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A play to force a motion to pass when a certain member is not present

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19 minutes ago, Atul Kapur said:

I'm not sure how Reconsider and Enter on the Minutes helps the member who objects in the case of a motion that was adopted. In this situation, the chair has (improperly, you would say) accepted a motion to Reconsider immediately after the motion was adopted. In this case Reconsider and Enter on the Minutes would have the result of frustrating the prevailing side because it suspends the motion that was adopted.

That's the point. The assembly then faces a choice: allow both motions to Reconsider to be withdrawn, and the motion goes into effect as normal (but can be reconsidered if necessary); or suspend the action until another day.

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Mr. Kapur, Reconsider and Enter on the Minutes keeps a temporary majority from reversing the adoption of the main motion upon reconsideration.  I think Mr. Gerber's reply was very clever and does exactly what would need to be done, though the main motion is in suspense until the next meeting.

I have to admit--I have never once made a motion to Reconsider and Enter on the Minutes.  It does not seem to be on my radar

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There still is the problem that you have to find someone who voted on the prevailing side to make the motion to Reconsider and Enter on the Minutes. So someone would have to vote insincerely to be able to make the motion to counter the improper use of Reconsider. Seems unlikely.

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19 hours ago, Atul Kapur said:

There still is the problem that you have to find someone who voted on the prevailing side to make the motion to Reconsider and Enter on the Minutes. So someone would have to vote insincerely to be able to make the motion to counter the improper use of Reconsider. Seems unlikely.

Atul, it is not necessarily true that you need someone who voted on the prevailing side to make the motion to reconsider and enter on the minutes.  Theoretically, yes, but in reality, no.  The one and only time I have seen the motion used, and it was used exceptionally well in that instance, was at an NAP convention a few years ago when there was a proposed bylaw amendment without notice being considered.   Because the amendment was proposed without previous notice, I believe a 90 percent vote threshold was required for adoption.  The proposed amendment had strong universal support and most members expected it to pass easily despite the required 90 percent vote threshold.

When the vote was taken, it failed to reach the 90 percent threshold by just a handful of votes.  I think it received 89 percent, just short of the required 90 percent.  A member who supported the amendment but had not voted on the prevailing side moved to "suspend the rules and to reconsider and enter on the minutes" the vote which had just taken place.  His  rationale, which proved to be correct, was that by essentially postponing the vote until the next day, we had overnight to convince some people to change their votes. 

The problem was that he had not voted on the prevailing side, thus his motion to suspend the rules was to permit him to make the motion despite not having voted on the prevailing side.  Since the original vote received 89 percent of the vote, he knew the assembly would quite likely give him the 2/3 vote necessary to suspend the rules.  And that is exactly what happened. So, even though he had not voted on the prevailing side, he was nonetheless able to get the rules suspended to permit him to make the motion to reconsider and enter on the minutes.  The next day, when motion to reconsider was taken up, it passed overwhelmingly and then the bylaw amendment itself passed with more than the 90 percent vote vote required.

That is the only time I have seen that motion used and it was used to perfection and with the interesting twist that the mover had not voted with the prevailing side.

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I recall the same instance Richard is talking about. But in addition to the supporters having time to try to convince more members to vote yes, the wording of the resolution proposing the amendment was amended during the reconsideration. I think that also had an effect of the new vote total.

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38 minutes ago, Weldon Merritt said:

I recall the same instance Richard is talking about. But in addition to the supporters having time to try to convince more members to vote yes, the wording of the resolution proposing the amendment was amended during the reconsideration. I think that also had an effect of the new vote total.

Weldon, I think you are right.  As I recall, there was also a slight change in the language of the resolution or the amendment which perhaps  made it a bit more palatable to some members when it was back before the body for reconsideration.  It was fascinating to watch how that particular motion to reconsider and enter on the minutes played out to achieve the desired outcome!

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3 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

The problem was that he had not voted on the prevailing side, thus his motion to suspend the rules was to permit him to make the motion despite not having voted on the prevailing side.  Since the original vote received 89 percent of the vote, he knew the assembly would quite likely give him the 2/3 vote necessary to suspend the rules.  And that is exactly what happened

I wasn't there but have heard the story about Reconsider and Enter being spotted "in the wild" several times. I would argue that the threshold to adopt the rule suspension should have been higher than a 2/3 vote, specifically 90%, because the rule being suspended protects those on the prevailing side and, in this case, that was any group > 10%.

