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Proposal Details

Proposal ID266,
ProposalProcess for Resolution of Procedural Objections
PresenterGeorgia Green Party
Floor ManagerHolly Hart
PhaseClosed
Discussion03/12/2007 - 03/25/2007
Voting03/26/2007 - 04/01/2007
ResultAdopted
Presens Quorum32 0.6666
Consens Quorum51 0.6666 of Yes and No Votes

Background

Democratic deliberative bodies have traditionally provided
a process whereby the members of the body might "object from
the ruling of the chair" and without significant disruption
to the forward progress of the business before the body, have
such a ruling reversed, if the objection is supported by a
simple majority of the body. Most legislative assemblies
provide such a process, as does Robert's Rules of Order,
universally used by nonprofit and corporate boards, and by
membership organizations. Such a procedure is an essential
check and balance to ensure that the actions of a body's chair
are consistent with its own rules.

The rules of the Green Party of the United States, to date,
do not provide for such a process.

Proposal

A resolution to amend the Rules and Procedures of the
  Green Party of the United States; to provide a process
  for the consideration and resolution of appeals from the
  decision of the Steering Committee, the Floor Manager
  or the facilitator; to provide that such an appeal shall
  stay the decision appealed until resolved; to provide for
  the inclusion of a written protest in the minutes of the
  National Committee; and for other purposes.

  A Resolution of the
  National Committee of the
  Green Party of the United States

  Section 1.

  The Rules and Procedures of the Green Party of the United
  States, Article 6., related to "Voting Rules", is amended
  by renaming Article 6. "Deliberation and Resolution of
  Business Before the National Committee", and further by
  redesignating the existing Article 6., as Article 6.,
  Section A., Voting Rules.

  Section 2.

  The Rules and Procedures of the Green Party of the United
  States, Article 6., is further amended by inserting at
  the end a new Section B., to read as follows:

  B. Appeals from a Decision of the Steering Committee,
  Floor Manager or Facilitator

  1. Form of appeals

  Should any five members of the Green National Committee
  of the Party representing any five accredited state
  Parties or Caucuses assert that any ruling of the
  Steering Committee or the Floor Manager on any point
  with respect to the handling of a Proposal submitted
  for the consideration of the National Committee was
  made contrary to the rules governing such rulings,
  such objection shall be recognized, and shall serve
  to initiate an appeal from the decision. When meeting
  face-to-face a Delegate may raise such an objection by
  respectfully addressing the facilitator and stating: "I
  appeal from the decision of the facilitator because this
  ruling is contrary to our rules" and then explaining
  the inconsistentency. When meeting by email such
  an objection may be initiated by posting the same
  statement to the votes list. Any such appeal which
  is then joined by sufficient cosponsors as required
  by this paragraph shall stay the effective date of
  that decision, pending the resolution of the appeal.

  2. Putting the appeal to the body

  The facilitator at a face-to-face meeting, or the
  Floor Manager, when conducting business by email,
  shall acknowledge the appeal by stating to the body the
  point ruled on, the Steering Committee or facilitator's
  decision on it and shall then put the appeal to the
  National Committee. The question put to the body shall
  be framed as: "Shall the body sustain the decision of
  the Steering Committee (or the Floor Manager or the
  facilitator) that . . . "

  3. Debate and National Committee consideration of
  an appeal

  Debate on the correctness of the ruling shall be
  limited to twenty minutes when meeting face-to-face or
  when conducting business by email shall end at 12:00
  midnight Pacific on the day following the day on which
  the appeal is acknowledged by the Floor Manager as being
  in order due to its having sufficent cosponsors. The
  facilitator or Floor Manager shall then put the question
  of the appeal to the body for a vote. When conducting
  business by email, the vote shall commence upon the
  close of debate and shall close seventy-two hours later.

  4. Resolution of an appeal

  The ruling of the Steering Committee, Floor Manager or
  facilitator shall be sustained unless overruled by the vote
  of a majority of those voting, who voted in opposition to
  the question of sustaining the decision, provided votes have
  been cast by Delegates from at least a simple majority of
  the Accredited states and caucuses eligible to cast votes on
  the matter. All appeals from the decision of the Steering
  Committee or facilitator at a face-to-face meetings shall
  be made immediately, and no appeal shall be in order after
  other business has intervened from the time of the alleged
  error of the Steering Committee or facilitator and before
  the appeal is sought. All appeals from the decision of the
  Steering Committee or Floor Manager when conducting business
  by email shall be made not later than midnight Pacific time,
  the third complete day after the publication to the votes
  list of the decision appealed.

  5. Recording a protest in the minutes of the body

  Any member may have entered in the minutes a protest
  in writing based on any ruling so made. Said protest
  shall clearly and succinctly set forth the grounds of
  such protest and shall not exceed 200 words. It shall
  not impugn the motive of the body or any member thereof.

Resources

CONTACT: Hugh Esco, GGP; hesco at greens.org

The adoption of this paper requires no additional Party
resources and the use of this process, once adopted, should
require only the additional attention of the facilitator,
floor manager and Steering Committee to properly use this
process once invoked.

References

CT Butler's On Conflict and Consensus,
http://www.wandreilagh.org/consensus.pdf
provides on page 28:
  "All structural decisions (i.e., which roles to use,
  who fills each role, and which facilitation technique
  and/or group discussion technique to use) are adopted
  by consensus without debate. Any objection automatically
  causes a new selection to be made."

Robert's Rules of Order provides:
http://www.robertsrules.org/rror-04.htm#21

The Rules of the Washington State Legislature provides:
http://www1.leg.wa.gov/Legislature/_templates/Content.aspx?NRMODE=Published&
NRNODEGUID=%7bBC497E29-51F4-421E-96AA-E998A0416908%7d&NRORIGINALURL=%2fhouse
%2fgeninfo%2fhouse%2520rules%2ehtm&NRCACHEHINT=Guest#anchor22

The Rules of the Arizona House provide:
http://www.azleg.state.az.us/hrules.htm#RULE%204

The Rules of the California Senate, at Rule #82, provide:
http://www.senate.ca.gov/~newsen/schedules/asmrul.htp

The Rules of the New York Senate, at Rule III.1., provide:
http://www.senate.state.ny.us/lbdcinfo/senrules.html

The Rules of the Georgia Senate, at Rule 8-1.11., provide:
http://www.legis.ga.gov/legis/2005_06/senate/publications/senaterules2005.pdf

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