Significance of Parliamentary Law and procedures upon everyday activities often unrecognized!
Have you ever been in a meeting and heard the phrase ‘in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order’ or ‘parliamentary law’ spoken? Did you understand the action or question that was being considered? Do you know what it means when the presiding person, “calls for the question?” Did you understand what was being referred to? Ofttimes, we all have heard these terms in some group setting and may well have wondered just what does it all mean. “Robert’s or Demeiter’s? Which is better?” “Is there a ‘Dummies Book’ for that?”
Perhaps you’ve attended a business meeting where a vote was taken but you were not certain that it was done correctly. Ever attended a city council meeting and questioned whether the discussion was conducted properly? Maybe you belong to a civic or social group and want to be more active, perhaps even seek office, or serve as secretary, but are silent because you are unfamiliar with parliamentary law. These are not uncommon occurrences. “RRONR, anyone?”
The general public is woefully uninformed about Parliamentary Law and procedures. How do you overcome this deficiency? Glad you asked!
At its heart, Parliamentary Law is a set of rules which assist a gathering to conduct its business in a orderly and sensible manner, respective and protective of the rights the minority, while allowing for the attainment of a majority agreement. The development of Parliamentary Law and procedures has a rich and detailed history. Do you know which of the nation’s ‘founding fathers’ played a key role in the development of parliamentary law in the United States?
Having a working knowledge of parliamentary law can be beneficial in many aspects of daily activity. Members and officers of all types of organizations and groups, to include high school and college organizations, civic and social groups, school boards, city councils, county commissions and state legislators, as well as federal legislators, will find fulfilling their duties far easier with a solid knowledge base of parliamentary law and procedures. Public officials, committee and board members and appointees, government officials of all kinds, even business professionals, have need of a solid foundation of parliamentary law.
With persistent study, one can gain certification status and embark upon a career as a certified parliamentarian or even a certified professional parliamentarian. Demand for the services of these individuals is surprisingly quite high. Tennessee even has TAP, the Tennessee Association of Parliamentarians.
April is Parliamentary Law Emphasis Month. There are several organizations devoted to increasing general awareness of parliamentary law and procedures. The American Institute of Parliamentarians (AIP) is one such organization. The local chapter, the Clarksville Zeta Chapter of AIP meets the first Saturday of every month, 10 AM, at the Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library, 350 Pageant Lane. Meetings and membership are open to all wishing to improve their knowledge of parliamentary law and procedures.
From their website: “April is “Parliamentary Emphasis Month.” This is a time to acknowledge the quiet impact which parliamentary law and its procedures effect upon our lives. The American Institute of Parliamentarians, Clarksville Zeta Chapter, invite the Greater Clarksville-Montgomery County, Tennessee community to join in the annual observance of the important role which parliamentary procedure plays in the daily conduct of our lives.”
“Meetings of all kinds occur every day. The peaceful, successful conduct of these meetings is the result of established, respected procedure and protocols taken from various parliamentary authorities such as Robert’s Rules of Order. This ranges from simple rules of conducting a meeting, offering a motion, to the essential elements of taking minutes.”
“During this parliamentary law month, the Clarksville Zeta Chapter of AIP encourages our community to become familiar with parliamentary law and procedures for members of all kinds of organizations to understand how to protect their rights, and how to participate in the deliberations of the organizations to which they belong.” For more info, visit our website at: <www.czaip.org.> [Photos/graphic courtesy of Turner McCullough Jr.]