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Not by special rule of order


Guest 2.16 note 5
Message added by Shmuel Gerber

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Guest 2.16 note 5

In 2.16 note 1  or 5 (ebook version) it states that some rules in RONR cannot be superseded by a special rule of order and give also how to recognize these.

Sadly it looks that there are no rules are tagged this way (not even the rule prohibiting proxy voting) 

Am I missing something?

Or where can I find the list of rules that can only be changed in the bylaws?

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6 minutes ago, Guest 2.16 note 5 said:

In 2.16 note 1  or 5 (ebook version) it states that some rules in RONR cannot be superseded by a special rule of order and give also how to recognize these.

Sadly it looks that there are no rules are tagged this way (not even the rule prohibiting proxy voting) 

Am I missing something?

Or where can I find the list of rules that can only be changed in the bylaws?

I'm not aware of a list of these. I did my best to do a search. I cannot guarantee that this is an exhaustive list. I would also note that some of the rules below are not in the nature of rules of order, so in that case the relevant rule prohibits the adoption of a standing rule on the matter.

  • Members can only be suspended of their rights through the disciplinary procedures in RONR or by a provision in the bylaws. So a rule automatically dropping members who are delinquent in their dues, for instance, could not be adopted as a special rule of order. RONR (12th ed.) 1:13n3
     
  • Electronic meetings of the society, boards, and committees specified in the bylaws may only be authorized by a rule in the bylaws. RONR (12th ed.) 9:30
     
  • A rule permitting election of officers by plurality must be in the bylaws. RONR (12th ed.) 44:11
     
  • Absentee voting of any kind (including proxy voting) can only be authorized in the bylaws. RONR (12th ed.) 45:56
     
  • A rule providing for a form of preferential voting for election of officers must be in the bylaws. RONR (12th ed.) 45:62
     
  • Although it's already covered in the section on absentee voting, the text again notes that a rule in the bylaws is needed to authorize proxy voting. RONR (12th ed.) 45:70
     
  • Any limitation or standing delegation of the power of the society's assembly must be in the bylaws. RONR (12th ed.) 56:2
     
  • Assessments must be in the bylaws. RONR (12th ed.) 56:19
     
  • Attendance requirements must be in the bylaws. RONR (12th ed.) 56:20
     
  • Fines cannot be imposed unless authorized in the bylaws. RONR (12th ed.) 61:2

Since you mentioned proxy voting specifically, here is the relevant quote on that rule:

"Proxy voting is not permitted in ordinary deliberative assemblies unless the laws of the state in which the society is incorporated require it, or the charter or bylaws of the organization provide for it." RONR (12th ed.) 45:70

Other than proxy voting, are there particular rules you had in mind?

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Guest Extra vote for chair

I was more thinking along the lines of rules that cannot be altered by a special rule of order, because for example they break fundamental principles. Like

-giving a chair two votes to break ties. 

- the rule that the  threasurer does not need to be bonded .

These rules (at least look) like they can be made by a special rule of order.

 

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3 hours ago, Guest Extra vote for chair said:

I was more thinking along the lines of rules that cannot be altered by a special rule of order, because for example they break fundamental principles. Like

-giving a chair two votes to break ties. 

- the rule that the  threasurer does not need to be bonded .

These rules (at least look) like they can be made by a special rule of order.

 

Looking a RONR 12 ed., I do not see any requirement that the a special rule could not be adopted that would say, "In the event of a tie vote, the chair shall decide if the motion carriers."  I am hoping that, since it is early in the day, I have missed something.

If there was no rule, the treasurer need not be bonded.  To make that a requirement for holding office, requiring bonding would have to be placed in the bylaws. 

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1 minute ago, J. J. said:

Looking a RONR 12 ed., I do not see any requirement that the a special rule could not be adopted that would say, "In the event of a tie vote, the chair shall decide if the motion carriers."  I am hoping that, since it is early in the day, I have missed something.

If the motion is tied without the chair having already voted, the rule would be unnecessary, since the chair already has that right (by choosing to vote or not vote). But if the chair has already voted and the result is a tie, it seems to me that the rule would violate the fundamental principle of "one person, one vote."

