Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Motion to Commit

The Convention entertained and seconded my motion to consider, discuss, and report on changing from trying to get a quorum to meeting for a session on a given date and time TO an "always ON" Convention. I have been involved with several and can explain how it would work extremely well for what we are doing. Please allow me to explain the details to the committee during its deliberations on MY motion.

I am not so sure this would require an addition to the rules themselves, since the rules already read 2) Whenever possible, Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of the Convention.
and
3) A quorum shall consist of one or more Delegates from at least thirty-four State Caucuses.

"Always on" would simple recognize the FACT that ALL Captains may participate withing the time constraints established at the Convention 24/7, meaning that ALL make up the quorum, since ALL may be involved in the session. The actual voting would still have to be a majority of at least 18 States or a Super-Majority of at least 22 States and ratifying vote would require at least 37 States.

All the "always on" does is open the Convention up without having to try to cram or set aside a day, time, hour, etc. in order to participate.

20 comments:

Howard McCormick said...

This is what I would like discussed and reported on at the Convention:
Rules of Order – On-line session

ConventionUSA Forum is an always on (some exception apply) session of an on-line Article V Convention to Propose Amendments to the Constitution for the United States of America. Calling for this Convention was established as soon as 34 states or more became represented by Delegates in those states. Since this Convention is always on every Delegate is part of the Quorum. Below attempts to establish a structure that will allow results to be arrived at in a timely manner.

An on-line Convention to Propose Amendments to the Constitution for the United States of America was called when 34 States of the United States were represented by at least one Delegate.

The Chairman will act as the Convention Facilitator. If the Chairman is absent, the Chairman Pro Tem will act as the Convention Facilitator until the Chairman’s return. Either may assign a Moderator to oversee discussions to be sure they stay appropriate and on point.

This Convention has been called to discuss one or more well-defined topics. The Convention will remain open via this Blog except for:
• 48 hours before and after any live Conference that may be called in the future.
• Thanksgiving Day (Thursday) and the following Friday.
• December 24 and 25.
• December 31 and January 1
• All other federally-recognized one-day holidays (such as Labor Day, Memorial Day, President’s Day, The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Veteran’s Day, Columbus Day, etc.).

From time to time notification from the Facilitator of a Quorum Call will be made. Anyone missing 3 in a row may be removed from Roster of Delegates, re-registering will be required.

The Convention Facilitator will frame the Convention around motions for discussion and voting. The best way to comment on the Blog is to Sign In (upper right) with a Gmail account, they are free. Otherwise only the comments submitted through “Name/URL” (URL is not needed), with your name and Delegate ID number will be considered for posting i.e. JohnDoeUS001. NO “Anonymous” COMMENTS WILL BE POSTED.
To get recognized for comment time enter “Request Recognition”. The Facilitator will recognize in topic, chronological order.

Motion: To introduce a new piece of business or propose a decision or action, a motion must be made by a Caucus Captain ("I move that......") Once the motion is posted, it must be seconded within three days (72 hours) of posting. If this time period expires without a second, the motion will die.

A second motion must then also be made, request recognition, after being recognized, comment, ("I second it."). If the three day time period expires without a second, the motion will die. If the motion is seconded, the three day time period may be truncated. In order to avoid confusion, we will only consider one main motion at a time, for now.

Discussion is then to ensue. Discussion must remain appropriate and on topic as the Convention Blog will be open to all for a minimum of 3 days. No recognition requests are needed during a discussion time.

Howard McCormick said...

