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Basic Parliamentary

Procedure
Annual Leadership Training 2014
June 27-29
Isulan Campus



ERWIN A. VALENZUELA, MPA

Have you experienced….
Meetings that seem endless because the
business could have been completed hours
ago?
Confusion as to what exactly is being
discussed and voted on?
Irritation because one person or a small
group of people dominate a meeting?
The feeling that you never get your voice
heard in group discussion?
Anger about decisions made that do not
reflect the feelings of the majority of the
group?

What is Parliamentary Procedure?
Why use Parliamentary Procedure?
The Importance of an Agenda
The Role of the Members
Basic Parliamentary Procedure Skills

End the Frustration!!! Here’s How…
What is Parliamentary Procedure?
It’s a set of rules/procedures for conduct at meeting.
It allows everyone to be heard and to make decisions
without confusions!
History of Parliamentary Procedure
• Originated in the early English Parliaments
(discussions of public affairs)
• Came to America with early settlers from
Europe.
• Became uniform in 1876, when Henry M. Robert
Published his manual on Parliamentary law.
• Today Robert’s Rules of Order newly revised is
the basic handbook of operation for most
organizations groups. These proceedings are used
at school boards, city council, state government, and
Senate.
Why is Parliamentary
procedure important?
Because it’s a time-tested method of conducting business
at meetings and gatherings.
It helps those people attending the meeting to have their
voice be heard without getting loss in the proceedings.
Focus on one item at a time
- no more than one issue will be discussed
Extend courtesy to everyone
- all members have an opportunity to
participate
Observe the rule of the majority
- no group decision is granted without
majority
Ensure the rights of the minority
- all members have equal access to decision-
making

Why use Parliamentary Procedure?
Parliamentary procedure means:
Democratic rule
Flexibility
Protection of rights
A fair hearing for everyone
It can be adapted to fit the needs of any
organization. So it’s important that everyone
know these basic rules
Organizations using parliamentary
procedure follow a fixed agenda.
I. Call to order
The chairperson says,
“The meeting will please come to order”
II. Roll Call
Members say “present” as their names are called
III. Minutes
The secretary reads a record of the last meeting

IV. Officer’s Reports
This gives officers the chance to update the group
on items they have been working on since the last
meeting.
V. Committee Reports
First come reports from “standing” or permanent
committees; then from “ad hoc” or special
committees.
VI. Special Orders
Important business designated for consideration at
the meeting.
VII. Unfinished/Old Business
Business left over from previous meetings.
VIII. New Business
Introduction of new topics
IX. Announcements
Informing the assembly of other subjects and
events.
X. Adjournment
The meeting ends by a vote, or by general consent
(or by chair’s decision if time of adjournment was
prearranged by vote).

MOTIONS
A motion is a proposal that the assembly
take action on some issue.
Members can:
• Present motions (Make a proposal)
• Debate Motions (Give opinions about the motions)
• Second Motions: (Express support for discussion of
another member’s motion)
• Vote on Motions: (Make a decision)
4 Basic Type of Motions
1. Main motions:
– The purpose of a main motion is to introduce
action to the members for their consideration.
– A main motion can not be made when any other
motion is on the floor.
– A main motion yields to subsidiary, privileged and
incidental motions.
2. Subsidiary Motions
Their purpose is to change or affect how a main
motion is handled. They must be voted on before
the main motion is voted on.

3. Privileged Motions
Their purpose is to bring up items that are
urgent about special or important matters not
related to pending or important business.
4. Incidental motions
Their purpose is to provide a means of
questioning the procedures concerning other
motions and must be considered before the
other questions.
4 Basic Type of Motions

Par liamentar y Pr ocedur e - - - at a glance.



To Do This: You Say This:
May You
Interrupt
The Speaker?
Do You
Need
A Second?
Is It
Debatable?
Can It Be
Amended?
What Vote
Is Needed?
Can It Be
Reconsidered?


