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Don’t Second that Motion: Oregon Public Meetings Manual and Parliamentary Procedure

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People who know absolutely nothing else about parliamentary procedure always seem to know absolutely, positively (!) that motions have to be “seconded.” It’s not necessarily so.

You can look in any number of other sources, but I found this in the January 2008 Oregon Attorney General’s Public Records and Meetings Manual (partially online – and don’t blame me for that “partially” – ask the candidates running for Oregon AG this year):

“To facilitate decision-making, a simplified and flexible approach to parliamentary procedure is helpful. The author of one text on parliamentary procedures believes that ‘stressing a more straightforward and open procedure for meetings eliminates the parliamentary impasses that appear to follow when too much attention is given to parliamentary intrigue and manipulation.’ He has, for example, eliminated the ‘seconding’ of motions because it is ‘largely a waste of time.’ [See Meetings Manual for footnote to R. Keesey, Modern Parliamentary Procedure (1994).] This warning against blind adherence to parliamentary rules is echoed by the author of another text ….”

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