Once the discussion time has expired, recognition requests will be back in force and the Facilitator will entertain Amendment or Commit requests.
Commit: This is used to place a motion in committee. Request recognition, after being recognized, make the following motion: "I move to commit the motion on the floor." If the person who made the original motion agrees with the commit motion, the motion goes to an appropriate committee. If an appropriate committee does not exist, a new committee is established. Otherwise a second is required. After the motion to commit is seconded (as above), at least 18 States (which is a majority of the 34 needed to call the Convention in the first place) vote is needed to decide whether the motion. The committee is required to prepare a report on the motion committed within 30 days.
Amend: This is the process used to change a motion under consideration. Perhaps you like the idea proposed but not exactly as offered. Request recognition, after being recognized, make the following motion: "I move to amend the motion on the floor." If the person who made the original motion agrees with the suggested changes, the amended motion may be voted on without a separate vote to approve the amendment, otherwise a second is required. After the motion to amend is seconded (as above), at least 18 States (which is a majority of the 34 needed to call the Convention in the first place) is needed to decide whether the amendment is accepted. If accepted a vote is taken on the amended motion. If not, a vote is taken on the original motion.

Once the vote is called for, seven (7) days will be allowed for voting. NO further discussion will be allowed during the voting period, and all voting will be “open”. Since the Convention is “always on” it is assumed that the full complement of Caucus Delegates are available to vote. Any Delegate not voting by the end of the 7 day time period will be counted in the affirmative for the motion.

Once the Vote is closed by the Facilitator, the issue is decided and can only be recalled by a Motion to Rescind, accessible only through a Gate Motion. If no Gate Motion is made within 3 Days, the decision of the vote is final.
The Gate Motion is defined as a motion to open up the full arsenal of Robert’s Rules methods and procedures for use during the Convention process. If a Caucus Captain feels that the process will benefit by a Gate Motion, or if he/she feels that the process has somehow broken down or is unfair, then he/she may make a “Gate Motion”. Once Vote results are posted Captains have 3 days to request recognition, after being recognized, make the following motion: "I move to gate."

Howard McCormick said...

The Facilitator will grant the motion within 72 hours and have 72 hours open a dialog between the person presenting the motion and the Parliamentarian. At this point, the person presenting the motion will ask for the specific section of Robert Rules of Order to address the issue in question that triggered the Gate Motion. The Convention Blog will be open to the person presenting the motion and the Parliamentarian ONLY. The Parliamentarian will have a reasonable period of time (no longer than 72 hours) to advise the presenter of the motion of the appropriate section of Robert’s to employ. Then, the presenter of the motion will proceed using the tools available in the latest version of Robert’s Rules of Order http://www.robertsrules.org/rror--00.htm The Parliamentarian will provide reasonable assistance to the presenter of the motion, upon request, until the issue is resolved.

It will be the responsibility of the Parliamentarian to return control of the meeting to the Convention Facilitator which closes the gate, once the issue has been settled. The only other way to exit a Gate Motion period is for the Facilitator to request an immediate vote (described above) to override the Gate Motion. The Override vote must be seconded (described above) and must pass by a Supermajority (at least 22 States). The Parliamentarian presides over the Override vote process (this is the only vote that a Parliamentarian may control).

The purpose of the Gate Motion is to provide access to the full weight of Robert’s Rules of Order. Meanwhile, the purpose of the Gate Motion Override is to keep the meeting moving if the Gate Motion becomes unreasonable.

The Convention Facilitator will indicate an appropriate time scale for completion of an agenda item. This might vary according to urgency, but should be sufficient to allow to responses. No one should comment on topics other than the current agenda item.

New Agenda items are added by the Facilitator. Suggestions for new Agenda items should be sent to the Chairman directly (chairman@conventionusa.org).

Occasionally urgent matters arise which will require the Chairman to set aside the current agenda item to deal with the urgent matter.

utesfan100 said...

I repeat my recommendation posted elsewhere, here.

As an Ex Officio member of of the Rules Committee, it seems to me that the primary purpose of the rules committee is to thoughtfully draft rules where there is a general consensus among the delegates that such a change would be useful. There has been no discussion among the delegates to determine whether such consensus exists, one way or another.

I would suggest that the Rules Committee recommend that the proposal to from an "always on" convention be referred to an Advisory Committee of the Whole, allowing delegates one week to express their opinions on the matter. This would form a basis for the Rules Committee to produce a recommendation to bring to the convention floor based on the opinions that are expressed.

As Chairman of the Internet Committee, I would suggest that the Delegate Forum at ConventionUSA.org is the best location for this conversation to take place at this time.