6 minutes ago, J. J. said:

If there was no rule, the treasurer need not be bonded.  To make that a requirement for holding office, requiring bonding would have to be placed in the bylaws. 

I concur with this.

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18 minutes ago, Weldon Merritt said:

If the motion is tied without the chair having already voted, the rule would be unnecessary, since the chair already has that right (by choosing to vote or not vote). But if the chair has already voted and the result is a tie, it seems to me that the rule would violate the fundamental principle of "one person, one vote."

 

Agreed, but as has been previously established, a fundamental principle of parliamentary law (FPPL) can be overridden by a special rule, unless RONR states that only a bylaw can override this FPPL.  I'm not seeing anything in text that says something like this would have to be placed in the bylaws. 

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4 hours ago, Guest Extra vote for chair said:

I was more thinking along the lines of rules that cannot be altered by a special rule of order, because for example they break fundamental principles. Like

-giving a chair two votes to break ties. 

- the rule that the  threasurer does not need to be bonded .

These rules (at least look) like they can be made by a special rule of order.

No, I do not think either of these rules may be adopted by a special rule of order.

The fact that something violates a fundamental principle of parliamentary law, in and of itself, does not necessarily mean that a special rule of order cannot be adopted on the matter. I am not aware of anything which would prevent, for instance, the adoption of a special rule of order which would supersede or modify the FPPL that only one question may be considered at a time (although doing so does not seem terribly wise). 

I do not think, however, that forms of weighted voting may be adopted by a special rule of order. It seems to me that such a rule may only be adopted by a provision in the bylaws, although it would be nice if RONR was more explicit on this subject. My view of it is that a rule of this nature should generally be viewed to conflict with the bylaws themselves in a society which has adopted RONR as its parliamentary authority, since it conflicts with "the essential characteristics of a deliberative assembly in which membership is individual, personal, and nontransferable." RONR (12th ed.) 45:70 As such the word "member" should be read to mean a person with one vote unless something else in the bylaws provides otherwise.

RONR has no rules regarding whether the Treasurer does (or does not) need to be bonded, and there certainly is no fundamental principle of parliamentary law on this subject. A special rule of order cannot be adopted on this subject because the rule is not in the nature of a rule of order, as it does not "relate to the orderly transaction of business in meetings and to the duties of officers in that connection." RONR (12th ed.) 2:14

I am generally inclined to think that a rule on this subject may be adopted by a standing rule, although I concur with J.J. and Mr. Merritt that if it is desired to make it a qualification for office, that would need to be in the bylaws.

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11 minutes ago, Josh Martin said:

I do not think, however, that forms of weighted voting may be adopted by a special rule of order. It seems to me that such a rule may only be adopted by a provision in the bylaws, although it would be nice if RONR was more explicit on this subject. My view of it is that a rule of this nature should generally be viewed to conflict with the bylaws themselves in a society which has adopted RONR as its parliamentary authority, since it conflicts with "the essential characteristics of a deliberative assembly in which membership is individual, personal, and nontransferable." RONR (12th ed.) 45:70 As such the word "member" should be read to mean a person with one vote unless something else in the bylaws provides otherwise.

 

I've tried to look at this at that angle, preferential voting.  A member is, effectively, casting more than one vote in preferential voting, which is acceptable except in the election of officers.

Can an assembly change a vote threshold to adopt a motion via a special rule?  With the exception of a few things, yes.  This seems to be a change in the voting threshold.  I would regard it as being similar to the assembly adopt a special rule that said, "In the event of a tie, the motion shall be adopted."

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35 minutes ago, J. J. said:

I've tried to look at this at that angle, preferential voting.  A member is, effectively, casting more than one vote in preferential voting, which is acceptable except in the election of officers.

I don't see it that way. In preferential voting a member is only casting one vote in any particular round of voting. They are "locking in" what they would do under particular future circumstances for further rounds, but are this is different from casting more than one vote.

I agree that preferential voting needs to be in the bylaws, but that's because it requires that a candidate who finishes last in any round is ineligible for election. RONR (12th ed.) 46:32n1

1 hour ago, Josh Martin said:

I do not think, however, that forms of weighted voting may be adopted by a special rule of order.

Are you suggesting here that giving the chair a second vote is a form of weighted voting?

