Motion (parliamentary procedure)
Motions can bring new business before the assembly or consist of numerous other proposals to take procedural steps or carry out other actions relating to a pending proposal or to the assembly itself.
Generally, a motion should be phrased in a way to take an action or express an opinion. A motion to not do something should not be offered if the same result can happen without anything being done. Such a motion could result in confusion if the assembly does not want to not do it.
Process of handling motions
- A member obtains the floor and makes a motion.
- Another member seconds the motion.
- The chair states the motion.
- Members debate the motion.
- The chair puts the motion to a vote.
- The chair announces the results of the vote and what happens with the motion.
A motion is proposed by a member of the body, for the consideration of the body as a whole. Generally, the person making the motion, known as the mover, must first be recognized by the chairman as being entitled to speak; this is known as obtaining the floor.
Once the mover has obtained the floor, the mover states the motion, normally prefixed with the phrase "I move." For instance, at a meeting, a member may say, "I move that the group donate $5 to Wikipedia."
Instead of being given verbally, a motion may be made in writing, called a resolution. If the motion was in writing, the mover would say "I move the resolution at the desk" or "I move the following resolution" and would then read it.
Generally, once the motion has been proposed, consideration by the assembly occurs only if another member of the body immediately seconds the motion.
Once the chair states the motion, it becomes the property of the assembly and the mover cannot modify it or withdraw it without the assembly's consent.
Classification of motions
- Main motions, those that bring business before the assembly when no other motion is pending. This is the most common type of motion.
- Subsidiary motions, which affect the main motion being considered.
- Privileged motions, which are urgent matters that must be dealt with immediately, even if they interrupt pending business.
- Incidental motions, which relate in different ways to the business at hand.
- Motions that bring a matter again before the assembly.
Classes 2, 3 and 4 are collectively referred to as "secondary motions".
The United States Senate and House of Representatives have their own specialized motions as provided in the Standing Rules of the United States Senate and the procedures of the United States House of Representatives, respectively.
Rules on use
Generally only one motion can be considered at a time. There is a precedence, or ranking of the motions, when multiple motions are made.
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