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What if the chair wants to temporarily step down so he can participate in debate & vote like everyone else, but nobody else wants to be chair?


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11 hours ago, Guest Zev said:

Is there a vice-president anywhere? If not, what about an outsider that is not a member of the organization as temporary chairman? Do the bylaws say anything about whether the chairmanship is restricted to members of the organization?

Yes, but what if the vice president wants to participate in debate? The bylaws don't say anything about whether the chair is restricted to members of the organization, so I suppose we could find an outside chair.

However, what if it's more of a spur of the moment kind of thing where the chair wants to participate in debate, but nobody else in the assembly wants to take over the chair position?

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10 minutes ago, user said:

Yes, but what if the vice president wants to participate in debate? The bylaws don't say anything about whether the chair is restricted to members of the organization, so I suppose we could find an outside chair.

However, what if it's more of a spur of the moment kind of thing where the chair wants to participate in debate, but nobody else in the assembly wants to take over the chair position?

If this is a committee or a small board, there is no problem. If it is a full size assembly, it can suspend the rules to allow the presiding officer to participate in debate.

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1 minute ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

If this is a committee or a small board, there is no problem. If it is a full size assembly, it can suspend the rules to allow the presiding officer to participate in debate.

Ok, got it.

Just wondering, is it possible for the chair to choose to relinquish the chair without a new chair being named?

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3 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I think you will find your answer in RONR, 12th ed., 43:29 and 47:11.

I did read through 43:29 before, but that seems to assume the chair has someone else he can turn the position over to.

47:11 makes mention of the chair being vacant, so I assume, in the worst case the chair can unilaterally decide to vacate the chair without turning the position over to someone else. Then I suppose if nobody else wants to be the chair (because they want to participate in debate), the assembly will have to “declare the chair vacant and proceed to elect a new chairman.”

Does that sound correct?

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1 hour ago, user said:

I did read through 43:29 before, but that seems to assume the chair has someone else he can turn the position over to.

47:11 makes mention of the chair being vacant, so I assume, in the worst case the chair can unilaterally decide to vacate the chair without turning the position over to someone else. Then I suppose if nobody else wants to be the chair (because they want to participate in debate), the assembly will have to “declare the chair vacant and proceed to elect a new chairman.”

Does that sound correct?

If no one is willing to be the presiding officer, they can all go home.

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15 hours ago, user said:

I did read through 43:29 before, but that seems to assume the chair has someone else he can turn the position over to.

47:11 makes mention of the chair being vacant, so I assume, in the worst case the chair can unilaterally decide to vacate the chair without turning the position over to someone else. Then I suppose if nobody else wants to be the chair (because they want to participate in debate), the assembly will have to “declare the chair vacant and proceed to elect a new chairman.”

Does that sound correct?

The regular presiding officer has a duty to preside. The relevant rules on this subject, therefore, do indeed "assume the chair has someone else he can turn the position over to," because it is not appropriate for the regular presiding officer to simply abandon their duties in this regard without finding someone to fill in.

If the regular presiding officer nonetheless does this, I suppose as a practical matter there isn't much that can be done to stop it, but I am inclined to think it generally would not bode well for the person's future as the society's regular presiding officer.

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On 6/16/2021 at 3:29 PM, user said:

Then I suppose if nobody else wants to be the chair (because they want to participate in debate), the assembly will have to “declare the chair vacant and proceed to elect a new chairman.”

I would do as Mr. Honemann suggested several comments ago and try to suspend the rules to permit the chair to participate in debate.  Hopefully, if there is no one willing to serve as chair, there will not be an objection.  If there is an objection, then it will require a two thirds vote to suspend the rules to permit the chair to participate in debate.

If that fails, a motion to adjourn might be in order.  :)

Or a motion for a five or ten minute recess to figure out what to do. :)

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