SDC 7 of Suspend the Rules: "In any case, no rule protecting a minority of a particular size can be suspended in the face of a negative vote as large as the minority protected by the rule." (RONR 11th ed., p. 261, lines 15-17)

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1 hour ago, Atul Kapur said:

I wasn't there but have heard the story about Reconsider and Enter being spotted "in the wild" several times. I would argue that the threshold to adopt the rule suspension should have been higher than a 2/3 vote, specifically 90%, because the rule being suspended protects those on the prevailing side and, in this case, that was any group > 10%.

SDC 7 of Suspend the Rules: "In any case, no rule protecting a minority of a particular size can be suspended in the face of a negative vote as large as the minority protected by the rule." (RONR 11th ed., p. 261, lines 15-17)

But the rule being suspended was the one requiring that the mover of Reconsider and Enter on the Minutes have voted on the prevailing side, not the rule requiring a 90% vote for the amendment. Reconsider itself, and its variation REM, always requires only a majority vote, regardless of the vote required for adoption of the motion being reconsidered.

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But we're not talking about the vote required to adopt Reconsider. We're discussing the rule that the mover must have voted on the prevailing side and the purpose of that rule is to protect the prevailing side against the dilatory use of Reconsider by the side that lost.

Usually, the prevailing side is the majority and it's being protected from the minority (losing) side. In that case, the 2/3 vote is what it takes to Suspend. But in this case, the prevailing side is 10%+1 of those voting, because of the 90% requirement of the bylaws for a no-notice bylaws amendment. Therefore the quoted excerpt of SDC 7 applies.

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1 hour ago, Weldon Merritt said:

But the rule being suspended was the one requiring that the mover of Reconsider and Enter on the Minutes have voted on the prevailing side, not the rule requiring a 90% vote for the amendment. Reconsider itself, and its variation REM, always requires only a majority vote, regardless of the vote required for adoption of the motion being reconsidered.

Thanks Weldon. I was about to say the same thing, but you beat me to it. It is correct that the rule which was being suspended is the rule that requires the mover of a motion to reconsider to have voted on the prevailing side. It can be suspended with a 2/3 vote.

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3 minutes ago, Atul Kapur said:

But we're not talking about the vote required to adopt Reconsider. We're discussing the rule that the mover must have voted on the prevailing side and the purpose of that rule is to protect the prevailing side against the dilatory use of Reconsider by the side that lost.

Usually, the prevailing side is the majority and it's being protected from the minority (losing) side. In that case, the 2/3 vote is what it takes to Suspend. But in this case, the prevailing side is 10%+1 of those voting, because of the 90% requirement of the bylaws for a no-notice bylaws amendment. Therefore the quoted excerpt of SDC 7 applies.

Yes, we are talking about Reconsider (or more precisely, Reconsider and Enter on the Minutes, which has basically the same SDCs). And RONR explicitly says that the motion "[r]equires only a majority vote, regardless of the vote necessary to adopt the motion to be reconsidered. " RONR, p. 320, ll. 32-33 (emphasis in original). The motion to be reconsidered was the proposed amendment, and it indeed did require 90%. But REM clearly did not.

Would you say that REM required a 90% vote if it had been made by a member who had voted on the prevailing? If not, then why would a motion to Suspend the Rules to allow that motion to be made by someone who had bot voted on the prevailing side require it?

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With respect and trepidation from disagreeing with Weldon, I say that the vote threshold for Reconsider is a red herring.

The rule that was being suspended was the one regarding who can move Reconsider and Enter

The purpose of that rule is to protect the prevailing side from dilatory use of Reconsider by having someone on the losing side move it.

In this particular case, the prevailing side is a minority of 10% + 1 of the voting delegates. Therefore, the provisions of SDC 7, as quoted above, apply here. 

