rough notes

democracy is never easy

with one comment

i attended a meeting on Friday afternoon that demanded quorum before important votes could be held and decisions could be made.  the quorum was ridiculously hard to meet and i won’t get into the details about that suffice to say that i’m writing up a motion that calls for a reduction in the numbers needed to meet quorum in the future – I can only hope we get enough people at the next meeting to take a vote.

At any rate, a vote was to be held on an important matter, but before discussion could end, seven or eight people had to leave.  These chose to vote before leaving.  However, after voting and leaving, a motion was made – and approved – to  amend the language of the original motion.  This amendment did not change the spirit of the  original motion, but it sure as hell invalidated those votes previously taken.  On the face of things, the people who had to “vote and run” can likely rest assured that the motion they originally supported stands since the amendment was based on language and rhetoric as opposed to substance.  However, the principle of the matter is that two votes but only one tally occurred on the motion, which is fundamentally wrong (and probably something not found in Robert’s Rules, either).  I objected to the two-votes/one-tally situation, and a few others did as well.  But then many other people objected to our objections since the entire matter would stall for at least a month if a decision couldn’t be made that afternoon.

I stuck with my principles on this one, as I usually do.  I feel that these organizational rules and mores must be followed, otherwise there would be no reason to meet in the first place.  Amending the motion but keeping the seven or eight votes is mildly offensive because it suggests that the seven or eight people who voted don’t mean much to the group.  On the surface, their votes would be tallied, but at a deeper level, it shows that the opinions of feelings these seven or eight people might have about the amendments don’t matter to the group at all because the group is going to continue discussing and amending things, with or without them.

Anyway, I’m a little bothered by this but unable to speak to it properly since politics isn’t my thing even though I’m rather political.  All i can say, though, is that in spite of it all I’m proud to be a union man; I make those meetings when I can (yeah).


Written by mitchellirons

March 14, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. I walked away (having to dash to another commitment) having that exact same conversation with RP – about an amendment to change the quorum requirement. Funnily enough it was the same issue on the table at the DAGS AGM earlier in the week – changing quorum from 3% of members to a mere 50 warm bodies. Our quorum should be something more like 25 people, something manageable, and it could be changed in the future if deemed necessary. I hope your motion-writing has come out to your satisfaction!


    March 15, 2009 at 8:46 am

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