Seven abused points of Parliamentary Procedure
People can misuse parliamentary procedure to pursue their own agendas. Learn what the abused motions are and how to stop them.
 
 

Friendly Amendment (RONR, p. 154)
After the chair states the motion (page 5), the maker of the motion has no special rights to modify the motion; there is no friendly amendment.  Suggested changes must be agreed to by a majority of the assembly.

Calling for the Question (RONR, p. 193-94)
No single member may end debate by calling out Question!  Such a call is out of order if the member has not been recognized.  The only way to end debate is by moving the Previous Question, which requires a 2/3 vote to adopt (and subsequently end debate).

Motion to Table (RONR, p. 207-09)
Often, in an attempt to kill a motion, members move to Table the motion.  This is an illegitimate use of the motion to Lay on the Table, since it would kill a motion by a majority vote without debate.  Lay on the Table may only be made to temporarily dispose of a motion when something of greater urgency arises.

Counting Abstentions (RONR, p. 43)
Because to abstain means not to vote, there is no need to call for abstentions.  Whether a person abstaining responds to such a call abstains just as much as the person who does not respond.

Point of Clarification (RONR, p. 282-83)
Members who wish to correct something said in debate sometimes rise to a point of clarification.  A Point of Information (sometimes called a point of clarification) may only be used to gain, not give, information through a question.

Chair Must Break Ties (RONR, p. 392-93)
If the chair is a member of the assembly, he/she may vote when the vote would affect the result.  Thus, the chair may vote to break a tie if the chair desires the motion to be adopted or may vote to create a tie if the chair desires the motion to be rejected.

Parliamentarian's Ruling (RONR, p. 449)
Only the chair has a right to make a ruling about matters of procedure.  The parliamentarian may only advise the presiding officer and may not make rulings.  The chair has no obligation to follow the advice of the parliamentarian.


Copyright © 2017 Schilansky & Binnall - Parliamentarians.  All rights reserved.