Adjour n Meeting "I move that we adjourn"
NO YES NO NO MAJORITY NO
Call an Inter mission "I move that we recess for . . ."
NO YES NO YES MAJORITY NO
Complain About Heat,
Noise, etc.
"I rise to a question of privilege"
YES NO NO NO NO VOTE NO
Tempor ar ily Suspend
Consider ation Of An
Issue
"I move to table the motion"
NO YES NO NO MAJORITY NO(1)
End Debate And
Amendments
"I move the previous question"
NO YES NO NO 2/3 YES (2)
Postpone Discussion For
A Cer tain Time
"I move to postpone the discussion until …"
NO YES YES YES MAJORITY YES
Give Closer Study Of
Something
"I move to refer the matter to committee"
NO YES YES YES MAJORITY YES(3)
Amend A Motion "I move to amend the motion by …"
NO YES YES (4) YES MAJORITY YES
Intr oduce Business "I move that …"
NO YES YES YES MAJORITY YES


The Motions Listed Above Are In Order Of Precedence . . . Below There Is No Order . . .


Pr otest Br each Of Rules
Or Conduct
"I rise to a point o order."
YES NO NO NO NO VOTE(5) NO
Vote On A Ruling Of The
Chair
"I appeal from the chair's decision"
YES YES YES NO MAJORITY YES
Suspend Rules
Tempor ar ily
"I move to suspend the rules so that …"
NO YES NO NO 2/3 NO
Avoid Consider ing An
Impr oper Matter
"I object to consideration of this motion"
YES NO NO NO 2/3(6) YES(7)
Ver ify A Voice Vote By
Having Member s Stand
"I call for a division" or "Division!"
YES NO NO NO NO VOTE NO
Request Infor mation "Point of information"
YES NO NO NO NO VOTE NO
Take Up A Matter
Pr eviously Tabled
"I move to take from the table …"
NO YES NO NO MAJORITY NO
Reconsider A Hasty
Action
"I move to reconsider the vote on …"
YES YES Yes (8) NO MAJORITY NO

NOTES:
(1) Affirmative
votes may not be
reconsidered.
(2) Unless vote
on question has
begun.
(3) Unless the
committee has
already taken
up the subject.
(4) Unless the
motion to be
amended is not
debatable.
(5) Unless the
chair submits to
the assembly for
decision.
(6) A 2/3 vote
in negative is
needed to
prevent consid-
eration of main
motion.
(7) Only if the
main question
has not been
debated yet.
(8) Unless the
motion to be
reconsidered is
not debatable.

Questions relating to motions:
 Is it in order?
Your motion must relate to the business at hand, and be
presented at the right time. It must not be obstructive,
frivolous or against the bylaws.
 May I interrupt the speaker?
Some motions are so important that the speaker may be
interrupted to make them. The original speaker regains the
floor after the interruption has been attended to.
 Do I need a second?
Usually yes. A second indicates that another member would
like to consider your motion. It prevents spending time on a
question which interests only one person.
 Is it debatable?
Parliamentary procedure guards the right to free and full debate
on most motions. However some privileged and incidental motions
are not debatable.
 Can it be amended?
Some motions can be altered by striking out, inserting or both at
once. Amendments must relate to the subject as presented in the
main motion.
 What vote is needed?
Most require only a majority vote, but motions concerning the
rights of the assembly or its members need a 2/3 vote to be
accepted.
 Can it be reconsidered?
Some motions can be debated again and re-voted to give members
a chance to change their minds. The move to reconsider must
come from the winning side.
Main Motions
• Means of introducing business to a
meeting.
• Requires:
– Second
– Is debatable
– Is amendable
– Majority vote

Steps to Handling a Main
Motion
• Stand
• Ask to be recognized by President/Chair
• President recognizes you by name
• Motion is correctly stated
• Motion is seconded
• Motion is repeated by President
• Motion is discussed and debated
• President restates motion to be voted on
• Motion is voted on
• Results of vote announced by President
How do I present my motion?
Obtain the floor
Wait until the last speaker is finished
Rise and address the chair. Say, “Mr. (or
Madam) Chairperson” or Mr. (or Madam)
President”
Give your name. The chair will recognize you
by repeating it.
Make your motion
Speak clearly and precisely
State your motion affirmatively. Say, “ I move
that we…” Instead of “I move that we do
not…”
Avoid personalities and stay on the subject.
Wait for a second
Another member will say, “I second the motion”
Or the chair will; call for a second
If there is no second, your motion will not be
considered

