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Chapter 24. Debate and Parliamentary Pro... > Parliamentary Procedure - Pg. 208

Debate and Parliamentary Procedure 4. 208 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Protection of minority rights.The rights of the minority must be protected at all times. Although the ultimate decision rests with a majority, all members have such basic rights as the right to be heard and the right to oppose. The rights of all members--both majority and minority-- should be the concern of every member, for a person may be in a majority on one question, but in a minority on the next. Full and free discussion.Every matter presented for decision should be discussed fully. The right of every member to speak on any issue is as important as each member's right to vote. Simple and direct procedure.Believe it or not, parliamentary procedure is designed to guar- antee that the simplest and most direct procedure will be used to accomplish a purpose. Order of motions.All motions follow a specific order, arranged in order of importance. This keeps the meeting moving. Consideration of one question at a time.A meeting can deal with only one matter at a time. The various kinds of motions have therefore been assigned an order of precedence. Voting.Before members vote, they have the right to know the question before the assembly. This responsibility falls to the president or presiding officer. By extension, every member has the right to understand the meaning of any question presented to a meeting, and to know what effect a decision will have. A member always has the right to request information on any motion he or she does not thoroughly understand. Moreover, all meetings must be characterized by fairness and good faith. Maintaining impartiality.The rules of parliamentary procedure must be administered without bias. Presiding officers serve best when they remain neutral. To help maintain this impartiality, presiding officers do not participate in debate. The Least You Need to Know · A formal debate pits one side against the other in order to discover the best side of a controversial issue. · A formal debate begins with a proposition--an arguable statement that something should be considered or done. · There are only two sides to a debate: the affirmative side (upholds the proposition) or the negative side (argues against the affirmative side). · Unlike other public speaking situations, you can't have too much evidence when it comes to preparing for a debate. · The three main debate formats are the standard format, the cross-examination format, and the Lincoln- Douglas format. · Parliamentary law protects the right of the individual, the minority, the majority, and those absent from a meeting.