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Renewal vs. Reconsideration


Guest Joey Hartman
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A motion was defeated at a special meeting in January. The original vote would have  required 2/3 to pass. The identical motion has been submitted for the AGM coming up in June. It met the required notice period. 

1. Is this a "renewal" motion and therefore should be accepted for debate?

2. Can it be required that it needs 2/3 in favour to bring it forward for debate?

3. If debated, is it subject to a 2/3 threshold to be adopted? 

3. Why don't renewal motions have the same requirement as reconsiderations to be put forward by the prevailing side (which prevents sour grapes)

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What is all of this 2/3 business? The motion is simply introduced again as a new motion and should require the same vote to be adopted that any other motion would, presumably, a majority vote.

Although making the same motion again at a future meeting may be referred to as renewing the motion, it is essentially simply making the motion again. Nothing is being reconsidered. It requires an ordinary majority vote  unless for some reason it requires a two-thirds vote for adoption, such as a bylaw Amendment.

Edited by Richard Brown
Added underlined language at the end of the post
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1 hour ago, Guest Joey Hartman said:

3. Why don't renewal motions have the same requirement as reconsiderations to be put forward by the prevailing side (which prevents sour grapes)

Because it is a different session.  A lot of time has elapsed and it is more likely for people to have changed their minds.  In some cases, e.g. a convention, there many be totally new set of members. 

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1. This is a renewal of a motion only in the sense that it is being offered again. Technically, renewed motions are motions that are made again at the same session.

2. No. As long as the motion is legitimate and not out of order for some reason, then it is stated by the chair and debatable, if debatable by the rules, regardless of what vote it will eventually require.

3. The voting threshold will depend on the nature of the motion itself.

4. The motion to Reconsider has strict time constraints that limit its ability to be made. If identical motions at a future session had to conform to the same requirements as the motion to Reconsider then once a motion was defeated it could never be re-introduced at any future meeting because Reconsider must be made at the same session, the ordinary case, or the day immediately after, in the case of conventions. Also a clever temporary majority could introduce a measure and vote it down thereby preventing any future assembly from adopting a similar measure. The rules of long standing have recognized that a new session is a completely different gathering than any previous one and as such it deserves the freedom to make its own decisions constrained only by previously-adopted motions that have a continuing effect and the bylaws.

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1 hour ago, Guest Zev said:

1. This is a renewal of a motion only in the sense that it is being offered again. Technically, renewed motions are motions that are made again at the same session.

Um, not exactly. A motion cannot be renewed at the same session at which it was originally proposed. It can be renewed only at a subsequent session. RONR pages 88 and 336. 

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1 hour ago, Richard Brown said:

Um, not exactly. A motion cannot be renewed at the same session at which it was originally proposed. It can be renewed only at a subsequent session. RONR pages 88 and 336. 

Yes, you are correct. However, it must be rejected and then the next session may renew it. It cannot be rejected and then renewed at the same session even if the session is a subsequent session and not the original one. This is what (2) on page 337 says to me.

 

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7 minutes ago, Guest Zev said:

It cannot be rejected and then renewed at the same session even if the session is a subsequent session and not the original one

Huh???  It's either the same session or a subsequent session.  There is no such thing as a subsequent session being a part of the previous session.  A motion cannot be renewed at the same session as the one in which it was rejected.  It may, however, be renewed at any subsequent session (not just at the next session).

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12 hours ago, Guest Joey Hartman said:

1. Is this a "renewal" motion and therefore should be accepted for debate?

Yes.

12 hours ago, Guest Joey Hartman said:

2. Can it be required that it needs 2/3 in favour to bring it forward for debate?

No.

12 hours ago, Guest Joey Hartman said:

3. If debated, is it subject to a 2/3 threshold to be adopted? 

The default requirement for adopting a motion in RONR is a majority vote. You say that the motion originally required a 2/3 vote, but it is not stated why this was the case,

12 hours ago, Guest Joey Hartman said:

3. Why don't renewal motions have the same requirement as reconsiderations to be put forward by the prevailing side (which prevents sour grapes)

Because of the freedom of each new session. See RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 86-88. Also, it should be noted that Reconsider only requires a majority vote.