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Well, could a special rule be adopted that would require a 2/3 vote to adopt a main motion or to say that a main motion shall carry on a tie vote?   While possibly ill advised, my answer would be yes to both (excepting elections to office).  A special saying that, in the event of a tie that the chair shall decide if the motion carries seems similar.

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4 hours ago, J. J. said:

Can an assembly change a vote threshold to adopt a motion via a special rule?  With the exception of a few things, yes.  This seems to be a change in the voting threshold.  I would regard it as being similar to the assembly adopt a special rule that said, "In the event of a tie, the motion shall be adopted."

I grant that this situation is a slightly more complex scenario than a rule which, in general, gives particular members more votes.

If the assembly were to word the rule as "In the event of a tie, the chair shall determine whether the motion is adopted or lost," that seems more able to pass muster than a rule which simply lets the chair vote twice in such circumstances, even although the effect may be the same.

3 hours ago, Atul Kapur said:

Are you suggesting here that giving the chair a second vote is a form of weighted voting?

Yes, in the sense that the chair has (in certain circumstances) two votes rather than one, therefore giving the chair's vote more weight than that of other members.

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7 minutes ago, Josh Martin said:

I grant that this situation is a slightly more complex scenario than a rule which, in general, gives particular members more votes.

If the assembly were to word the rule as "In the event of a tie, the chair shall determine whether the motion is adopted or lost," that seems more able to pass muster than a rule which simply lets the chair vote twice in such circumstances, even although the effect may be the same.

 

As a practical matter, I don't see a difference.  I would prefer different wording, if it is to be done.  It can be done, however.

You have previously given example of an FPPL that could be superseded by a special rule; I agreed with you example and comments completely.  This could be another, more realistic, example. 

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32 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

The fundamental principle cannot be suspended, even by a unanimous vote.

If multiple separate, independent motions are offered under a single enacting motion (which violates no rule), they must be divided upon the demand of a single member. This is in recognition of the rationale behind the principle we are considering.

However, we are talking about a suspension (though I agree that it could not be suspended).

We are talking about what level rule can supersede the FPPL.

Another example is the newly identified FPPL that "only a two-thirds vote can rightfully suppress a main question without allowing free debate (17:15)."  The society could have a rule stating that Lay on the Table can be used to suppress a question without debate.  I would question if that needed to be in the bylaws to be effective. 

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On 10/2/2020 at 10:01 AM, J. J. said:
On 10/2/2020 at 9:36 AM, Weldon Merritt said:

If the motion is tied without the chair having already voted, the rule would be unnecessary, since the chair already has that right (by choosing to vote or not vote). But if the chair has already voted and the result is a tie, it seems to me that the rule would violate the fundamental principle of "one person, one vote."

 

Agreed, but as has been previously established, a fundamental principle of parliamentary law (FPPL) can be overridden by a special rule, unless RONR states that only a bylaw can override this FPPL.  I'm not seeing anything in text that says something like this would have to be placed in the bylaws. 

 

On 10/2/2020 at 10:22 AM, Josh Martin said:

The fact that something violates a fundamental principle of parliamentary law, in and of itself, does not necessarily mean that a special rule of order cannot be adopted on the matter.

 

On 10/2/2020 at 3:40 PM, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I'm inclined to believe that no fundamental principle of parliamentary law can be negated by anything less than a bylaw provision.

I have to agree with J. J. and Josh Martin about this. RONR (12th ed.) states (emphasis added):

2:2      Experience has shown that some of the rules of a society should be made more difficult to change, or to suspend—that is, to set aside for a specific purpose—than others. Upon this principle, the rules which an established organization may have are commonly divided into classes—some of which are needed by every society, while others may be required only as conditions warrant. Within this framework under the general parliamentary law, an assembly or society is free to adopt any rules it may wish (even rules deviating from parliamentary law) provided that, in the procedure of adopting them, it conforms to parliamentary law or its own existing rules. The only limitations upon the rules that such a body can thus adopt might arise from the rules of a parent body (as those of a national society restricting its state or local branches), or from national, state, or local law affecting the particular type of organization.

