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Ungermane debate


livingfractal
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18 minutes ago, livingfractal said:

Assuming no bylaws specifying an outcome, what is the affect of being declared out of order during debate for not being germane when the member otherwise has the right to unlimited speaking time, and would a prior motion limiting debate to specific total time impact the outcome?

For starters, could you clarify why it is that the member “otherwise has the right to unlimited speaking time?” Does this assembly not use RONR as its parliamentary authority? Or has the assembly specifically adopted a rule to this effect? So far as RONR is concerned, members are limited to speaking twice per debatable motion per day, for up to ten minutes each time. In the rules for committees and small boards, members may speak an unlimited number of times, but they still may speak for up to ten minutes each time.

As to the original question, if a member is called to order for his debate not being germane to the pending question, this is generally just a warning and the member is permitted to keep speaking. If the behavior persists, however, I think the chair is within his rights to order the member to stop speaking. I suppose the question is what if the member continues to seek recognition and continues to make comments which are not germane. In this event, the chair can put the question to the assembly on what to do with the member.

I don’t think a motion limiting debate impacts anything, except of course that if the time expires, no one will be able to speak to the question further.

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The body was using Mason’s Manual. For some reason the authority is listed in our standing rules adopted at the beginning of the legislative session, and this session we switched to Robert’s. 

 

Senators have unlimited speaking privileges unless 2/3 vote otherwise. 

 

Just as an example for how weird the rules are, there is a couple references to the reading of bills which seem to imply multiple readings, but nothing requiring bills be read multiple times. 

 

There is also an entire section devoted to “friendly amendments”, and how the sponsor may declare and adopt them. 

Edited by livingfractal
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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

I don't think a member may lose hers/his unexpired speaking rights except by order of the assembly, if that's what you're getting at. In other words, the chair calls you to order and you should sit down and shut up but you can be recognized again if your time has not expired.

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8 minutes ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

I don't think a member may lose hers/his unexpired speaking rights except by order of the assembly, if that's what you're getting at. In other words, the chair calls you to order and you should sit down and shut up but you can be recognized again if your time has not expired.

I agree, unless it was as a persistent violation. 

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14 hours ago, livingfractal said:

The body was using Mason’s Manual. For some reason the authority is listed in our standing rules adopted at the beginning of the legislative session, and this session we switched to Robert’s. 

You should make this switch permanent as soon as possible. Mason’s is used by bicameral state legislatures (often in conjunction with extensive special rules of order). It is ill-suited for use in ordinary societies.

I would also note that I am not sure germaneness is a requirement in legislative assemblies (or if it is, it does not seem to be enforced), which may make the original question moot.

14 hours ago, livingfractal said:

Senators have unlimited speaking privileges unless 2/3 vote otherwise. 

Just as an example for how weird the rules are, there is a couple references to the reading of bills which seem to imply multiple readings, but nothing requiring bills be read multiple times. 

 There is also an entire section devoted to “friendly amendments”, and how the sponsor may declare and adopt them.

Yes, these are all very stupid rules for an ordinary society, so you made the right decision to switch to Robert’s.

Edited by Josh Martin
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22 hours ago, livingfractal said:

I’m not sure I would call us an ordinary society as we are the legislative branch of the undergraduate student government. 

You are an ordinary society in the sense RONR uses the term. In RONR, “ordinary society” essentially means “pretty much any society except for a state or national legislative assembly.” Despite the fact that student governments frequently name and model their organizations, to varying degrees, off of state or national legislative assemblies, they have far more in common with nonprofit associations (and may share some functions which are similar to local legislative or administrative bodies) than with such assemblies. As a consequence, RONR is far better suited to the conduct of business in student governments than Mason’s.

As a former student senator myself, I should make clear that I say this with all due respect for student governments.

Edited by Josh Martin
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