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Parliamentary Meeting Guidelines

Meetings Procedures:

  • Motions to limit or close debate usually require a 2/3 vote, and the individual must be recognized by the chair.
  • The chair is not under obligation to entertain any motion, even if it is in order. Any absurd, obstructive, offensive, or trivial motion may be ruled invalid by the chair, regardless of whether or not it has been seconded. This includes all motions.
  • Do not object to the consideration of an unsuitable main motion unless it is clearly offensive. Instead, move to postpone it indefinitely. This provides you with an opportunity to quickly and forcefully argue against further consideration of the main motion.
  • Although an amendment can be amended (a secondary amendment), there cannot be an amendment to an amendment to an amendment (no third degree or beyond amendments).
  • The most effective way to commit a question is to amend one’s own motion to commit to specify that the question be referred to a standing committee. In this way, the motion is more likely to receive immediate consideration.
  • A “friendly amendment” is a special kind of amendment whereby the motion is amended by general consent if the main motion’s sponsor agrees to the proposed amendment.
  • There may be some confusion over the motion with the highest precedence, that of fixing the time to which to adjourn. The object of the motion to set a time, and sometimes the place, for the start of the next meeting to continue business. It is for this reason that it is give the highest precedence, so that it can be executed while a motion to adjourn is pending.
  • A point of order applies only to a current violation of Parliamentary procedure. It may not be applied to a past decision or action. Past violations must be appealed, rescinded, or censured.
  • Reconsideration's only apply to reconsiderable votes taken within the same meeting.
  • An objection to consideration of a motion is in order, even after the motion has been seconded, as long as debate on it has not started.
  • A point of information is not to be used as a means to dispense information. It should be used only to ask a question.
  • The following motions are in order, even when another person has the floor: call for the orders of the day, division of the question, point of inquiry or information, point of order, point of personal privilege, motion to withdraw, objection to consideration, and the motion to appeal.