned are not good ideas for points of order in themselves.  Let's see how this could go:

 

Someone (recognized):  I move that _____

Someone:  Second

Chair:  "I'm not going to allow that motion, Bob has the floor."

 

What would I do now?  I would not raise a point of order that the chair is required to be impartial and facilitate business. Instead:

Me:  Request for information.

Chair:  Request for information.

Me:  Did the chair issue a ruling that the previous motion, made by a member recognized by the chair and seconded, was out of order?

 

I.  Chair:  Yes.

Me:  Mr. Chairman, request for information, what was the reason for the chair's ruling? 

Appeal as needed.

Or

 

II.  Chair:  No, I'm just not going to allow it.

Me:  Mr. Chairman, point of order, a motion was made by a member with recognition and seconded, and was not ruled out of order, the chair is required to state the question and place it before the assembly. (p. 39)

 

If this point of order is not well taken, then I would appeal, and, in that case only, the responsibilities of the chair might be relevant in debate.  They would not be relevant at all if I appealed as in case I, where the chair ruled the motion out of order and stated a reason.  I would, in this debate, also refer to p. 39. 

 

What if the chair says, yes, it was ruled out of order, but refuses to give a reason?  

Me:  Point of order, when ruling a motion out of order, the chair is required to briefly give the reasons for doing so and subject the ruling to an appeal. (p. 39)

 

If that point of order is not well taken, again, I'd appeal.

 

Now, you raised concerns about the scope of debate on the appeal.  In a sense, you're right - debate on the appeal may not go into the merits of the original motion, and if a point of order was raised to the behavior of the chair, then debate can't even go into whether or not the original motion was in order if the questions are stated carefully.  But your concern that it can go to personalities is well-taken - in fact, the best argument anyone can offer to defend the chair's actions, based on what you've said (I'm not there, for all I know you can be wrong) would probably be "the chair is a good guy."  If that's the majority view, see my comments above about people wanting a dictator and you making decisions about your involvement.  You can't control the debate since you can only speak once.  It sounds like you don't trust the chair to keep debate decorous - a point of order can always be raised to indecorous debate, or to debate entering into topics not relevant to the appeal.

 

Note that I didn't say "you can raise..."  One of the purposes of planning outside the meeting is having these things split among several people - that's also why in the script above you weren't the one who made the motion.  You don't want to make a motion that is then ignored, then raise a point of order, then appeal, then raise a point of order to indecorous debate...

Another of those purposes is to have a critical mass within the meeting who get what's happening, understand why it matters, aren't confused - because you told them ahead of time what you were going to do and why - and can, through their own participation in debate, push it to be decorous and on topic.  Talking points can be split among a sympathetic group.  That group, again, doesn't have to sit and study RONR, or even In Brief - you can just meet people one at a time for drinks or whatever, and bring the topic up in terms people can follow without being parliamentarians.

 

To be clear - you cannot raise a point of order that accuses an individual of being biased in his presiding.  You can, as others have explained, move to remove the President from the chair, although that certainly "raises the stakes."  (At least in my mind - in the mind of someone else, just raising a point of order, or appealing, can itself be seen as raising the stakes, although RONR says that appealing is no different from disagreeing with another member in debate.  The difference arises from a mistake about what the role of the chair is, and that's part of what you need to educate members about.)  

 

Disclaimer:  Again, I don't go to your meetings.  I have no idea who is right; if the President came here and asked for strategic planning about a troublesome member who keeps starting trouble and not allowing business to move forward, I'd be willing to brainstorm strategically with him also.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Godel fan - thank you - that is very helpful to have others share the motion work, I have enough people who would do this,

I don't want to be the only one talking and then have my president come here to seek your advice against me  :P

 

I've had people only after our meeting approach me and say they agreed and wanted my motion heard but didn't know what to do,

I didn't either, but now I do and will try it out.  Right now the President has a habit of filtering/controlling business by not allowing

motions he doesn't like.  The Vice President is on my side but isn't the chair unless the President might take a very rare absence, which

is unlikely  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...