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Nathan Zook

Transcript from Washington State Republican Party (online) Convention

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For those who are not familiar with how these things go down, I'm posting what just happened when we move to the question of adopting the rules.

The chairman was speaking in video.  The comments should be reasonably self-explanatory.  What happened was not a surprise.  This is why I do not agree that such events can be considered deliberative assemblies.

My point of order was not acknowledged until after the vote was opened.  Then, he stated, "If the motion fails, then we will have debate."

There is no parliamentary question here.  I'm simply wanting to ensure that the assembled luminaries have seen what some of us are up against..  :)

 

Nathan Zook27 minutes ago

How do we debate the proposed rules?

thomas watson26 minutes ago

second

Nathan Zook26 minutes ago

Snohomish county: point of order: debate !

Alexis Wallace25 minutes ago

floor debate

Marcello Mancini25 minutes ago

Second - Marcello Mancini 8 - 25 - 296

John Berg25 minutes ago

POINT OF ORDER: Debate needed.

Hannah Joy25 minutes ago

huge delay!

Andrea Sehmel25 minutes ago

I second Alexis’ floor debate

Natalie Zook25 minutes ago

Snohomish county: point of order! Debate.

Mark Naulty25 minutes ago

Point of order is appropriate

John Berg25 minutes ago

POINT OF ORDER: Debate needed.

Edward Norton25 minutes ago

Snohomish County. Point of Order! Debate

Sami Jensen25 minutes ago

Why would you be asked to input on the rules and suggestions, when your emals are not acknowledged?

Andrea Sehmel24 minutes ago

Retract all votes under Point of Order is resolved

Debbie Knutsen24 minutes ago

Do people know they need to vote, submit and CONFIRM?

Nathan Zook24 minutes ago

Snohomish county: Appeal ruling of the chair

Andrea Sehmel24 minutes ago

This is what happened in Thurston 5 weeks ago.

Natalie Zook24 minutes ago

Debate comes first. Everyone knows this.

John Berg23 minutes ago

I APPEAL THE DECISION OF THE CHAIR: Rules are debatable before vote.

Sami Jensen23 minutes ago

debate first!!

Joseph Murphy23 minutes ago

Who cares if its what happened somewhere else. If you have a problem with it vote no. Easy to do.

Martin Metz23 minutes ago

The process to move to an action is being presented to preclude use of rules of order. May need to slow down those technological procedures.

John Berg22 minutes ago

I APPEAL THE DECISION OF THE CHAIR: Rules are debatable before vote.

Nathan Zook22 minutes ago

My point of order was raised before the voting was opened.

C Davis22 minutes ago

Isn’t a motion debatable, before the call of the question?

Stephanie Gleason22 minutes ago

We need more time to discuss these. I don’t believe the chair should be fast to call for votes

Jessie Westcott21 minutes ago

vote to reject the rules if you want the debate. everybody is doing the best they can under very unusual circumstances…

William M Johnson21 minutes ago

I agree just vote no if you disagree

Joseph Murphy21 minutes ago

Then vote no if you want it to get turned down. How hard is that to do.

Mark Naulty21 minutes ago

Caleb, it doesn’t matter if the Rules look great, we still are beholden to Robert’s Rules of Order which requires debate on this motion.

Sami Jensen

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1 hour ago, Nathan Zook said:

This is why I do not agree that such events can be considered deliberative assemblies.

Oh, a reasonably incompetent chair could have botched things just as well at an in-person meeting. :)

I don't think anyone here would argue with the proposition that it is preferable to meet in person (especially for larger assemblies). RONR is clear, however, that (provided that such meetings are authorized in an organization's bylaws), "A group that holds such alternative meetings does not lose its character as a deliberative assembly (see pp. 1–2) so long as the meetings provide, at a minimum, conditions of opportunity for simultaneous aural communication among all participating members equivalent to those of meetings held in one room or area." (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 97)

The fact that some organizations do a terrible job of holding such meetings does not change this rule.

1 hour ago, Nathan Zook said:

My point of order was not acknowledged until after the vote was opened.

The Point of Order should have been acknowledged immediately at the time it was made.

1 hour ago, Nathan Zook said:

Then, he stated, "If the motion fails, then we will have debate."

This is obviously not how that process works.

1 hour ago, Nathan Zook said:

Nathan Zook27 minutes ago

How do we debate the proposed rules?

...

It essentially looks like the meeting fell into complete and utter chaos. Among other things...

1) The chair apparently did not call for debate on the proposed rules (as required), which is what started the mess that followed.

2) A Point of Order was repeatedly called and not acknowledged by the chair.

3) Since I'm just seeing the text comments, I don't know if the Point of Order was eventually ruled on. If it was, then it was problematic that the chair ignored the Appeal. If the chair didn't rule on the Point of Order, it makes sense to ignore the Appeal, since there was no ruling to appeal from. There are other procedures to use if the chair simply ignores the Point of Order, which are discussed in RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 650-651.

4) While it sounds like some motions were made prior to the vote, it also sounds like some motions may have been made during the vote, which is not in order. when a vote is in progress, no interruptions of any kind are in order - even a Point of Order or Appeal relating to the vote would need to wait until the vote was over.

5) It appears that numerous members "spoke" without seeking recognition.

6) There seems to be a suggestion that the question was called at some point? It should be noted that the motion for the Previous Question requires a second and a 2/3 vote for adoption, and is not debatable. If adopted, debate immediately ends. This can be made at any time during the debate, and theoretically could be made and adopted before any debate whatsoever has occurred. It's not clear from the transcript what exactly happened in regards to this motion.

Edited by Josh Martin

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As I said, this transcript is more for edification than for questions.  This class of behavior is not new, it's just that it is in practice impossible to correct an abusive chair in an online meeting.

The process of seeking recognition itself is difficult, when it comes to points of order.

He did "rule" that the point was too late.  What was too late was his acknowledgement of the point of order--I did raise it before he moved to the vote.

And yes, he went to the vote on the rules without any debate.

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Oh dear.

The Texas Democratic Party's approach was to sacrifice the deliberative character of its convention. Committees met over Zoom (no idea how those went, since I wasn't elected to a committee nor did I watch any committee meetings). But the general body voted not in any sort of live meeting, but via Google Forms, on the election of committee members and officers and the adoption of committee recommendations. All of this was done in accordance with emergency rules duly adopted by the State Democratic Executive Committee, so it was above-board in a rules sense, but wasn't a deliberative assembly in any sense.

The downside was that certain things were basically impossible. For instance, there were no minority reports or floor amendments, and it was hard to implement the provision in state party rules that allows resolutions to be offered by a written petition of a certain percentage of the delegates (ordinarily resolutions must be recommended by county conventions). Still, sounds like it was a lot better than the experience Mr. Zook described.

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