Chair states your motion
The chairperson must say, “It is moved and
seconded that we…
After this happens, debate or voting can occur
Your motion is now “assembly property” and you
can’t change it without consent of the
members.
Expand on your motion
Mover is allowed to speak first.
Direct all comments to the chairperson
Keep to the time limit for speaking.
You may speak again after all other speakers are finished.
You may speak a third time by a motion to suspend the
rules with a 2/3 vote.
Putting the question
The chairperson asks, “Are you ready for the question?”
If there is no more discussion, a vote is taken. The
chairperson announces the results.
Or, a motion for a previous question may be adopted.
Voting on a motion depends on the
situation and on the written standards and
bylaws of your organization.
By voice
The chairperson ask those in favor to say,
“aye” and those oppose to say, “no” (For
majority voters only) A member may move for
an exact count.
By Roll Call
If a record of each person’s vote is needed,
each member answers “yes,” “no” or
“present” (indicating the choice not to vote)
as his or her name is called.
By show of Hands
Members raise their hands as sight verification
of or as alternative to a voice vote. It does not
require a count. A member may move for an
exact count.

By ballot
Members write their vote on a slip of paper. This
is done when secrecy is desired.

By general consent
When a motion isn’t likely to be opposed, the
chairperson says, “If there is no objection…”
Members show agreement by their silence. If
someone says, “I object”, the matter must be
put to a vote.
More about Voting
Are we ready for the question?
A question (motion) is pending when it has
been stated by the chair but not yet voted.
The last motion stated by the chair is the first
pending
The main motion is always the last voted on.
• Always starts with “I
move…”

Anatomy of a Main Motion
Debating a Motion
• Raise concerns about the motion.
• Persuade others to vote one way
or another.
• Provide information about motion.
Amending a Motion
• Allows for changes to a
main motion to appease
both sides or improve the
motion.
Seconding a motion
• Seconding ensures the
following:
–Get on record as supporting
motion.
–Puts the motion to a vote.
Main Motions Continued
• The person who makes a motion
can not talk against it
• Main motions can be reconsidered
• Can not interrupt another speaker
• Proper Example: Mr. President, I
move that the SBO Officers will
attend the Open Forum.
Privileged motions
• Motions that fulfill individual needs
or the interest of the group
individually.
• Motions do not pertain directly to
the business being discussed.
Privileged Motions
• Include the following:
–Fix Time to Which to Adjourn
–Adjourn
–Recess
–Raise a Question of Privilege
–Call for Orders of the Day
Fix Time to Which to Adjourn
• Set date and time to adjourn
meeting
• Requires:
–Second
–NON-Debatable
–Amendable
–Majority Vote
Adjourn
• Privileged motion that ends current
meeting immediately.
• Requires:
– Second
– Non-debatable
– Non-amendable
– Majority vote
• Proper example
– Mr. president, I move to adjourn.

Recess
• Temporary break in a meeting.
• Requires:
– Second
– Non-debatable
– Amendable to time only
– Majority vote
• Proper example
– Mr. President, I move to take a 5 minute
recess.

Raise a question of Privilege
• Secures comfort/convenience
for members.
• Requires:
–Nothing. Question posed by
member is decided upon by the
chair.
Subsidiary Motions
• Motions that alter, change or
dispose of main motions.
Subsidiary Motions
• Include the following:
–Lay on the Table
–Call for Previous Question
–Postpone Definitely
–Refer to a Committee
–Amend
–Postpone Indefinitely
Call for Previous Question
• Ends debate immediately.
• Requires:
– Second
– Non-debatable
– Non-amendable
– Two-thirds vote
• Proper example:
– Madam President, I move the previous
question
– Mr. President, I call for the previous
question
Postpone Definitely
• Purpose
– allow for the motion on the floor to
deferred to a different day, meeting, or
until after a certain event
• Requires:
– Second
– Debatable
– Amendable
– Majority vote
• Proper example:
– Madam President, I move to postpone
this motion until the December Regular
Meeting.

