Procedures for Making, Debating and Passing a Motion
By Amy Johnson
Document Source: Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, In Brief, 2004
Member A: (stands) “Madam President!"
Chair: “Member A”
“I move that the club increase dues to $104 to cover the cost of increased
Another Member: (seated) “Second”
Chair: It is moved and seconded that the club increase dues to $104 to cover the cost of increased dues from Toastmasters International.
Member A: (stands) “Madam President!”
Chair: “Member A”
(while standing - explain why we need to increase dues i.e. Toastmasters
Member B: (stands) “Madam President”
Chair: “Member B”
Member B: offers point for discussion
Chair: “Are you ready for the question?” (If no one seeks recognition to debate then….
Chair: “The question is on the adoption of the motion that the club increase dues to $104 to cover the cost of increased dues from Toastmasters International. Those in favour of the motion, raise your hands….
Chair: The ayes have it and the motion is adopted. The club will increase semi-annual
The no’s have it and the motion is lost.
Suppose that in the middle of a debate on a main motion it appears as though it would
Member A: I move to postpone the motion until the next meeting.
In the ordinary circumstance, you cannot postpone a motion beyond the next regular
This can then be debated, but you may not debate the main motion itself, and then voted on.
Amending a motion
An amendment can be made to a motion should you believe there needs to be some
The vote on the amendment does not decide whether the main motion will be adopted,
The main motion is: That the club hosts the upcoming area contest on October 19
You want the motion to read: That the club hosts the upcoming area contest on
Member A: (stands) Madam President!
Chair: Member A
Member A: (still standing) I move to strike out the words October 19 and insert the words October 26. (sits)
Member B: Second!
Chair: It is moved and seconded to strike out the words October 19 and insert the words October 26. If the amendment is adopted the motion will read: That the club hosts the upcoming area contest on October 26. The question is on striking out the words October 19 and inserting the words October 26.
Then the debate and vote follows as with a main motion. Remember this is only to adopt the new wording. Once adopted or lost the debate and vote on the main motion still needs to occur.
Reconsidering a Motion
If a motion has been either adopted or defeated during a meeting and at least one
There is a time period in which a motion can be reconsidered - this motion can only be
If the motion to host the area contest was not carried:
Member A: Madam President, I move to reconsider the vote on the motion relating to the hosting of the area contest. I voted against that motion.
If seconded the chair will then state the question on your motion (Unless another motion is pending at the time) and the assembly will proceed to consider the question of whether or not the motion regarding the area contest should be reconsidered. After any debate the vote will be taken on whether to reconsider, and if adopted the motion to host the area contest will then be debated and voted on again.
Rescind or Amend a Motion Previously Adopted
If after a meeting is over (too late to reconsider) you feel the wrong decision was made, you may make a motion to rescind.
Member A: I move to rescind the motion relating to the area contest that was adopted at the meeting on Wednesday September 24.
Alternatively, if you are concerned only with the date of the area contest you may make a motion to Amend Something Previously Adopted.
I move to amend the authorization previously adopted by changing the date
You may make either of these motions regardless of how you voted on the original
To Lay on the Table –
“I move to lay the motion on the table” To enable an
To Postpone to a certain time –
“I move to postpone the motion to the next
Previous Question –
“I move the previous question.” The motion to close debate
Commit or Refer –
“I move that the motion be referred to a committee of seven,
Point of Order –
“Point of order!” The chair has the duty of making sure that the rules
Appeal – “I appeal from the decision of the chair.” The group as a whole is the final
Parliamentary Inquiry –
“A parliamentary inquiry please.” If you want to ask a
The chair has the duty of responding to such questions when the answer may assist you
to make an appropriate motion, raise a proper point of order, or understand the
Words to Use as a Member
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