In the usual case of bylaws amendments which require a 2/3 vote to be adopted, the usual voting threshold for Suspend the Rules matches the size of the minority prevailing side that is being protected (2/3 + 1 vote), so there is no issue. The threshold to Suspend the rule regarding who can move reconsideration only changes if the original motion that the losing side is trying to have reconsidered requires more than a 2/3 vote.

Edited by Atul Kapur

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28 minutes ago, Atul Kapur said:

With respect and trepidation from disagreeing with Weldon, I say that the vote threshold for Reconsider is a red herring.

The rule that was being suspended was the one regarding who can move Reconsider and Enter

The purpose of that rule is to protect the prevailing side from dilatory use of Reconsider by having someone on the losing side move it.

In this particular case, the prevailing side is a minority of 10% + 1 of the voting delegates. Therefore, the provisions of SDC 7, as quoted above, apply here. 

 

I don't agree since such a rule does not protect that minority.  Note that a failed bylaw amendment can be reconsidered by a majority vote, no matter the vote needed to adopt it. 

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21 minutes ago, Atul Kapur said:

With respect and trepidation from disagreeing with Weldon, I say that the vote threshold for Reconsider is a red herring.

The rule that was being suspended was the one regarding who can move Reconsider and Enter

The purpose of that rule is to protect the prevailing side from dilatory use of Reconsider by having someone on the losing side move it.

In this particular case, the prevailing side is a minority of 10% + 1 of the voting delegates. Therefore, the provisions of SDC 7, as quoted above, apply here. 

In the usual case of bylaws amendments which require a 2/3 vote to be adopted, the usual voting threshold for Suspend the Rules matches the size of the minority prevailing side that is being protected (2/3 + 1 vote), so there is no issue. The threshold to Suspend the rule regarding who can move reconsideration only changes if the original motion that the losing side is trying to have reconsidered requires more than a 2/3 vote.

After having slept on it, I agree that the required vote for Reconsider is not the issue. (That's what I get for posting when I am exhausted.) But I still don't agree that the rule requiring Reconsider to be moved by someone on the prevailing side is designed to protect a minority. Rather, it is designed to protect the entire assembly from having to deal with the a motion made by a disgruntled member of the losing side. Besides the example J.J. cited, the fact is that it usually will be the majority that is the prevailing side, except for bylaw amendments and a few other motions that require a higher threshold.

I also point out that that in a roomful of a few hundred parliamentarians, including every member but one of the RONR Authorship Team, no one raised a Point of Order. While that's certainly not dispositive, it's pretty strong evidence. 

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I agree with Mr. Merritt when he says that the rule that the motion to Reconsider can be made only by a member who voted with the prevailing side is a rule which protects the entire assembly against its dilatory use. As a consequence, I'd say that this rule requires a unanimous vote for its suspension. 

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13 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I agree with Mr. Merritt when he says that the rule that the motion to Reconsider can be made only by a member who voted with the prevailing side is a rule which protects the entire assembly against its dilatory use. As a consequence, I'd say that this rule requires a unanimous vote for its suspension. 

No that's an interesting perspective! 

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2 hours ago, Weldon Merritt said:

No that's an interesting perspective! 

I  agree that it's an interesting perspective....  and I fail to see how suspending the rule would require a unanimous vote.  Apparently nobody else saw it that way, including the four other members of the RONR authorship team who were present on the front row and were quick to make other points of order, once even all rising in unison to head to a floor mic!  

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3 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I agree with Mr. Merritt when he says that the rule that the motion to Reconsider can be made only by a member who voted with the prevailing side is a rule which protects the entire assembly against its dilatory use. As a consequence, I'd say that this rule requires a unanimous vote for its suspension. 

 

2 hours ago, Weldon Merritt said:

No that's an interesting perspective! 

Maybe we can bridge the difference between that Mr. Honemann's radical perspective and yours by agreeing to my opinion? 😉

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Just now, Atul Kapur said:

 

Maybe we can bridge the difference between that Mr. Honemann's radical perspective and yours by agreeing to my opinion? 😉

I can understand your reasoning, but it still seems pretty telling that in a roomful of parliamentarians, including four of the RONR authors, apparently no one else saw it that way. One might argue that the authors, at least, didn't want to raise the point because the amendment was one to make Henry M. Robert III an Honorary President of NAP. But I think the authors have enough integrity that if they had thought the threshold for adoption should have been 90%, they would have said so, regardless of their personal desires. I am pretty sure that I have seen instances where they indeed did raise Points of Order that were contrary to their personal interests, to protect the integrity of the rules.

