On Saturday, January 26, Area 52 is holding a Parliamentary Procedures Workshop hosted by First Oakville Toastmasters which I will be conducting.
I will be adding links to helpful items I find online about Parliamentary processes here. For more information about Parliamentary Procedure please visit my personal blog The Toastmaster and go to the “pages” tab on the left column where you can find all my posts to do with Parliamentary Procedure or Robert’s Rules of Order.
The aim of our workshop is to explain why we use Parliamentary Procedures and especially Robert’s Rules of Order in our Toastmaster meetings.
This workshop will explain in plain-language, using no technical terms or fancy explanations how to make Parliamentary Procedures work at your club.
The primary objective of Parliamentary Procedures is to allow for groups to make decisions that affect them directly.
Dictatorships, theocracies, despots, totalitarian states, criminal states and single-party states have no need of a Parliament let alone a process. Even the British system of absolute monarchism, which benefited from advisory councils, still proclaimed the absolute right of the king up until the year 1215 which saw the signing of Magna Carta which limited the powers of the Crown.
Here from Toastmasters International are the Principles of Parliamentary Law:
- The votes of all voting members are counted equally
- Absent members and members holding minority opinions have rights.
- All members have the right to free and fair debate
- The majority has the right to decide
- The purpose is to facilitate the transaction business
Parliamentary process isn’t to be overly complicated or filled with arcane tricks and procedures. It isn’t to be used like a weapon or to gain advantage over others. It is a tool to be used by groups to simplify and clarify the group decision-making process. It is to allow the majority to make decisions while allowing the minority voice to be heard and considered.
If you chair a Toastmaster meeting or are a member of a homeowner’s or church group or attend a school board or any other form of government or sit on a board of directors or you are an executive member of non-profit or charitable group you’ll love to have a working understanding of Parliamentary Process.
Here’s a small group of students from Lafayette High School (who really understand how to use Robert’s Rules of Order) doing a demonstration for a Rotary Club about how to use Parliamentary Procedures. Your club’s business meeting certainly will not be as polished and practiced as these young people demonstrate but even without knowing all the ins and outs of Robert’s Rules of Order you can maintain order and allow for orderly debate by following their example.