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“Robert’s Rules” A Look Inside Parliamentary Procedures. Outline. Why we need it? Motions Discussion Voting. Why Do We Need It?. Club-Government Any organized group must run by rules that all members understand & accept.

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  • Why we need it?
  • Motions
  • Discussion
  • Voting
why do we need it
Why Do We Need It?


Any organized group must run by rules that all members understand & accept.

Whether as an officer or member of any group, you can function more effectively with this invaluable guide to fair and efficient procedure.

Robert’s Rules of Order

by: Rachel Vixman

why do we need it1
Why Do We Need It?
  • Keep order
  • Help facilitate meetings
  • Avoid heated debates
  • Stop filibustering ( i.e. ‘piggy backing’)
  • Stay on the topic being discussed
  • What are they?
    • Formal proposal by a member in a meeting that requires the assembly to take a certain action
  • What are the types?
    • Main
    • Subsidiary
    • Incidental
    • Privileged
main motion
Main Motion
  • Brings new business before the body
  • Main road towards making decisions
  • Debatable
  • Types:
    • Original
    • Incidental
subsidiary motion
Subsidiary Motion
  • Modify or delay action on the main motion
  • Still pending while main motion in debate
  • Must be voted on before the main motion
  • Debatable and non-debatable
  • Types (lowest to highest):
    • Postpone indefinitely
    • Amend
    • Refer or Commit
    • Postpone to a certain time
    • Limit-extend the limits of debate
    • Previous question
    • Lay on the table
incidental motion
Incidental Motion
  • Pertinent to, takes precedence over, and must be decided before the pending question
  • Sometimes originates out of business that has just been pending
  • Non-debatable
  • Types:
    • Point of order
    • Appeal from the decision of the chair
    • Division of the question
    • Division of the assembly
    • Suspend the rules
    • Parliamentary inquiry
    • Requests for information
    • Motions relating to nominations
privileged motion
Privileged Motion
  • Usually not related to the pending question, but need special attention and take precedence over the other motions
  • Non-debatable
  • Types:
    • Call for the orders of the day
    • Raise a question of privilege
    • Recess
    • Adjourn
    • Fix the time to which to adjourn
how to get started
How to Get Started

The Wrong Way:

“I Motion that…”

“I’d like to make a motion that…”

The Right Way:

“I Move that…”

steps to a main motion
Steps to a Main Motion
  • Obtain recognition of the presiding officer
  • State the motion
  • Second from another participant
  • Presiding officer restates motion
  • Maker speaks to motion
  • Discussion (debate of the motion)
  • Vote
  • Announce Results
non debatable motion
Non-debatable Motion
  • Motion
  • Second (does not always apply)
  • Vote immediately
  • Non-debatable Motions
    • Adjourn, Recess, Personal Privilege, Table, Move to question, Point of Order, Suspend the Rules, Object to Consideration, Call for Division, Point of Information
amendment to a main motion
Amendment to a Main Motion
  • Friendly Amendment
    • Amendment by Consensus
      • NSBE Practice for convenience
  • Move to Amend
    • Amendment by vote
    • If fails, motion stays as is and debate continues
    • If passes, motion changes, discussion on new motion
discussion debate
Discussion (Debate)
  • Obtain recognition
  • Comments should be germane
  • Concise, non-repetitive
  • Listening to discussion
    • Limit excessive side conversations
    • Limit excessive note passing
going to the vote
Going to the Vote
  • Call the Question (call for the vote)
    • You are ready to vote
    • Cannot interrupt the speaker
    • If you are not ready to vote, “OBJECT”
      • Objection can come from any debating member
    • If objections, continue the debate
    • If no objections, vote immediately
going to the vote1
Going to the Vote
  • Move the Question (move to vote)
    • You are ready to vote
    • Must be recognized by the presiding officer
    • Requires a second
    • Vote immediately (not debatable)
    • Vote to Vote (requires 2/3)
    • If fails, continue the debate
    • If passes, vote immediately
voting procedures
Voting Procedures
  • Verbal
    • Call for “aye” or “nay”
  • Counting Hands
  • Roll Call
    • Documents who votes what
    • Need this to be able to reconsider a motion
    • Must have voted in the affirmative to move to reconsider
voting results
Voting Results
  • Consensus
  • Simple Majority (50% +1)
  • Two-thirds
  • Abstain
    • Does not affect voting result
  • Parliamentary Procedure is your friend
  • Get comfortable with it
  • Ask questions
  • Reference materials