debate rules and procedures
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debate rules and procedures

debate rules and procedures

Announce the result: “Senator (Name of Senator) Bill [passes or fails] by a vote of (#votes in favor to # votes against].” Move on to the next Bill, follow the same procedures set forth above. Clear rules should specify a majority of what: “a majority of those present and voting,” “a majority of those present,” or even “a majority of all members,” making the use of the term “a simple majority” unnecessary—and indeed, it is best avoided. The rules of the Indian constituent assembly provided that Hindustani (Urdu or Hindi) or English could be used, but, if the president of the constituent assembly took the view that a member could not express himself or herself in one of those languages, that member could address the constituent assembly in his or her native tongue and a summary could be provided for members in English or Hindustani. To allow silence to be a vote against does make it easy to abstain. In debates on major motions, regional groupings had one hour each. At least 75 percent of all the members, whether present or not (sometimes used to amend constitutional clauses regarded as being of particularly great significance). Announce the Bill to be considered: “The Bill sponsored by Senator (Name of Senator) involving (Subject of Bill), will now be considered. Ö The length of permitted speeches will probably be influenced by the size of the deliberating body, and by the stage of the process. In a brief form, here are the rules for MSPDP competitions. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Though the “Aye” vote sounded overwhelming, it is not possible for anyone to say exactly who said “Aye”—and this may explain why so many members of parliament felt able to argue against the document in the referendum campaign. In Nepal some members expressed concern that they might be subject to pressure, and some civil society activists were worried that members from various ethnic or caste groups and women would not have freedom to represent those groups, but would be essentially “vote banks” for their parties and their concerns. Women’s caucuses are common in legislatures around the world. The rules for a constitutional commission or a similar body are likely to be simpler than those for a constituent assembly. Consensus may be easier to achieve in small bodies, such as a commission. Once the vote has been counted, the resulted will be read out by the chair. But should the sessions themselves be held in public? And if the atmosphere sours—as it has in some commissions—rules that make all the members feel they have a fair chance to participate may become important. Rules will be needed especially for a constituent assembly; even the regular legislature may need some special rules for making a constitution, different from its regular rules of procedure. One writer (Aili Mari Tripp) says, “Even in parliamentary bodies, women have difficulty being taken seriously, being listened to, and are frequently subjected to humiliating stereotypes and derogatory remarks” (Tripp 2011: 153). But no group should be allowed to hold the committee for ransom by failing to turn up. Like a face to face debate, it is expected that delegates will remain present unless there are extenuating circumstances. There is also a risk in some countries of bribery; this certainly took place in the Kenyan National Constitutional Conference [2005]. It takes 67% of those present to stop the Filibuster. They should not be too many in number—which means that they must represent substantial (in the sense of important) interest groups or issues. In Nepal an attempt to recognize a women’s caucus in the rules was unsuccessful, defeated by the parties’ reluctance to lose control. MUN Impact is a registered 501(c)(3) with EIN Tax ID # 46-2648241. One issue in constituent assemblies is: How far ought party members to be subject to a requirement to vote according to “party line”—or how extensive ought the party line to be? Research shows that male interruption of women speaking is more likely than any other type of harassment. There is also evidence of sexual harassment of women parliamentarians in some countries, including in South Africa (Geisler 2000: 618) and Uganda (Tripp 2001: 153, citing Tamale 1999), and even in Sweden (The Local 2007). Committees were given two hours to report to the plenary. If a document is being adopted for the first time, it is probable that a particular vote in favor will be required. Cultural practices and social expectations often make it hard for women to participate fully in public bodies. Even in more orderly circumstances the presence of a certain group might overawe the members. The administration of the constitution-making body should be responsible for ensuring that there is a constant flow of accurate information to the public. Copyright © 2020 Online Model United Nations | A program of MUN Impact. At some stage, however, a draft already prepared by a particular process may then be presented to another body. It takes 67% of those Senators present to vote in favor of a Bill in order for it to pass. There are risks in openness. This section focuses particularly on constituent assemblies, and to some extent on commissions, though the issues are relevant to all bodies that engage in constitution-making tasks. Provisions about sign language could also be explicit. In that instance there was a genuine risk of intimidation by warlords. A mechanism to handle deadlocks is almost bound to be required at some point, whether there is formal provision for it in the rules or not. If there is to be a vote that requires a special majority (two-thirds of the membership is common), then at least that number must be present. The rules for committees could be different. His conclusion is that committees should sit in private and the plenary in public (Elster 1995: 386). It is absolutely essential that there be a way to limit the length of speeches. In legislative committees in the United States, “women entered the discussion later, spoke less, took fewer turns, and made fewer interruptions than men” (Kathlene 1994: 565). Papers on which discussions are to be based should be publicly available in time to permit interested parties to make submissions and get in contact with observers. Senators should raise their hand if they want to speak on a Bill and the President of the Senate will call on them if he/she wants to let them speak. But the rule drafters could, and should if this is what they meant, have been specific and said “a majority of those present.” The normal meaning of “simple majority” in English is “a majority of those present and voting.” “Absolute majority” would most likely have meant “a majority of those present”—as a member of the Timor-Leste constituent assembly pointed out.

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