parliamentary basics

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  • 1. Parliamentary Basics
    Kim Vitray, SPHR
  • 2. What is parliamentary procedure?
    Set of rules for conducting business at meetings, as found in Roberts Rules of Order (10th edition)
    The application of parliamentary law is the best method yet devised to enable assemblies of any size, with due regard for every members opinion, to arrive at the general will on the maximum number of questions of varying complexity in a minimum amount of time and under all kinds of internal climate ranging from total harmony to hardened or impassioned division of opinion.
  • 3. Why parliamentary procedure?
    Allows business to be conducted in an organized and orderly fashion
    Protects democratic rule and the rights of all
    Allows full and free yet fair and balanced deliberation
  • 4. Making motions
    The way to bring business before the board is to make a motion
    I move that
    The motion must then be seconded
    I second the motion
    The president states the motion
    The board debates (discusses) the motion
    The president asks if there is further debate or if the group is ready to vote, restates the motion, and calls for the vote, usually by voice
    It is moved and seconded that
    The president announces the result
  • 5. Being prepared
    You should be prepared to make any motions that arise out of your board report or your committees work
    Decide and draft what you want the motion to say
    Seek assistance from the parliamentarian if necessary
    Bring the motion to the board meeting in writing
  • 6. A good motion
    Is well thought out
    Is worded in the positive, not the negative
    Is specific, including what will be done, by whom, and by when
  • 7. Common motions
    I move to amend the motion by
    I move to refer the matter to committee
    I move the previous question (to end debate and take the vote)
    I move to postpone discussion until
  • 8. More common motions
    I move to amend something previously adopted, that is, to
    I move to reconsider the motion that
    I move to rescind the motion that
    I request permission to withdraw my motion
    I request permission to modify my motion
  • 9. Amendments
    Three types of amendments
    Insert or add words
    Strike out words
    Strike out and insert words
    Motion must say exactly where the change is to be made and precisely what words are to be used
    I move to amend by adding the words by April 15 to the end of the motion.
    Must be germane to the main motion
    Vote on amendment first, then resulting main motion
    Can be secondary amendment
  • 10. Friendly amendment
    There is no such thing!
    If it appears to the chair that an amendment is uncontroversial, she may ask if there is any objection to adopting it
  • 11. About debate
    You can speak twice on the same question on the same day, but cannot speak the second time until everyone who wants to speak their first time has done so
    You cannot speak for more than 10 minutes at a time
    You should address your remarks to the president, maintain a courteous tone, and avoid injecting anything personal
    Your remarks should be germane to the pending motion
  • 12. Good behavior
    Raise your hand to be recognized by the president in order to speak in debate or make a motion
    Use your classroom voice so all can hear, particularly the secretary
    Keep all board discussion and decisions confidential
    Refrain from distracting conversations with your neighbor
  • 13. Your parliamentary responsibility
    Read and become familiar with the organizations bylaws
    Learn and know the basics of parliamentary procedure
    Be prepared for board meetings
    Speak and act according to your honest and considered opinion
  • 14. Conflict of interest
    You should not vote on a question in which you have a direct personal or pecuniary (monetary) interest not common to other members
    However, you cannot be compelled to abstain because of such a conflict of interest
  • 15. The presidents role
    Presides over meetings as the chair
    Ensures that everyone has the opportunity to speak in debate, and that everyone always understands exactly what they are debating and voting on
    Makes every effort to maintain appearance of impartiality
    Does not participate in debate unless gives up the chair
    Votes only if by ballot or if the chairs vote will change the result
    Calls for a show of hands if a two-thirds vote is required or if she is not sure of the result
  • 16. Quorum and majority
    Quorum is stated in bylaws
    simple majority of the existing membership of the Board
    Majority is defined in Roberts Rules as
    more than half the votes cast by persons legally entitled to vote, excluding blanks or abstentions, at a regular or properly called meeting at which a quorum is present
  • 17. Unanimous consent
    Enables a motion to be adopted or some action to be taken without voting, or even permits taking action without the formality of a motion being made at all
    Chair simply asks assembly if there is any objection to taking the action, and if no member objects, declares that the action has been agreed to
  • 18. Other rules
    Point of order
    To point out a violation of the rules
    Parliamentary inquiry
    To ask a question about procedure
    Point of information
    To ask a question relevant to the business being discussed
    Question of privilege
    To interrupt business with an urgent matter
  • 19. Common mistakes
    Moving the previous question - this motion must pass by a two-thirds vote before the main motion is then voted on
    Abstentions are not counted
    Minutes record only what was done, not what was said
    Minutes record motions as they stood when finally voted on (The motion was lost or adopted after amendment)
    Minutes record names of those who made motions, not those who seconded them
  • 20. Resources
    • Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised, 10th edition
    • 21. Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised in Brief
    • 22. Roberts Rules Association
    • 23.
    • 24. National Association of Parliamentarians
    • 25.
    • 26. American Institute of Parliamentarians
    • 27.
    • 28.