Ben Prather
Delegate FL012
and
Internet Committee Chairman

crfischer said...

I think Delegate McCormick's suggestion is a good one I do think the time-frame and how the voting works could be changed.
I think giving 48 hours to second a motion is sufficient. I beleive if we go to an always on style as Delegate McCormick has outlined it would be a given that if you are going to make a motion you have a second lined up before you do and the 48 hours is just in case your second can't get to a computer right away. Also I believe enough people would check it every day or so that in 48 hours someone would log on and second the motion or object to it.

As far as the voting goes I believe 7 days is sufficient for votes to take place. The change I think needs to be made is the delegates who do not respond instead of them being counted in the affirmative they should be counted with the majority. If we would always count the Delegates who didn't vote in the affirmative every time all motions would pass.

Just my take on it. I do think its a good idea.

Delegate Fischer
IN004

Howard McCormick said...

I actually do not believe whether the Convention is always on or not requires any sort of rule change or addition except maybe for what constitutes a Forum in order to conduct business. I do believe however that tweaking this in order to make it work for us is a good idea and the Rules Committee seemed like a good place to start as some rules may be affected.

I do not really see anything in the rules on the format of meetings to conduct business at all. I just would like much more participation and trying to get 300 people to be at a certain place on a certain day at a certain time is cumbersome at best. Imagine when we have 10's of 1000's IMPOSSIBLE!! Live Conventions require that everyone stops everything and gathers, that will not occur in our ONLINE attempt.

Howard McCormick said...

I actually do not believe whether the Convention is always on or not requires any sort of rule change or addition except maybe for what constitutes a Forum in order to conduct business. I do believe however that tweaking this in order to make it work for us is a good idea and the Rules Committee seemed like a good place to start as some rules may be affected.

I do not really see anything in the rules on the format of meetings to conduct business at all. I just would like much more participation and trying to get 300 people to be at a certain place on a certain day at a certain time is cumbersome at best. Imagine when we have 10's of 1000's IMPOSSIBLE!! Live Conventions require that everyone stops everything and gathers, that will not occur in our ONLINE attempt.

Howard McCormick said...

I would like to amend that the "always on" be turned off if a Quorum Call reveals that at least 18 states will not be represented. Turned back on when recovered.

I guess one Rule change that I would like to see is: I THE CONVENTION... 3) A quorum shall consist of one or more Delegates from at least thirty-four State Caucuses.

To maybe 3) A quorum of one or more Delegates from at least thirty-four State Caucuses to call the Convention to order. It will require at least a majority of 18 to conduct business. Monthly Quorum Call will be used to establish this as a Floor motion by the Chairman or proxy.

utesfan100 said...

Once we have a forum, it will be immediately possible to see how many delegates are logged into the forum, without requiring a role call.

It should be possible to see how many states have had delegates check the forum over a given time period.

It seems to me that formally adopting an always on convention should wait until we have a sustained a quorum of delegates visiting our forum in a typical week.

Indeed, I intend to pursue a symbolic relaunch of Convention USA, once we are able to attain a verified quorum of delegates simultaneously visiting our forum.

That said, we should begin working on preparing the rules that we will adopt at that time.

crfischer said...

It seems to me that there are a few different thoughts on what rules are needed and not needed for the Convention.

I do not think the rules are adequate for our meetings of the convention but they are a good starting spot. Roberts rules of orders is a good way to govern the convention and I think they should still apply.

What I think needs to be done is the rules committee needs to come up with two proposals for meeting rules. With them both using Delegate McCormick's suggestions. The first proposal will be more or less temporary rules to address how the convention will meet currently and until the new system is up.

The second proposal will be for the future once the internet committee has gotten the new system for the Convention built and has been tested.

I plan to within the next few days prepare a proposal for the meeting rules of the convention that will stand until the new system is ready.

I also plan to keep up with the ongoing of the internet committee so I can be ready to help for the rules for use with the new system.

Delegate Fischer
IN004

Howard McCormick said...

