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Parliamentary Procedure - FGS Wiki

Parliamentary Procedure


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[[Category:Strategies for Vice-Presidents]]
 
[[Category:Strategies for Vice-Presidents]]
 +
 +
 +
== INTRODUCTION ==
 +
 +
Parliamentary procedure provides a structure
 +
that encourages individuals to cooperate
 +
in making decisions. It regulates the order
 +
of business, proposals, votes and debate
 +
by the group in a fair and orderly manner.
 +
Parliamentary procedures are the rules of
 +
democracy.
 +
 +
Historically, parliamentary rules have been
 +
evolving for centuries beginning with some
 +
basic rules being used by the Great Council of
 +
the Norman kings of England. Parliamentary
 +
procedures, as we know them, were established
 +
by the English Parliament and refined through
 +
centuries of use. English settlers brought their
 +
experience and rules of Parliament to the New
 +
World. Virginia’s governor authorized the first
 +
representative assembly in America in 1619 as
 +
the House of Burgesses. Thomas Jefferson’s
 +
Manual, published in 1801, was the first to
 +
interpret parliamentary principles for the
 +
democracy of the United States.
 +
 +
People with similar interests have been
 +
meeting for generations to share ideas, act
 +
together on matters of concern, and to make
 +
decisions. Parliamentary procedure respects
 +
all members’ rights, respects the wishes of the
 +
majority, protects the rights of the minority and
 +
absentees.
 +
 +
Some people seem to believe that only the
 +
officers of a society need to know basic
 +
parliamentary rules. That is like saying only
 +
the quarterback and a wide receiver need to
 +
know the rules of football. Most of us do not
 +
want to participate in a game if we do not know
 +
the rules. It should be the same for members
 +
of your society. You and the society will
 +
benefit if everyone knows the basic rules of
 +
parliamentary procedure.
 +
 +
The basic methods to transact the organizational
 +
business and the principles to accomplish a
 +
successful meeting are not difficult to acquire.
 +
You will be more self-assured with this knowledge, will contribute more to the society,
 +
and enhance the enjoyment of your membership.
 +
 +
 +
== MEMBERS’ RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES ==
 +
 +
Members have the responsibility to know
 +
parliamentary procedures in order to utilize fully
 +
the membership rights of:
 +
<ul>
 +
<li>attending meetings
 +
<li> actively contributing to the meeting
 +
through debate
 +
<li>making and seconding of motions
 +
<li>voting
 +
<li>participating in elections
 +
<li>holding office if elected
 +
<li>carrying out the will of the majority vote
 +
<li>participating in changes in the society’s
 +
governing documents.
 +
</ul>
 +
 +
Members have the right to vote as long as
 +
current dues are paid or until officially dropped
 +
from the membership roll, as long as they abide
 +
by the rules adopted by the society and fulfill
 +
other requirements as stated by the society.
 +
Examples of these “other requirements” would
 +
be documenting an ancestor for a lineage society
 +
membership.
 +
 +
Members have the right to expect that meetings
 +
will be conducted in an efficient and proper
 +
manner with respect for all members’ rights.
 +
Membership gives an inherent right to vote,
 +
unless stated otherwise in the governing
 +
documents. Members may not be forced to vote.
 +
One should abstain from voting on any motion
 +
in which he, or she, has a direct personal or
 +
financial conflict of interest.
 +
 +
 +
== RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SOCIETY ==
 +
 +
The Society has the responsibility to meet
 +
objectives as stated in the Bylaws (and/or
 +
Constitution), and to provide membership
 +
services as outlined in the governing
 +
documents.
 +
 +
It is the duty of the elected officers and
 +
executive committee to see that these
 +
responsibilities are met. Officers and
 +
committee chairs have the responsibility to
 +
work cooperatively with their peers, in the
 +
best interests of the society.
 +
 +
In descending order, the ranking documents
 +
governing an organization are:
 +
<ul>
 +
<li>national, state, and local laws or codes
 +
for non-for-profit groups
 +
<li>the Certificate Charter if granted by a
 +
superior or parent organization, or
 +
<li>the Corporate Charter, if incorporated
 +
<li>the Constitution and/or Bylaws of the
 +
society (most organizations prefer a
 +
single document that is called Bylaws)
 +
<li>Rules of Order
 +