Postpone Indefinitely
• Purpose
–To kill a main motion or delay a motion to
a certain time.
• Requires a second
• Not Amendable
• Debatable
• Majority Vote
• Can not interrupt another speaker
• Can be reconsidered only if passed
• Proper Example: Mr. President, I move
to Postpone this motion indefinitely
Refer to a Committee
• Assign main motion to a committee.
– used to send a pending question to a
small group so that the question may
be carefully investigated
• Requires:
– Second
– Debatable
– Amendable
– Majority vote
Refer to a Committee
• Two types of committees:
–Standing Committee
• one of the 15 listed in the Program of
Activities
–Special Committee/Ad Hoc
• Appointed by the president
• Number of members can be 3 or more

Refer to a Committee
• Reasons for referring to a committee:
– Gather more information
– Act on a motion
• President must specify when the
committee should report back to the
organization. Usually next regular
meeting
• Committee can give full power to act
• Proper example:
– Mr. President, I move that we refer
this motion to the Sports Committee
– Mr. President, I move we refer this
motion to a committee of three
appointed by the chair

Amend
• Changes, modifies, or alters a
main motion by:
–Striking out
–Inserting
–Striking out and inserting
–Adding
Amend
• No more than two amendments can
be considered at one time.
• Requires:
– Second
– Debatable
– Amendable
– Majority Vote
Amendments continued
• Can be reconsidered
• Improper amendments
–frivolous or absurd
–leave an incoherent wording
• Proper Example:
–Motion on floor: That the SBO will buy a laptop
computer.
–Amendment: Mr. President, I move to amend
the motion by inserting “brand new” before
laptop computer. So the motion would read, I
move that SBO will buy brand new laptop
computer.
Amendment to an
Amendment
• Purpose
– To modify an amendment to make it more specific
• Requires a second
• Debatable
• Not amendable
• Majority vote
• Can not interrupt a speaker
• Proper Example:
– Madam President, I move to amend the
amendment by inserting Acer after brand new. So
the final motion with if all amendments pass would
read, I move that the SBO will buy a brand new
Acer laptop computer.
Postpone Indefinitely
• Kills motion without a direct vote.
• Requires:
– Second
– Debatable
– NON-Amendable
– Majority Vote
Incidental Motions
• Motions that:
–Correct ill-advised actions
–Correct improper use of
parliamentary procedure.
Incidental Motions
• Include the
following:
– Object to the
Consideration of
Question
– Appeal from the
Decision of the Chair
– Rise to a Point of
Order

– Withdraw a Motion
– Suspend the Rules
– Call for Division of
the House
– Rise to Parliamentary
Inquiry

Object to the Consideration of Question
• Stops offensive or inappropriate
measures.
• Requires:
– NO Second
– Non-Debatable
– Non-Amendable
– Two-thirds Vote
Appeal from the Decision of the Chair
• Allows members to overrule chair
• Requires:
– Second
– Debatable only if motion being overruled
was debatable
– NON-Amendable
– Majority Vote
Rise to Parliamentary Inquiry
• Check on parliamentary questions, or
ask how to carry out a parliamentary
ability.
• Requires:
– Nothing. Question presented by member
is address by the chair.
Call for a Division of the House
• Purpose
– When called, this forces an immediate revote by hand
• Requires countable vote, if voice vote was
announced incorrectly by chair.
• Can only be called for after vote has been
announced.
• Requires:
– Nothing. Addressed by chair upon being called.
• Proper form
– Can be made by saying “division” loud enough for the
entire group to hear
– Or by standing and saying “I call for a division of the
house”

