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Do You Know Robert?

October 2006 Barker

     
 

Robert's Rules of Order, that is...

TO MOVE OR NOT TO MOVE -------THAT IS THE QUESTION

Rule: A “motion is made” ----- but you “move” to make the motion. Example: “I move that ---such and such be done.”

In reverse of what usually happens at meetings, the “Book” says “An idea is not discussed first and the a motion is made, instead, a motion is made and then the idea is discussed” !!!!!

Before a motion is presented, one must really think it out. Perhaps have it written down to make sure it really contains all the information needed to make a decision. Make sure it states the “who, what, where and when, in the Positive form so that a yes vote is a vote For the motion. The written copy can then be given to the Presiding Officer to use when repeating the motion for consideration.

A second to the motion is required in order to start discussion. The person offering the second does not necessarily have to agree with the motion. The second simply means that member thinks the motion should be discussed. .If there is no second, the motion can not be considered The Presiding Officer then says it has been moved and 2nd [repeats the motion ] Is there any discussion?

The person who made the motion has the first right to speak to the motion. The rule of thumb is the members address all remarks through the Chair to keep the discussion from becoming “personal” which can happen when “Cross talk” happens. When the discussion winds down or seems going nowhere, the Presiding Officer asks “ Is there any further discussion? Hearing none [repeat the motion] all those in favor yea [or in plain talk yes ]--- opposed no. If the vote is in favor “the motion is carried”.

As a sidebar, I have, through out this article used the tern Presiding Officer. The book uses one of 2 designations. President or Chairman. Mr. President or Madam President, Madam Chairman or Mr. Chairman. Roberts Rules states: “The English language does not have feminine or masculine words, as do the Latin-base languages. The word chair in English is the neuter gender, neither masculine nor feminine. It refers either to the person or the place [chair] occupied by the person. The word man at the end does not mean
a masculine person but stands for the neuter gender all mankind, including both men and women. So in English to acknowledge the gender of the person presiding in the chair, use the honorifics Mr. or Madam, as follows: Mr. Chairman or Madam Chairman.”

 
     
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