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How to treat of motions that contain multiple options


Alexander George
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2 hours ago, Joshua Katz said:

I would think the easiest way to accomplish this is for someone to move A, and someone to move to amend to B, or to substitute B (depending on how different they are). 

On the agenda to be distributed a week before the meeting, we'd like everyone to see the two options, A and B (so that they can reflect before the meeting on their relative merits).  I'm not sure how to construct a single motion that would do that.  On Mr. Katz' solution, it seems option A would be on the agenda and someone would move to amend to B on the floor of the meeting.  But then members wouldn't have advance notice of the two options.  Thanks in advance for any further concrete suggestions.

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Nothing wrong with making "A" the main motion listed in the pre-distributed agenda... AND   including a statement that once "A" is moved, a member will move "B" as an amendment (or amendment by substitute).   Describe fully what "A" and "B" are all about in the meeting notice and everybody will be ready -- oh, boy, will they ever be ready...

Make sure your chairman bones up on how to handle amendments by substitution - it is a tad complicated.  See page 153.  Good luck!

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6 hours ago, Alexander George said:

Thanks - it seemed problematic.  How would one allow one's body to express their views about whether they'd prefer Option A, Option B, or neither then?

Have someone make a motion to adopt Option A, and then a member can make an amendment for Option B. Other amendments are also in order. In other words, members are not limited to Option A, Option B, or neither. They might decide on an Option C, or a slightly modified form of Option A, or whatever.

6 hours ago, Tom Coronite said:

You may find RONR's treatment of "filling blanks" on pages 162-167 useful. But I'm not 100% sure that's what you're looking for, based on your question alone. Maybe some details would be helpful.

I’m not sure whether or not filling blanks would be appropriate. It depends on what exactly these options entail.

3 hours ago, Alexander George said:

I'm not sure how to construct a single motion that would do that.

You can’t do it in one motion.

3 hours ago, Alexander George said:

But then members wouldn't have advance notice of the two options. 

While RONR does not require advance notice of subsidiary motions to amend (and does not require advance notice of most main motions, or the agenda, for that matter), I also do not think anything in RONR prohibits providing such notice.

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The OP asked about including it on an "agenda." (The quotes are because it's not an agenda until adopted by the body, unless your rules say otherwise.) Why did the conversation suddenly shift to giving notice? I think we should wait to hear from the OP as to whether there are any rules in the organization requiring the distribution of an agenda, and if so what they are, before saying what will and won't work.

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1 minute ago, Joshua Katz said:

The OP asked about including it on an "agenda." (The quotes are because it's not an agenda until adopted by the body, unless your rules say otherwise.) Why did the conversation suddenly shift to giving notice? I think we should wait to hear from the OP as to whether there are any rules in the organization requiring the distribution of an agenda, and if so what they are, before saying what will and won't work.

Well, it seems that the agenda (or at least a tentative agenda) is provided in advance, due to rule or custom, and the OP himself used the words “advance notice of the two options.” I think he is suggesting giving “notice” (in the general sense, not the parliamentary sense) to members of the two options by including them on the (tentative?) agenda which is distributed in advance.

I agree that what the assembly’s own rules say on this subject would certainly be helpful.

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Yes, a central committee prepares an agenda for meetings (this agenda includes all motions that this central committee intends to bring forward) and by rule this agenda must be sent out to members one week in advance to give them time to reflect on the motions that will be brought forward by the central committee.

In light of this, this particular proposal:

6 hours ago, jstackpo said:

Nothing wrong with making "A" the main motion listed in the pre-distributed agenda... AND   including a statement that once "A" is moved, a member will move "B" as an amendment (or amendment by substitute).

makes sense to me.  Thanks.

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I get the strong impression that what is desired is more than filling a blank. I believe what he really wants is to have several main motions before the assembly simultaneously. This violates a fundamental principle of parliamentary law. It is Lesson #1: You can only consider one main motion at a time. This rule cannot be suspended. For this reason, a motion that proposes to place before the assembly multiple, independent solutions to a problem is not in order.

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25 minutes ago, reelsman said:

 motion that proposes to place before the assembly multiple, independent solutions to a problem is not in order. 

Correct, but there is nothing wrong with an amendment by substitution of an entirely different motion (as long as it is germane, &c.).

And nothing wrong with telling folks ahead of time about the main motion and the (possible) amendments that will be offered in turn.

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Well, it says this...

Quote

 

CREATING A BLANK. A blank to be filled can be created in one of three ways:

a) A member can offer a motion or an amendment containing a blank: for example, "Resolved, That Lodge No. 432 build a new headquarters at a cost not to exceed $ _____ "; or an amendment to a main motion can propose "to add 'provided that estimates be received on or before  _____ .'"

 

RONR 11th edition page 163. I have had two recent occasions where I did not read the question very carefully and made a mistake. Am I on track for a threepeat?

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25 minutes ago, Tom Coronite said:

 

I think you guys are agreeing there IS such a thing.

Ah, you are right, Tom. I misread his post thinking it said there is no such thing as a main  motion to create a blank. Can I blame it on tired eyes that are still feeling the effects of the anesthesia from a colonoscopy and the small type on a cell phone?

My apologies, Zev. I misread your post.

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9 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

My apologies, Zev. I misread your post.

Apology accepted. I know I've done it several times.

7 minutes ago, reelsman said:

Hey, a colonoscopy gets you a lot of sympathy from me...😞

Yeah. I hope that at a minimum you got some flowers, candy, and a bottle of wine. Comedian Richard Schimmel had a very funny routine about this subject.:D

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