I was trying to change "the RULES" themselves as little as possible. The "always on" business meeting does not change the rules as long as it is conducted under Robert's Rules of Order "as much as possible" remember RRO are not written for this concept of virtual and WE will have to adapt.

I am seeing the need for a "policies and procedures" document to be generated.

If the Convention is always on, all the Delegates are in attendance.

The time frames do need some adjustment as we have been using this concept at the TN Caucus for months.

Richard Michael CA024 said...

So the Internet Committee Chair is also ex-officio on all the other committees? Is that true for all the committee chairs?

Who is on the Rules Committee? Only those people listed as Contributors?

So, it looks that this blog was set up months ago (Sep 25 2012) and Chair Young was made chair at that time.

Since I just discovered this blog yesterday, it seems that the discussion about implementing a forum has also been going on for months behind closed doors. In fact the discussions in this blog seem to pre-suppose the forum that the Internet Chair prefers.

In a comment in another thread, Member Fischer (Feb 12th) says he doesn't even know who is on the Rules Committee.

This is the most disturbing part of all these formerly secret blogs. A few people appear to be driving the discussion in their own direction and their preferences will prevail because, when presented to the convention, there will only be one choice.

I understand that many delegates are probably not interested in the work of some of the committees, at least not until it's too late, when some rule or other committee choice makes it impossible to have their voices heard.

The whole business about Caucus captains is a perfect example of a change that concentrated power in a single person and the rule was adopted, after the fact, on Day Two without any discussion.

utesfan100 said...

If you read the blog where Day One took place, linked to at the front page, you will see that during Day One the rules were referred to a rules committee appointed at that time.

Those proceedings were attempted by e-mail, and a single teleconference, as managed by the Temporary Rules Committee Chairman. The difficulties with that process lead to the blogs being created for future use.

The Chair Pro Tem and I were a part of this process, and advocated similar views on how a convention can be operated asynchronously. I differ with him in my view that the convention can also often operate using parallelism.

By precedent, the members of the Rules Committee are determined by the Convention Chairman, with the advice and consent of the and Rules Committee Chairman.

Howard McCormick said...

Robert's Rules of Order definition

A handbook for running meetings effectively and efficiently, based on the procedures used in the British parliament. The principles included in the handbook are applicable to any decision-making organization, from Congress to community club committees. The handbook sets the guidelines for such issues as leading debates; recognizing speakers; defining the role of the chair and other officers; proposing, seconding, and voting on motions; and writing and amending constitutions and bylaws.

Remember that the above was written for LIVE meetings, not virtual ones, but still applies to the Motion I made of an “Always ON” Meeting and does not apply to the “RULES OF THE CONVENTION” other than the addition of a link on the Rules section of the website pointing to “Rules of Order “.

Howard McCormick said...

What I have gotten so far is:

After we tweak the "Convention:
Rules of Order" the approval to do it that way must get the affirmative votes of 26 States, and the affirmative votes of a majority of the Delegates voting on the question.

Giving 48 hours to second a motion is sufficient.

Delegates who do not respond instead of them being counted in the affirmative they should be counted with the majority.

The "always on" be turned off if a Quorum Call reveals that at least 18 states will not be represented, Convention wide.

I THE CONVENTION... 3) A quorum shall consist of one or more Delegates from at least thirty-four State Caucuses.

Changed to 3) A quorum of one or more Delegates from at least thirty-four State Caucuses to call the Convention to order. It will require at least a majority of 18 to conduct business. Monthly Quorum Call will be used to establish this as a Floor motion by the Chairman or proxy.

What else?

Howard McCormick said...

I wish to address Richard Michael CA024's comment.

Being involved with this process since before we had any Day two, I have seen nothing secret in ANY way. All of the Blogs are OPEN for viewing at anytime and ALL Delegates have been invited to serve on any Committee they wish by the Chairman of the Convention.

I am not aware of a ruling from the Chairman about "ex-officio" members of committees. Maybe Robert's Rules address that.

