Comment 121352

By sparrowswain (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2017 at 11:59:13 in reply to Comment 121349

I guess my issue with these specific "cultural" rules is one of power. To whom are these rules important, and why? Who controls how they work and who gets to subvert them (and how)?

In my experience, actual motions (not disguised as something else), allow a broader participation by those who don't know the "cultural" rules and who can't possibly have access to them without a considerable amount of "buy-in" (read: attending a ton of meetings or being a councillor).

Following the "actual" rules of order means that everyone is on the same level playing field, democratically speaking, and has a chance to come to a meeting with the same set of rules in mind. It also means that when a motion is put forward everyone certainly knows that there will be a vote. With these other things: who can tell? And, in order to vote (i.e. make a decision), it's important to have advance notice so that you can come prepared.

With publicly available rules of order there's at least some chance that they can be enforced but there's virtually no chance of really enforcing unwritten rules. If these unwritten rules are important, as you suggest they may be in this case, to running an organization then they should be written down and made a formal part of the published rules of order. To do anything else suggests, to me at least, that they're a mechanism used by those "in the know" to subvert democracy.

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