Edited by Josh Martin
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16 hours ago, Guest Joey Hartman said:

Why don't renewal motions have the same requirement as reconsiderations to be put forward by the prevailing side (which prevents sour grapes)

That's not what "sour grapes" is. The parable of the sour grapes would apply if the members of the losing side chose not to renew the motion, saying that it wasn't so good anyway.

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23 minutes ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

That's not what "sour grapes" is. The parable of the sour grapes would apply if the members of the losing side chose not to renew the motion, saying that it wasn't so good anyway.

Sour grapes is not, unfortunately, the only phrase used incorrectly more often than correctly. Which begs the question of why people do that. It's not just a few bad apples, either.

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29 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

Sour grapes is not, unfortunately, the only phrase used incorrectly more often than correctly.

I didn't think it was that far gone. Oh, well --  it wasn't a very colorful metaphor to begin with.

30 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

Which begs the question of why people do that. It's not just a few bad apples, either.

Since the grapes are sour and the apples are rotten (including the ones that have been bitten twice), I'll just have my cake and eat it too.

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19 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

Um, not exactly. A motion cannot be renewed at the same session at which it was originally proposed. It can be renewed only at a subsequent session. RONR pages 88 and 336. 

This is a bit too broad. A main motion generally cannot be renewed at the same session, except for a withdrawn motion or one that was unseconded when first made. RONR, p. 336, l. 17 to p. 337, l. 6. Additionally, there are a lot of secodary motions that can be renewed at the same session under specified circumstances. RONR, p. 339, l. 6 to p. 340, l. 24.

Granted, the OP doesn't seem to be talking about any of those cirumstances. But I still think it is important to avoid blanket statements that are not completely accurate. If explaining the exceptions might be too cumbersome or confusing, just saying something like, "With a few exceptions not relevant here, ...) would make it less likely that someone could read the response and erroneously apply it to another situation where one of the exceptions applies.

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Thanks all - appreciate the answers (and will be more careful in future about my parables)

I have a better sense of renewal motions now.  The 2/3 issue is another layer. The January motion that was defeated was brought forward pursuant to the statute that the organization is subject to. The meeting itself was called by a petition of members, and the one motion was to recall the majority of the incumbent board and replace them with a substitute set of names. I will double check but I am sure it was subject to a 2/3 majority, but in any case the motion was defeated.

As you can imagine this reflects serious internal divisions so it's important to have a very clear and correct understanding of the rules going forward. 

It is further complicated because the same statute requires that all motions and proposals submitted for the AGM be put forward to the members for their consideration - with a few exceptions.  One is that if the proposals are submitted after deadline, and another is that the same motion has been defeated in the prior 12 months. By implication, their is a choice whether or not to bring these forward. 

In this case, there are two proposals that arrived late, and this one that is a repeat of a motion defeated in January. 

The board is sensitive to the conflict, and intends to include the two late proposals in the advance info package with a note that they will be considered if 2/3 vote to allow. (so that's a question in itself)

They are more inclined to disallow the renewal of the motion that was defeated, but would be more likely to if also subject to a 2/3.

But to exercise one exception and not the other also invites challenge. 

Hope this explains it more fully - looking forward to your comments and delighted to have discovered this forum. 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, Guest Joey Hartman said:

As you can imagine this reflects serious internal divisions so it's important to have a very clear and correct understanding of the rules going forward. 

It is further complicated because the same statute requires that all motions and proposals submitted for the AGM be put forward to the members for their consideration - with a few exceptions

You are now going beyond RONR when you tell us that there is statute that governs your procedures. We really can't help interpret the statute. 

For that reason, and because of the serious internal divisions that you mention, your Association would likely be better off by using the services of a parliamentarian to advise on the proper procedure and perhaps even to act as a neutral presiding officer for the meeting. You can obtain information on parliamentarians who can help you through either the American Institute of Parliamentarians or the National Association of Parliamentarians.

 

One last I am not clear that your board has the authority to be making these decisions about what to allow and what to disallow at a membership meeting. Your board will not find that authority in RONR but perhaps the statute gives that to them.

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