I am not sure how long you have been a Delegate, but the fact that "just discovered this blog yesterday" has nothing to do with the fact it has ALWAYS been available, 24/7/365. It has nothing to do with YOUR charge of "behind closed doors" there are NO closed doors at a Forum that ANYONE can view ANYTIME!!

If you wish to know who is on what committee please go to another "behind closed doors" Blog and see for yourself: http://www.conventionusa.blogspot.com/ If you wish to join ANY committee please notify chairman@conventionusa.org for consideration, he never has refused anyone, that I know of and WE ALL appreciate any and all participation!

There are NO "secret blogs" THAT is nothing less than UNTRUE!

Since nothing that comes out of any committee and not voted on by a majority of Delegates and States there is NO to late.

Caucus Captains serve "at the pleasure" of the State Caucus they represent and can and should be fired and replaced if they do not. By that Caucus. This makes it makes it possible to have all voices heard at the Caucuses and send their "Captain" to the general session to express the wishes of the Caucus there, NOT his,her own agenda. Since the sessions are open and can be view at anytime by any Deleagte, if a Captain is not doing what the Caucus wants, the Caucus can replace them.

There was plenty of discussion on the Rules and they passed when Voted on. OVER! Nothing unfair about it, nothing.

Trying to allow 300 Delegates to committee in a Facebook like fashion to "have their voices heard" at the General Business Session is NOT possible, 50 is manageable and totally correct because the Captains are only bring what they are told to by their Caucus. We plan to have 10's of 1000's of Delegates. Imagine that session if all of them were given the floor.

Howard McCormick said...

This Amended version has been approved by the TN Caucus to be placed as a Motion at the next Convention Session: "Rules of Order – On-line session

ConventionUSA Forum is an always on (some exception apply) session of an on-line Article V Convention to Propose Amendments to the Constitution for the United States of America. Calling for this Convention was established as soon as 34 states or more became represented by Delegates in those states. Since this Convention is always on every Delegate is part of the Quorum. Below attempts to establish a structure that will allow results to be arrived at in a timely manner.

An on-line Convention to Propose Amendments to the Constitution for the United States of America was called when 34 States of the United States were represented by at least one Delegate.

The Chairman will act as the Convention Facilitator. If the Chairman is absent, the Chairman Pro Tem will act as the Convention Facilitator until the Chairman’s return. Either may assign a Moderator to oversee discussions to be sure they stay appropriate and on point.

This Convention has been called to discuss one or more well-defined topics. The Convention will remain open via this Blog except for:
• 48 hours before and after any live Conference that may be called in the future.
• Thanksgiving Day (Thursday) and the following Friday.
• December 24 and 25.
• December 31 and January 1
• All other federally-recognized one-day holidays (such as Labor Day, Memorial Day, President’s Day, The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Veteran’s Day, Columbus Day, etc.).

From time to time notification from the Facilitator of a Quorum Call will be made. Anyone missing 3 in a row may be removed from Roster of Delegates, re-registering will be required.

The Convention Facilitator will frame the Convention around motions for discussion and voting. The best way to comment on the Blog is to Sign In (upper right) with a Gmail account, they are free. Otherwise only the comments submitted through “Name/URL” (URL is not needed), with your name and Delegate ID number will be considered for posting i.e. JohnDoeUS001. NO “Anonymous” COMMENTS WILL BE POSTED.
To get recognized for comment time enter “Request Recognition”. The Facilitator will recognize in topic, chronological order.

Motion: To introduce a new piece of business or propose a decision or action, a motion must be made by a Caucus Captain ("I move that......") Once the motion is posted, it must be seconded within seven days (168 hours) of posting. If this time period expires without a second, the motion will die.

A second motion must then also be made, request recognition, after being recognized, comment, ("I second it."). If the seven day time period expires without a second, the motion will die. If the motion is seconded, the seven day time period may be truncated. In order to avoid confusion, we will only consider one main motion at a time, for now.

Discussion is then to ensue. Discussion must remain appropriate and on topic as the Convention Blog will be open to all for a minimum of 14 days (168 hours). No recognition requests are needed during a discussion time.

