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During debate...can the chair stop debate for this reason?


BabbsJohnson
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Let’s say someone just spoke...and then next person is recognized...

does the chair have the right to ask that next speaker::

“Do you have anything different to say than the last person?”

...and then refuse to allow that person to talk if they say they do not have a different thing to say?

Can they disallow debate from a board member if they do not wish to hear a similar argument?

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2 hours ago, J. J. said:

There is suppose to be an alternation between pro and con positions.  The chair could be doing that. 

But let’s say there is no one who wishes to, or is ready to speak when an opposing view is called for... can the Chair impose any limits or prohibitions on those who wish to speak next? 

 I would think they would have to stop debate for all speakers and ask for a vote to call the question, and are not able to impose limits on any one speaker, or speakers, based on their possible debate content.

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10 hours ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

But let’s say there is no one who wishes to, or is ready to speak when an opposing view is called for... can the Chair impose any limits or prohibitions on those who wish to speak next? 

The chair may not apply their personal preferences to who speaks next. There are some reasons for preference in recognition in debate - specifically, they are if a member wishes to give previous notice for a motion, if the motion maker wishes to speak but has not yet spoken, that a member who has not yet spoken has preference over members who have spoken, and finally, that the debate should alternate (to the extent possible) between those speaking in favor of the motion and those speaking against the motion. Beyond these reasons, the first member to seek recognition is recognized.

10 hours ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

I would think they would have to stop debate for all speakers and ask for a vote to call the question, and are not able to impose limits on any one speaker, or speakers, based on their possible debate content.

Only the assembly may end debate, and it requires a 2/3 vote to do so.

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15 hours ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

But let’s say there is no one who wishes to, or is ready to speak when an opposing view is called for... can the Chair impose any limits or prohibitions on those who wish to speak next? 

 I would think they would have to stop debate for all speakers and ask for a vote to call the question, and are not able to impose limits on any one speaker, or speakers, based on their possible debate content.

Agreeing with Mr. Martin, the chair cannot impose limits.

 

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5 hours ago, Atul Kapur said:

I agree that the chair cannot impose limits. However, if there is no one willing to speak on one side of the question, that's usually a very good sign that the assembly is ready to vote and decide on the question. 

I would assume that someone would then call for the question, perhaps after a last call for discussion?

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The motion for the Previous Question is in order the instant the chairman declares the motion as pending. There is no such thing as "calling the question." A member must gain recognition in the usual way and move the Previous Question. To do otherwise is a breach of decorum. Also, meetings are not in the style of drinking establishments. There is no such thing as a "last call for discussion." Debate continues for as long as members seek recognition and present a logical argument why the motion should be adopted or rejected, or any number of other allowable motions. The chairman cannot stop or limit the discussion, or imply that the next person to speak will be the last one.

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[Chairman:] Does anyone else seek the floor? If not ... (Pause) ... The question is on the motion. Those in favor please say "aye," ... (Pause) ... Those against please say "no." (The rest of the announcement will depend on the chair's opinion as to which group was more numerous.)

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"The last three speakers have spoken in favor of the motion. Are any of the people seeking recognition planning on speaking against the motion?"

If someone is, the chair can give them preference in recognition. If not, then that should be a powerful signal to the assembly that further discussion is not necessary and most of those seeking the floor will usually sit down.

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4 hours ago, jstackpo said:

Quite true, but it in no way  prevents a member from seeking his/her moment of glory in the spotlight.

Oh yes, there are many people who have proven themselves incapable of comprehending that signal and who continue to seek their "moment of glory", even to the detriment of their reputation and their cause.

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9 hours ago, Chris Harrison said:

If it seems like everyone who has spoken is for (or against) the motion is there a way (within the rules) for the Chair to acknowledge this and encourage/prompt the members to either move the Previous Question or simply stop seeking the floor in order to continue debate? 

I believe the assembly in question is a small board, so it would be appropriate for the chair to suggest this, or even to move the Previous Question herself.

Mr. Kapur’s suggestion seems appropriate for a larger assembly.

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So...what of the case where the chair attempts to limit or stop debate, and a point of order is called...would the defense be that onlybthe board can move to the previous question, and that no one member, including the chair, may stop or limit debate?

Edited by .oOllXllOo.
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1 hour ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

...would the defense be that onlybthe board can move to the previous question,...

If this is a meeting of the board then board members are in control of their own meeting.

If this is a meeting of some other body then the members of that body are in control of their own meeting and the members of the board may or may not be regular members of that body without any special privileges or powers, unless the bylaws indicated otherwise.

1 hour ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

...and that no one member, including the chair, may stop or limit debate?

That is correct. The usual method to limit debate is for the group to adopt a motion to Limit Or Extend The Limits Of Debate or to shut off debate completely by the adoption of a motion for the Previous Question.

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