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Parliamentary Procedure: What is it?

Parliamentary Procedure is the name given to a set of rules governing the decision making process used by a deliberative assembly. Individuals proficient in the process of parliamentary procedure are called Parliamentarians. They are responsible for overseeing the deliberative process and enforcing parliamentary procedure to keep the meeting working properly. The two most common examples of parliamentary procedure are The Common Law of Parliamentary Procedure and Robert's Rules of Order. Within FBLA, Robert's Rules of Order is the governing system of Parliamentary Procedure.
Roberts Rules

The Parliamentary Process

The standard oder of business most often includes:

  1. . Reading and approval of minutes from previous meetings.
  2. . Reports of officers, boards, and standard committees.
  3. . Reports of special committees.
  4. . Special orders.
  5. . Unfinished business and general orders.
  6. . New business.

Key Parliamentary Terms

  • Addressing the Chair: Getting the chair's attention by saying, e.g., "Madam Chairwoman," "Mr. Chairman," "Madam President," or "Mr. Moderator."
  • Agenda: Order of business; program of a business meeting.
  • Ad Hoc Committee: Committee established for a specific purpose, for a particular case.
  • Adjourn: To end a meeting.
  • Announcing the Vote: In announcing the vote on a motion, the chair should:

(1)report on the voting itself, stating which side has prevailed;

(2)declare that the motion is adopted or lost; and

(3)state the effect of the vote or order its execution. For a voice or rising vote in which no exact count is taken, the chair might say, forexample, "The ayes have it, the motion carries, and the brochure will be published." For a vote in which an exact count is taken, the chair might say, "There are 14 in the affirmative and 15 in the negative. The negative has it and the motion is lost. No additional funds will be spent on publicity this semester."

  • Ballots: Slips of paper for voting.
  • Carried: Passed or adopted; used in referring to affirmative action on a motion.
  • Caucus: Private session in advance of a scheduled meeting.
  • Chair: the Chair, Chairman, Chairwoman: To preside over; the presiding officer.
  • Chairman/Chairwoman Pro Tem: Presiding officer for the time being.
  • Commit: To refer to a committee.
  • Committee of the Whole: Designation of all of the members of an assembly present at a meeting as members of an ad hoc committee; working as a committee of the whole allows an assembly to function informally (e.g., to have unlimited debate).
  • Convene: To open a session.
  • Division of the Assembly: a Division: A vote retaken for the purpose of verifying a voice vote or show of hands; a division may be ordered by the chair or by a single member.
  • Division of the Question: A motion to divide a pending motion into two or more separate questions in order that they may be considered separately.
  • Election by Acclamation: Election by unanimous consent; used when only one person has been nominated for an office.
  • Ex-officio: By right of office.
  • Expunge: To eliminate part of a motion by crossing out or drawing a line around words; one never erases, since the original text may be needed for the minutes.
  • Germane: Closely related, relevant; amendments and debate must be germane to the question at hand.
  • Having the Floor: Having been recognized by the chair to speak.
  • Immediately Pending Question: The last motion stated by the chair.
  • In Order: Correct according to rules of parliamentary procedure.
  • Main Motion: A motion which brings before the assembly some new subject upon which action of the assembly is desired.
  • Majority: More than half of the votes cast by persons legally entitled to vote, excluding abstentions.
  • Minutes: Written records of business transacted.
  • Motion: A proposal by a member, in a meeting, that the assembly take a particular action.
  • Nominate: To propose an individual for office.
  • Obtaining the Floor: Securing permission to speak.
  • Orders of the Day: Agenda for a meeting.
  • Parliamentarian: Parliamentary adviser to the presiding officer.
  • Pending Question: A motion awaiting decision.
  • Plurality: In an election, the largest number of votes given a candidate when three or more candidates are running; a plurality that is not a majority never elects anyone to office except by virtue of a special rule previously adopted.
  • Point of Information: Request for information concerning a motion.
  • Precedence: Take Precedence: Priority in rank; to outrank.
  • Previous Question: Motion which, if adopted, orders an immediate vote.
  • Proxy: A person authorized to vote for another.
  • Question of Privilege: A device that permits a request or main motion relating to the rights and privileges of the assembly or any of its members to be brought up for immediate consideration because of its urgency, e.g., a motion to turn the air conditioner up or a motion to close the windows so that people can hear.
  • Quorum: The minimum number of members who must be present at a meeting for business to be legally transacted.
  • Recess: A short intermission.
  • Recognize: To allow someone to obtain the floor in order to speak.
  • Rescind: To repeal, annul, cancel, or revoke formally.
  • Resolution: Motion used to express the sentiment of a group, usually beginning with the words "resolved that...."
  • Rising Vote: A vote taken by having members stand.
  • Roll Call Vote: A procedure by which the vote of each member is formally recorded in the minutes.
  • Second: To indicate support for consideration of a motion by saying: "I second the motion."
  • Slate: List of candidates.
  • Unanimous (or General) Consent: A means of taking action on a motion without a formal vote. When a presiding officer perceives that there is little or no opposition to a motion before the assembly, business can often be expedited by the chair's simply calling for objections, if any. If no objection is heard, the motion is adopted; if even one member objects, the motion is brought to a formal vote by the usual procedure.
  • Voice Vote: A vote taken by having members call out "aye" or "no" at the chair's direction.
  • Yield: To give the floor to the chair, to another speaker, or to a motion taking precedence over that being considered.

External Links

"Parliamentary Procedure at a Glance"

"Wikipedia Parliamentary Procedure Article"

"Parliamentary Procedure Tests"

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