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17 hours ago, Atul Kapur said:

 

Maybe we can bridge the difference between that Mr. Honemann's radical perspective and yours by agreeing to my opinion? 😉

Radical perspective?  🙂

First of all, let me hasten to say that, as has been noted, I was not at the NAP Convention at which this event occurred and did not know, when I posted my last response, that the incident being referred to involved a proposed amendment to the NAP bylaws which was needed in order to make Henry M. Robert III an Honorary President of NAP. Obviously, the final result was the right one.

Let me also hasten to add that, had I been there, I doubt that I would have raised a point of order concerning the vote required to suspend the rule that makes members who did not vote with the prevailing side ineligible to make a motion to Reconsider. But this is because, to the best of my recollection, up until the issue was raised in this thread I haven't given this question any thought at all. And now, even although I gave this question quite a few hours of thought before responding as I did, I still didn't manage to do a very good job of it.

In any event, I remain of the opinion that this rule is a rule which, if it can be suspended at all, requires unanimous consent for its suspension. If this is not the case, then I agree with Atul Kapur's conclusion as to the proper application of the rule on page 261, lines 14-17, in this instance. 

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2 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Radical perspective?  🙂

First of all, let me hasten to say that, as has been noted, I was not at the NAP Convention at which this event occurred and did not know, when I posted my last response, that the incident being referred to involved a proposed amendment to the NAP bylaws which was needed in order to make Henry M. Robert III an Honorary President of NAP. Obviously, the final result was the right one.

Let me also hasten to add that, had I been there, I doubt that I would have raised a point of order concerning the vote required to suspend the rule that makes members who did not vote with the prevailing side ineligible to make a motion to Reconsider. But this is because, to the best of my recollection, up until the issue was raised in this thread I haven't given this question any thought at all. And now, even although I gave this question quite a few hours of thought before responding as I did, I still didn't manage to do a very good job of it.

In any event, I remain of the opinion that this rule is a rule which, if it can be suspended at all, requires unanimous consent for its suspension. If this is not the case, then I agree with Atul Kapur's conclusion as to the proper application of the rule on page 261, lines 14-17, in this instance. 

I still have some doubts, but after giving it more thought, I agree that both Dr. Kapur's and Mr. Honneman's positions are at least reasonable arguments. It would be great if the issue could be clarified in an official interpretation .

One of my problems is that  either Dr. Kapur's or Mr. Honneman's  interpretation is even more likely to encourage insincere voting so as to be eligible to move Reconsider if your true sentiment doesn't prevail. Of course, I know that my personal concern with the possible implications of a rule have no bearing on the correctness of the rule.

Finally, for those who are not familiar with the scenario, and who may be wondering how even 10% of the membership could vote against making Mr. Robert an Honorary President, I'll provide a summary.

The original proposal came in the form of a resolution submitted by the Board of Directors, first listing Mr. Robert's many accomplishments, and ending with a resolving clause to amend the appropriate provision of the bylaws to directly specify that "Henry M. Robert III shall be an honorary president of NAP" (or words to that effect). If I recall correctly, some of the debate included objections to putting a specific name into the bylaws. So when the vote was taken (using electronic keypads), I strongly suspect that most of the No votes were by those who disagreed with putting anyone's name into the bylaws (a sentiment I shared, but I voted Yes anyway because of whose name it was). And there also may have been some who accidentally pressed the wrong button and even a few (very few I'm sure) who genuinely did not agree with making Mr. Robert an honorary president.

As Mr. Brown noted, a member who had voted for the resolution then moved to Suspend the Rules and Reconsider and Enter on the Minutes. When the motion was called up  the next day,  REM was adopted by an overwhelming vote, and on reconsideration, a substitute resolution was offered.  The substitute listed the same accomplishments by Mr. Robert, and ended with two resolving clauses; one amending the bylaws to provide for having honorary officers, and one designating Mr. Robert as an honorary president. Both the substitute and the amended main motion were then adopted by an overwhelming vote.

 

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