Once the discussion time has expired, recognition requests will be back in force and the Facilitator will entertain Amendment or Commit requests for 7 days.
Commit: This is used to place a motion in committee. Request recognition, after being recognized, make the following motion: "I move to commit the motion on the floor." If the person who made the original motion agrees with the commit motion, the motion goes to an appropriate committee. If an appropriate committee does not exist, a new committee is established. Otherwise a second is required. After the motion to commit is seconded (as above), at least 18 States (which is a majority of the 34 needed to call the Convention in the first place) vote is needed to decide whether the motion. The committee is required to prepare a report on the motion committed within 30 (672 hours) days.

Howard McCormick said...

Amend: This is the process used to change a motion under consideration. Perhaps you like the idea proposed but not exactly as offered. Request recognition, after being recognized, make the following motion: "I move to amend the motion on the floor." If the person who made the original motion agrees with the suggested changes, the amended motion may be voted on without a separate vote to approve the amendment, otherwise a second is required. After the motion to amend is seconded (as above), at least 18 States (which is a majority of the 34 needed to call the Convention in the first place) is needed to decide whether the amendment is accepted. If accepted a vote is taken on the amended motion. If not, a vote is taken on the original motion.

Once any vote is called for, fourteen (14) days will be allowed for voting. NO further discussion will be allowed during the voting period, and all voting will be “open”. Since the Convention is “always on” it is assumed that the full complement of Caucus Delegates are available to vote. Any Delegate not voting by the end of the 14 day time period will be counted in the affirmative for the motion.

Once the Vote is closed by the Facilitator, the issue is decided and can only be recalled by a Motion to Rescind, accessible only through a Gate Motion. If no Gate Motion is made within 7 Days, the decision of the vote is final.
The Gate Motion is defined as a motion to open up the full arsenal of Robert’s Rules methods and procedures for use during the Convention process. If a Caucus Captain feels that the process will benefit by a Gate Motion, or if he/she feels that the process has somehow broken down or is unfair, then he/she may make a “Gate Motion”. Once Vote results are posted Captains have 7 days to request recognition, after being recognized, make the following motion: "I move to gate."

The Facilitator will grant the motion within 7 days and have 7 days open a dialog between the person presenting the motion and the Parliamentarian. At this point, the person presenting the motion will ask for the specific section of Robert Rules of Order to address the issue in question that triggered the Gate Motion. The Convention Blog will be open to the person presenting the motion and the Parliamentarian ONLY. The Parliamentarian will have a reasonable period of time (no longer than 7 days) to advise the presenter of the motion of the appropriate section of Robert’s to employ. Then, the presenter of the motion will proceed using the tools available in the latest version of Robert’s Rules of Order http://www.robertsrules.org/rror--00.htm The Parliamentarian will provide reasonable assistance to the presenter of the motion, upon request, until the issue is resolved.

It will be the responsibility of the Parliamentarian to return control of the meeting to the Convention Facilitator which closes the gate, once the issue has been settled. The only other way to exit a Gate Motion period is for the Facilitator to request an immediate vote (described above) to override the Gate Motion. The Override vote must be seconded (described above) and must pass by a Supermajority (at least 22 States). The Parliamentarian presides over the Override vote process (this is the only vote that a Parliamentarian may control).

The purpose of the Gate Motion is to provide access to the full weight of Robert’s Rules of Order. Meanwhile, the purpose of the Gate Motion Override is to keep the meeting moving if the Gate Motion becomes unreasonable.

The Convention Facilitator will indicate an appropriate time scale for completion of an agenda item. This might vary according to urgency, but should be sufficient to allow to responses. No one should comment on topics other than the current agenda item.

New Agenda items are added by the Facilitator. Suggestions for new Agenda items should be sent to the Chairman directly (chairman@conventionusa.org).

Occasionally urgent matters arise which will require the Chairman to set aside the current agenda item to deal with the urgent matter."

Howard McCormick said...

The Rules Committee Chairman has went to sleep!

Howard McCormick said...

The Rules Committee Chairman has went to sleep!