PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURES
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TERMS

USED TERMS IN PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURES

 

ADJOURN SINE DIE (adjourn without day) - to adjourn without expecting to reassemble; the final meeting of a convention or organization.

 

ADJOURNED MEETING - a meeting which is actually a continuation of a regular meeting; in fact a long recess.

 

BALLOT - a device (such as a slip of paper) for protecting the secrecy of a vote.

 

BOND (OR BONDlNG) - the insuring of an officer (especially one who handles funds or signs contracts) to protect the organization from liability due to error of accident or intent.

 

BYLAW - a law or regulation of an organization, which deals with its internal organization. Ordinarily it should be easier to change than a constitution; more difficult to change than a standing rule.

 

CAUCUS - a meeting of the leaders to determines policy or agree on candidates.

CHAIR - the presiding officer or chairman.

CHARTER - a written instrument, generally in the nature of a grant of authority supporting the existence of a particular organization or branch.

CODIFY - to systematize or classify the rules or By-Laws of an organiza- tion or the laws of a city, state or nation.

COMMIT - to refer an issue to a committee for its report and rec- ommendations.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE [HOUSE] - a committee consisting of the entire membership. Used to enable the entire assembly to discuss a matter in a less formal manner.

CONSTITUTION - The statement of basic principles and purposes indicating the nature of the organization and its reason for being.

DECORUM - to behave with propriety, to conduct oneself in a good manner.

DE FACTO - "in fact"; that person or that committee which in fact has the power or responsibility, regard- less of who has it in theory.

DILATORY - to engage in action, the purpose of which is just to delay.

EXECUTIVE SESSION - a meeting of a committee or other body, with the public excluded. In a public body, no legislative action can be taken in such sessions.

EX OFFICIO - an office held automatically because one holds another office; as the U.S. Vice President is automatically President of Senate.

 

EXPULSION - to expel or force out a member.

 

EXPUNGE - to delete from the record, by ruling out rather than by erasure.

 

GERMANE - to be relevant to the motion being discussed.

 

MAJORITY - a number one more than half.

 

MINORITY - a number one less than half.

 

PLURALITY - in elections, the candidate who receive! the most votes, yet may not have a majority.

 

PREVIOUS QUESTION - a motion, which asks that the assembly vote at once on the motion on the floor.

 

PRO TEM (pro tempore) - temporarily. Usually a person who serves in the absence of the regular per- son; such as the President Pro tern of the U.S. Senate is a Senator chosen to be presiding officer in the absence of the Vice President of the U.S.

 

PROXY - giving another person the authority to vote for you in your absence.

 

QUESTION -the issue or motion presently being considered.

 

QUORUM - the number of members required to be present in order to conduct a legal meeting.

 

RATIFY - to approve or sanction an action.

 

RECOMMIT- to send back to committee.

 

REFER - same as to commit; send to committee.

 

RENEW - to place on the floor again a motion previously passed or defeated.

 

RIDER - a clause or section attached to a motion which is not directly related to the motion; and which very likely might not be approved as a separate motion.

 

RULE - see STANDING RULE

 

SERIATIM - to consider a report or motion by paragraph rather than in its entirety.

SPECIAL COMMITTEE - a committee appointed to study and make recommendations on a particular topic.

STANDING COMMITTEE - a committee, which is permanent, often established by the By-Laws, with a specific function to perform: such as Program Committee or Membership Committee. While the committee it- self may be permanent, its membership is not.

STANDING RULE - a law or order dealing with matters of business organization or procedure.

TELLERS - individuals officially designated to count ballots or votes.

VIVA VOCE VOTE - a voice vote.

YEAS AND NAYS - the older expression for a roll call vote.

 

 

  

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