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Motion to remove item from agenda - when is it out of order?


Guest Mickey
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There are a variety of ways to do this. Some examples include
- Objection to Consideration: Prevents any discussion. Takes 2/3 vote. See p. 267
- Postpone Indefinitely: Kills motion without actually taking a vote on the
          controversial motion itself. Debatable. See p. 126
- Postpone to a Certain Time: Pretty much self-explanatory. See p. 179

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54 minutes ago, Guest When... said:

If someone wanted to delay discussion or prevent a collective body from acting on something controversial 

There are a variety of ways to do this. Some examples include
- Objection to Consideration: Prevents any discussion. Takes 2/3 vote. See p. 267
- Postpone Indefinitely: Kills motion without actually taking a vote on the
          controversial motion itself. Debatable. See p. 126
- Postpone to a Certain Time: Pretty much self-explanatory. See p. 179

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If only agenda items are discussed then a motion to Amend Something Previously Adopted to remove the item from the agenda is certainly one strategy. If the motion still remains on the agenda, there are several ways trying to do this: (1) When the motion is introduced move an Objection To The Consideration Of The Question; (2) If the motion then becomes pending, move to Postpone Indefinitely; (3) Try to Amend the motion in several ways so as to turn it into an unpalatable motion to the majority (This one is fairly popular. Having several friends amend it very slowly by degrees and then the final product is yucky and no one wants it.); (4) Try to Postpone it to a committee, when it returns try to Postpone it again but to a different committee; (5) Try to Postpone it to the next meeting, when the next meeting takes place try to Postpone it again; (6) During the debate try to Amend the motion so as to remove the controversial aspect of it to something that you find agreeable; (7) When all else fails, try to generate an argument against it during the debate and then vote against it. There is one last try: Move to Lay On The Table and hope that no one moves to Take From The Table by the end of the next meeting. If it is not taken from the table by then the measure dies. This strategy is very chancy and rarely works among a parliamentary-savvy group. Stand by for the experts. I may have forgotten something.

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39 minutes ago, Guest Zev said:

(4) Try to Postpone it to a committee, when it returns try to Postpone it again but to a different committee;

I believe Guest Zev meant to say Commit or Refer to a committee, rather than Postpone. The purpose in doing so may be to just postpone it (rather than to use the committee to improve the motion), but that's not the name of the motion.

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6 hours ago, Guest When... said:

If someone wanted to delay discussion or prevent a collective body from acting on something controversial 

Unless your organization has some very special rules, not in RONR, removing an item from an agenda will do nothing of and by itself to delay or prevent consideration of that item.   Instead of coming up as a "General Order" (which is what an agenda is for), the item (motion) can be moved by any member who wishes to do so as an item of New Business immediately after "General Orders".   See page 371 and page 353.

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If the agenda has been adopted, the motion to Amend Something Previously Adopted has a higher vote threshold and would, therefore, be more difficult to pass than simply allowing the matter to come up normally and then moving to Postpone it or Refer it to a committee.

However, as a practical matter, if an item is truly controversial, I have doubts that putting it off is likely to be beneficial.  Controversial items seldom go away on their own, especially if a sizable segment of the membership believes that another segment is trying to prevent discussion from taking place.

 

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The usual method of seeking to “kill off” a motion on a topic that is inopportune is to move to Postpone Indefinitely. However, this motion is itself debatable and the debate may go into the merits of the underlying main motion. Therefore, if one wanted to not discuss that motion at all, one could follow the motion to Postpone Indefinitely with a motion for the Previous Question. That would take a two-thirds vote. 

On 5/25/2019 at 5:54 AM, Guest Zev said:

There is one last try: Move to Lay On The Table and hope that no one moves to Take From The Table by the end of the next meeting. If it is not taken from the table by then the measure dies. This strategy is very chancy and rarely works among a parliamentary-savvy group. Stand by for the experts. I may have forgotten something.

I fear that the reason it “rarely works” is that this use of Lay on the Table is out of order. The motion to Lay on the Table is available for the purpose of setting aside the pending business to take up a matter of urgency, rather than disposing of a topic without debating it. 

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16 minutes ago, jstackpo said:

T. Ralph noted:  "RONR isn't very popular over here, sadly."

Is there a common equivalent in the U.K.?

(No parades in my neighborhood, sadly.)

Erskine May’s Parliamentary Practice is occasionally cited. However, sadly, the rules, if any, of those deliberative bodies I am in the habit of attending tend to depend only on the whim of the chair.

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Or, in Thomas Jefferson's phrasing...

[1.2] And whether these forms be in all cases the most rational or not, is really not of so great importance. It is much more material that there should be a rule to go by, than what that rule is; that there may be an uniformity of proceeding in business, not subject to the caprice of the Speaker, or captiousness of the members.


"Caprice" and especially "captiousness" are particularly nice words for the context.

 

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5 hours ago, Thomas Ralph said:

I fear that the reason it “rarely works” is that this use of Lay on the Table is out of order. The motion to Lay on the Table is available for the purpose of setting aside the pending business to take up a matter of urgency, rather than disposing of a topic without debating it. 

I did say "parliamentary-savvy," did I not? And the gentleman's observation has proved my point. Cheers!

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