Withdraw a Motion
• Retracts motion proposed. Can only
be moved by member or proposed
motion being withdrawn.
• Requires:
– Nothing. If chair asks for objections and
there is none, withdraw stands. If there is
an objection, a majority vote is needed
for passage.
Suspend the Rules
• Make exceptions to by-laws of
organization’s constitution.
• Requires:
– Second
– Non-Debatable
– Non-Amendable
– Two-thirds Vote
• Proper example:
– Mr. President, Because of the lack of
time tonight, I move to suspend the
rules and skip directly to new business.
Unclassified Motions
• Motions that do not fit other
parliamentary categories
• Motions usually pertain to actions
already taken at previous
meetings.
Unclassified Motions
• Include the Following:
–Reconsider
–Rescind
–Take from the Table
Reconsider
• Purpose
–to reevaluate a decision that was made
earlier
–Requires a second
–Not amendable
–Debatable
–Majority vote
• Only can be made by a person who
voted on the winning side
• If passed the motion is handled
immediately if:
–only a main motion with amendments is on
the floor.
Reconsider Continued
• Handled after the current business if:
–discussion on refer to committee, or
postponement has started.
• Motions that can be reconsidered
–Main motions
–Amendments
–Refer to committee
–Postpone definitely
–Previous question
–Appeal the decision of the chair
Reconsider Continued
• Proper Example
–Mr. President, I move to reconsider the
motion to buy a laptop computer.
• If passed, the motion to be
reconsidered is handled just as if it
was never voted on

Rescind
• Revoke or nullify previous action.
• Requires:
–Second
–Debatable
–Amendable
–Two-thirds Vote
To lay on the table
• Purpose
–To defer action on the motion until later
in the meeting or until the next meeting
• Requires a second
• Not amendable
• Not debatable
• Majority Vote
• Can not interrupt another speaker
• Proper example:
–Mr. President, I move to lay this motion
on the table
Take from the Table
• Resume consideration of tabled
motion.
• Requires:
– Second
– Non-debatable
– Non-amendable
– Majority Vote
• Proper Example
– I move to take the motion that reads to
buy a boat from the table.
Limit or Extend Debate
• Purpose
–To limit or lengthen the time allowed for
discussion on a motion when it is clear that
there will be an excessive amount of
discussion or when the amount of time for
the meeting is limited.
• Requires a second
• Debatable
• Amendable
–amount of time or number of speakers only
• 2/3 Majority Vote
• Can not interrupt another speaker
Limit / Extend Debate
Continued
• Maker of the motion must specify
–the amount of time
–the number of speakers that can debate
the motion
• Proper Example
–Madam President, I move that we limit
debate on this motion to 3 discussions for
the motion and 3 discussions against the
motion.
–Madam President, I move to limit debate
to a maximum of 5 minutes.
Point of Order
• Used when a member thinks that the
rules of the group or the rules of
parliamentary procedure are being
violated.
• Does not require a second
• Not amendable &Not debatable
• President decides on verdict
• Can interrupt another speaker
Point of Order
• Proper example
–Mr. President, I rise to a point of order.
–President says, “State your point”
–After member states point, president says
“your point is well taken” or “Your point is not
well taken”
Orders of the Day
• This motion forces the group to
return to the set agenda, without
finishing the current business.
• Does not require a second
• Not Amendable
• Not Debatable
• 2/3 vote against to fail
• Can only be made on motions that are not
on the set agenda for that meeting.
Orders of the Day
• Procedure
–Mr. President, I call for the
orders of the day.
–President should say, Orders of
the day has been called. All
those who wish to return to the
orders of the day, raise your
hand. All those opposed to
returning to the orders of the
day, same sign.
Putting it All Together…
A common “agenda item” might look like this…
President: “Is there any new business…The chair
recognizes
John.”
John: “M/M President, I move that we use
Parliamentary Law
according to Robert’s Rules of Order at all of our
meetings.”
Sue: “I second that motion.”
President: “Is there any discussion?”
(blah, blah, blah)
President: “Seeing no further discussion, we will now
proceed to vote. All those in favor say “Aye”; all
opposed same sign. Motion passes.”



Final Thoughts…
 Do not get overwhelmed. Parliamentary
Procedure takes practice, practice, practice
and patience, patience, patience.
 Make a conscious group decision that
meetings will be conducted according to
Parliamentary Law and those laws will be
followed by every member.
 Many parts of Parliamentary Procedure can be
“modified” to fit the needs of an individual
group.
 Work together to educate your members on
the rules of Parliamentary Procedure to
ensure effective meetings.
 REMEMBER – This is only a brief overview of how
Parliamentary Procedure works – keep
learning!


PART II. Workshop