Parliamentary Procedure in Action

Fundamentals of Parliamentary Law

  1. Justice and courtesy for all.
  2. Do only one thing at a time.
  3. The majority rules.
  4. The minority must be heard.
  5. The purpose is to facilitate action, not obstruct it.

Reminders for the Presiding Officer

  1. Correct procedure should always be your goal.
  2. In dealing with motions or amendments, always state the exact wording. Ask the secretary to read it if you forgot how it was phrased.
  3. Discussion is not in order until the motion has been stated by the Chair.
  4. The chairman does not enter discussion while presiding. As a member of the assembly he is entitled to his vote.
  5. Always indicate clearly how a vote is to be taken — never call for “the usual sign.”
  6. Always call for the negative vote, saying, “Those opposed say ‘No’.”
  7. Adoption of an amendment does not mean adoption of the main motion. Remember to state the main motion as amended.
  8. Better say: “The motion is out of order” than “The gentleman is out of order.”

Purpose of Motion

A MAIN MOTION brings questions before the assembly for consideration.

SUBSIDIARY MOTIONS are for the purpose of modifying or dispening of the Main Motion under consideration.

PRIVILEGED MOTIONS have no connection with the Main Motion, but are of such important as to demand immediate consideration.

INCIDENTAL MOTIONS are those miscellanenous motions which cannot be placed in any of the three groups listed above.