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“No rule protecting a minority of a particular size can be suspended in the face of a negative vote as large as the minority protected by the rule” ([11th ed.], p. 261, ll. 15–17). But the “vote required for adoption” of Suspend the Rules is two-thirds, “except where the rule protects a minority of less than one third” (tinted p. 27).

(1) Can a rule that protects 10 members be suspended by a vote of 20-10? Page 261 says no, but tinted p. 27 indicates yes. Should tinted p. 27 say “less than or equal to one third”?

(2) As I understand the general principle, suspending a rule that protects a minority of less than or equal to one-third requires a vote greater than two-thirds. In other words, if

m = number of members present and voting

n = number of members protected by a rule (n m/3)

v = vote necessary for adoption

then v > (m – n).

Is it okay to have a mathematical difference like this, rather than a fraction, for “the proportion that must concur” (p. 402, l. 26)? How should the chair announce the voting result? What should a tellers’ report say is “necessary for adoption”?

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36 minutes ago, pwilson said:

“No rule protecting a minority of a particular size can be suspended in the face of a negative vote as large as the minority protected by the rule” ([11th ed.], p. 261, ll. 15–17). But the “vote required for adoption” of Suspend the Rules is two-thirds, “except where the rule protects a minority of less than one third” (tinted p. 27).

(1) Can a rule that protects 10 members be suspended by a vote of 20-10? Page 261 says no, but tinted p. 27 indicates yes. Should tinted p. 27 say “less than or equal to one third”?

No, the rule may not be suspended by that vote. Yes, I think tinted pg. 27 should say “less than or equal to one third.”

40 minutes ago, pwilson said:

(2) As I understand the general principle, suspending a rule that protects a minority of less than or equal to one-third requires a vote greater than two-thirds. In other words, if

m = number of members present and voting

n = number of members protected by a rule (n m/3)

v = vote necessary for adoption

then v > (m – n).

Is it okay to have a mathematical difference like this, rather than a fraction, for “the proportion that must concur” (p. 402, l. 26)? How should the chair announce the voting result? What should a tellers’ report say is “necessary for adoption”?

First of all yes, it is okay for the rule to exist. It seems to me that, in practice, there are two main applications for this rule.

1.) The rule protects a proportion of members less than 1/3, such as when an organization requires a greater voting threshold than 2/3 - say, a 4/5 vote, or a unanimous vote. Suspending a rule requiring a 4/5 vote requires a 4/5 vote, since the rule protects a minority of greater than 1/5. Suspending a rule requiring a unanimous vote requires a unanimous vote.

2.) The rule protects a specific number of members. Most commonly, there are rules which protect one member. In such a case, suspending the rule requires a unanimous vote (if it can be suspended at all - rules which protect a basic right of an individual member, such as the right to vote, may not be suspended). You suggest earlier a rule which protects ten members. An example might be that the rules permit ten members to demand that a vote be taken by ballot (or in a different assembly, perhaps by roll call). In such a case, it seems to me that the motion to Suspend the Rules must be adopted by at least a 2/3 vote and there can be no more than nine votes in the negative.

So the chair might announce in these cases:

”There are less than 4/5 in the affirmative. The motion to suspend the rules is not adopted.”

”There is less than a unanimous vote in the affirmative. The motion to suspend the rules is not adopted.”

”There are 2/3 in the affirmative, but there are 12 votes in the negative, so the motion is not adopted.”

As for the teller’s report, it would be rather unusual to take a ballot vote on a motion to suspend the rules, but in these cases, they would say “4/5,” “unanimous,” or “2/3, with no more than 9 in the negative,” respectively.

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As a side note to Josh's reply, that is why an individual's right cannot be suspended.  Since it is a minority of one you would need a unanimous vote and we assume a member would not vote to take away their own right and so we do not even entertain such a notion.

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2 hours ago, SaintCad said:

As a side note to Josh's reply, that is why an individual's right cannot be suspended.  Since it is a minority of one you would need a unanimous vote and we assume a member would not vote to take away their own right and so we do not even entertain such a notion.

Oh, I don't think the rule on page 261, lines 15-17, is the reason why rules protecting basic rights of individual members cannot be suspended. A unanimous vote will not suffice to suspend such a rule, no matter what. The targeted member may not even be present at the time.  

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