Parliamentary Procedure and the Senate Scandal

The ongoing drama surrounding the possible suspension of three Canadian Senators for allegedly misspending public funds is a real-life lesson for anyone interested in how groups work.

Without taking sides or going into who said what to whom, the debate in the Senate about whether or not to suspend members is fascinating.

The issue comes down to whether or not the Senate has the right to suspend members prior to the completion of investigations into the allegations.

This is called “due process” and speaks to the issue of fairness.

The Liberal senators earlier this week moved a motion to limit debate on the issue. If this motion is passed, we might see the Senate vote  on the main motion (to suspend) as early as Friday.

At Toastmasters we use the very same parliamentary process as outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order during our business meeting and the scandal sweeping the Senate is well worth watching.

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