and

56:49 Article VIII: Parliamentary Authority. The parliamentary authority—through the adoption of which a society establishes its rules of order—should be prescribed in a one-sentence article reading: “The rules contained in the current edition of… [specifying a standard manual of parliamentary practice, such as this book] shall govern the Society in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the Society may adopt.”(footnote omitted) Societies can adopt special rules of order as they are needed to supplement their parliamentary authority, as explained in 2. It should be noted that the bylaw language recommended above does not authorize the adoption of a special rule of order that would supersede a rule that the parliamentary authority states can be altered only by a provision in the bylaws. When a particular work is adopted as the parliamentary authority, what any other book may say on any point is of no authority if in conflict with the adopted work. In other cases, it may be persuasive but is not binding upon the society.

RONR prohibits the suspension of certain classes of rules (25:7–13), including rules which embody fundamental principles of parliamentary law; and it prohibits the adoption of certain classes of rules except by a bylaw provision (56:49, 2:16n5, and Mr. Martin's list above); but I don't see where it says or implies that these classes are the same.

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As an aside, I would note that many other authorities have requirements that some rules are only effective if placed in the bylaws.  See, "Parliamentary Authorities’ Rule Shift Function," Parliamentary Journal, January 2005.  This appears to be part of the general parliamentary law, and not some peculiarity of RONR.

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I see nothing at all in 2:2 or 56:49 refuting my belief that any rule intended to negate a fundamental principle of parliamentary law must be contained in the bylaws (or higher ranking authority). 

With respect to the fundamental principle that each member is entitled to one - and only one - vote on a question, we are referred by 25:9 to 46:43, which informs us that the bylaws may provide for cumulative voting, but that doing so should be viewed with reservation because it violates the fundamental principle that each member can have only one vote on a question. I think this is clearly telling us that a rule authorizing cumulative voting must be in the bylaws because it violates this fundamental principle. The necessary implication, at least to me, is that any rule violating this fundamental principle must be in the bylaws.

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I see nothing at all in 2:2 or 56:49 refuting my belief that any rule intended to negate a fundamental principle of parliamentary law must be contained in the bylaws (or higher ranking authority). 

With respect to the fundamental principle that each member is entitled to one - and only one - vote on a question, we are referred by 25:9 to 46:43, which informs us that the bylaws may provide for cumulative voting, but that doing so should be viewed with reservation because it violates the fundamental principle that each member can have only one vote on a question. I think this is clearly telling us that a rule authorizing cumulative voting must be in the bylaws because it violates this fundamental principle. The necessary implication, at least to me, is that any rule violating this fundamental principle must be in the bylaws.

 

 

Are you suggesting that when RONR says that something that cannot be authorized unless authorized by the bylaws would be a fundamental principle of parliamentary law?

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1 hour ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

With respect to the fundamental principle that each member is entitled to one - and only one - vote on a question, we are referred by 25:9 to 46:43, which informs us that the bylaws may provide for cumulative voting, but that doing so should be viewed with reservation because it violates the fundamental principle that each member can have only one vote on a question. I think this is clearly telling us that a rule authorizing cumulative voting must be in the bylaws because it violates this fundamental principle. The necessary implication, at least to me, is that any rule violating this fundamental principle must be in the bylaws.

I agree with this, but the question is whether the same can be demonstrated for each of the fundamental principles. 

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12 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I've no idea what you mean by this, but I will say again that I'm inclined to believe that no fundamental principle of parliamentary law can be negated by anything less than a bylaw provision.

 
  •  

You have something in text, 2:16n5, that says that some things are required to be in the bylaws.  Why is that differentiated needed if fundamental principled of parliamentary law will make something unable to be superseded by a special rule? 

Further, why would you need to specify in text that something identified as a fundamental principle of parliamentary law could only be superseded by a a bylaw?  You note that 46:43 says says that cumulative voting must be placed in the bylaws to be effective.  You have also noted that cumulative voting violates a fundamental principle of parliamentary law.  (I have no disagreement with either point.) If all fundamental principle of parliamentary law cannot be superseded, except by a bylaw, why mention it there; why not in regard to other fundamental principles of parliamentary law.  Why is there no general statement that fundamental principles of parliamentary law can only be superseded by a bylaw?

 

13 hours ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

 

 

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