Parliamentary Procedure • Parliamentary Procedure traces its origins to the House of Commons in the United Kingdom • It is a way to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and has a chance to speak • It’s also quite rowdy and ridiculously fun!
The House will be in Order • During discussion or debate members who wish to ask questions raise their hands • They DO NOT say “I have a question” • It is pretty obvious that if you raise your hand and you’re not standing up to speak…you clearly have a question! • They simply say “Point of information” • It sounds much more sophisticated! • They are CONCISE: they only get 15-30 seconds to ask the question
Debates and Discussions • During discussions and debates, when a member is recognized by the president, or the chair, that person has the floor • They begin by thanking the person who recognized them • The member who has the floor will stand up to address the group • When they are finished, and BEFORE they sit down, they will say “My thanks to…”
The Fun Part • Heckling is an important part of parliamentary style debate • It is an energetic, yet professional, form of participation. • Here’s how you do it…
In the Affirmative… • If you are in the affirmative, or you agree with something that is said, you may: • Lightly pat the desk in front of you with your open palm • Close your hand into a fist and rap your knuckles against the desk • If you STRONGLY AGREE with what has just been said you may add in the phrase “Hear, hear.”
In the Negative… • Heckling in the negative is done cleverly. If you come across as rude or impolite…you’re doing it wrong! • Say things like: • “Poor form!” or “Bad form!” • “Shame!” (Drawl the long ‘a’ sound) • “Shame on you!” (This is done quickly)
Etiquette • One does not scream like a wild lunatic when heckling • Heckling is done rarely, and cleverly • Remember there is ALWAYS a heckler who is cleverer than you • Don’t give them an opportunity to embarrass you