As established by Alice
Sturgis in her publication
Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure
1. What is Parliamentary Procedure?
It is the safeguard that protects individuals and groups in their exercise of the rights of free speech, free assembly and freedom to unite in organizations.
It is to facilitate the transaction of business and to promote cooperation and harmony.
These procedures are based upon principles, rules and usages which have developed from actual court decisions established upon reason, logic, common sense and long observance.
Courts have held that all groups must follow parliamentary rules when conducting business.
She has attempted to simplify much that is considered needless, confusing and outmoded; her procedures are clear and relatively simple!
The standard code is definitely a means to an end. Court interpretations make it clear that the intent and overall good faith of the group are more important than any particular detail of procedures.
All members have equal rights, privileges and obligations. Thus all members should be familiar with these procedures and insist upon their proper utilization!
a. Only one main motion may be considered at a time.b. Majority vote decides unless it infringes upon individual rights, then a 2/3 vote may berequired.c. Every member has a right to know the meaning of a motion and what effect it may havebefore voting.d. It is not acceptable to capriciously close debate on a motion.e. To vote by secret ballot is a fundamental right.
Quorum is defined as the number of members in good standing who must be present to transact business. If not specifically defined in an organization’s bylaws, a quorum is considered to be a majority.
Yes, the organization is allowed to change its mind on any passed action.a. May be “reconsidered” at the same meetingb. May “rescind” at a subsequent meetingc. May make an entirely new main motion
a. Any amendment must be germane to the main motion.b. A proposed amendment to the main motion is called a primary amendment.c. A primary motion may be amended (i.e., an amendment to an amendment); this is calleda secondary amendment.d. A secondary amendment (an amendment to the amendment) must be voted on before anyother amendment is in order.e. If the secondary amendment fails, another secondary amendment is in order.f. If the secondary amendment passes, the primary amendment must be voted upon asamended.g. If the primary amendment fails, the original main motion is voted upon.h. If the primary amendment passes, the original main motion is then voted upon asamended.Note: This is not as complicated as it sounds. Just proceed slowly and carefully and have the secretary record all proposals so that they may be sorted through appropriately.
Passage of this motion simply puts off consideration of the motion until later in the current meeting or at a subsequent meeting or not at all (i.e., the main motion is killed).
This is usually an attempt to close debate. The appropriate motion to bring about an immediate vote is a motion to “close debate” which requires a 2/3 vote.
The purpose of a “point of order” is to call to the attention of the assembly/presiding officer a violation of the rules, an omission, a mistake, or an error in procedure.
15. What does it mean to abstain when a vote has been called?
To abstain means to relinquish one’s vote. The right to vote is an obligation of membership; abstentions should not be encouraged.
Compiled by Jim Drummond
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