<li>Special Rules of Order
 +
<li>Standing Rules
 +
</ul>
 +
 +
The Bylaws, Rules of Order, Special Rules of
 +
Order, and Standing Rules should be reviewed
 +
every three years. Needed revisions are
 +
presented to the membership for their approval
 +
– usually at an annual meeting.
 +
 +
Large societies usually adhere closely to
 +
established parliamentary procedures, and
 +
rightly so. Very small societies may choose
 +
only to meet the bare requirements of calling
 +
a meeting to order, and reading and taking
 +
minutes. A group of five or ten people would
 +
not need to be as formal in their meetings as
 +
group trying to conduct business with 100
 +
people in attendance.
 +
 +
The following principles are adapted
 +
from Louise Bereskin’s book Pointers on
 +
Parliamentary Procedure, available from the
 +
National Association of Parliamentarians, 213
 +
South Main Street, Independence, MO 64050-
 +
3850.
 +
 +
 +
== BASIC RULES AND PRINCIPLES ==
 +
<ol>
 +
<li>The organization is paramount.
 +
Decisions by the membership of the
 +
organization supersede those of any
 +
individual or small group. The power of
 +
the meeting is in the hands of the voting
 +
members.
 +
<li>All members have equal rights.
 +
These rights include participating in
 +
the business meetings of the society by
 +
making motions, speaking in debate, and
 +
voting.
 +
<li>An established minimum number of
 +
voting members must be present to
 +
transact business legally. Bylaws should
 +
state the number, or percent, needed for a
 +
quorum. If not, the general rule is that a
 +
majority of the entire membership must
 +
be present in order to transact business.
 +
<li>Only one main motion may be placed
 +
before the assembly at a time, and only
 +
one member may have the floor at any
 +
one time.
 +
<li>Members are allowed full debate before
 +
action (voting) on a main proposition is
 +
taken. This right can only be suspended
 +
by a two-thirds vote.
 +
<li>A proposition or issue is the only
 +
item under discussion, and never the
 +
person who introduced it or any other
 +
personality. Personal remarks are
 +
always out of order.
 +
<li>A question once settled may not be
 +
presented in the same form in the same
 +
session. This is to avoid wasting time.
 +
The only way to bring up the same
 +
question again in the same session is
 +
by moving to reconsider the vote on
 +
that motion. Some motions cannot be
 +
reconsidered, such as the motion to
 +
adjourn or recess.
 +
<li>A majority vote decides a question
 +
except in cases where basic rights of
 +
members are involved; then a larger vote
 +
is required. A majority vote is more than
 +
half of the votes (51%) cast by persons
 +
legally entitled to vote, not counting
 +
blanks or abstentions, at a regularly
 +
or properly called meeting at which a
 +
quorum is present.
 +
<li>A two-thirds vote is necessary for any
 +
motion that deprives a member of his
 +
rights in any way – such as changing the
 +
rules of debate, cutting off the debate,
 +
closing nominations or the polls, and
 +
rescinding actions without notice.
 +
<li>Silence gives consent. Those who do
 +
not vote when the vote is taken agree,
 +
by their silence, to allow decisions to be
 +
made by those who do vote.
 +
</ol>
 +
 +
 +
== GENERAL RULES OF DEBATE ==
 +
 +
In order to take part in debate, a member must be
 +
recognized by the presiding officer. The member
 +
then may take part in the proceedings if abiding
 +
by the accepted rules of debate. In Robert’s Rules
 +
of Order (1990), they are:
 +
<ol>
 +
<li>A member may speak a maximum of
 +
twice on the same questions on the same
 +
day.
 +
<li>Every member has the right to speak
 +
once on a question before any member is
 +
allowed to speak the second time.
 +
<li>Each speaker is limited to ten minutes
 +
unless your bylaws state a different time
 +
limit on debate.
 +
<li>The person who makes a motion has the
 +
right to be the first to debate. All comments must be limited to the
 +
pros and cons of the question before the
 +
assembly.
 +
<li>All comments are addressed to and
 +
through the presiding officer.
 +
<li>Officers are referred to by their titles;
 +
members are referred to as “the
 +
member,” not usually by name.
 +
<li>When a member has been assigned
 +
the floor, all other members should be
 +
seated.
 +
<li>The maker of a motion may not speak
 +
against his motion, but may vote against
 +
it.
 +
</ol>
 +
Many useful books on parliamentary procedure
 +
are available at your library.

Latest revision as of 07:51, 14 August 2013

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