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23. Is it in order to re-open the discussion after the voting upon it has been commenced?
A debatable question is always open for discussion in the assembly, both in the negative and the affirmative. And unless, therefore, the vote is taken by the yeas and nays, in which case both sides of the question are voted upon simultaneously, it is always in order, even after the affirmative has been put, to renew the debate.
24. How can it affect the result to renew the discussion, seeing that, one side has already voted?
In case of a renewal of the debate after the affirmative has been put, the question, when again submitted, must be put both in the affirmative and the negative; for the new discussion may have brought new light, and, besides, members not present before may have since entered, and so long as the question remains under debate, every one has a right to a vote one way or the other, as he pleases.
25. Suppose a difficulty arises during a division on some point of order, as, for example, whether a member has a right to vote, how is the matter to, be disposed off
Should any difficulty on a point of order arise during a division, the President is to dispose of it by a peremptory decision; such decision, if improper, being afterwards subject to censure or correction.*
* He sometimes, however, in such cases, avails himself of the advice of experienced members; they keeping their seats to avoid the appearance of debate. But all this is at the pleasure of the President; otherwise the decision might be protracted beyond all reasonable bounds. See Jef. Manual, sec. xii., and Gushing, p. 131.
26. If while a decision is going on, the number of members present falls below that required for a quorum, does that hinder the decision of the question?
If, on a division, the result of the count shows that the whole number of votes is not equal to that required for a quorum, no decision can be had. In that event the matter to be decided, remains just as it was before the decision was ordered or undertaken, and when resumed must be continued from that point, or stage of progress.
MODE OF ORGANIZING.
27. What is the proper mode of organizing a meeting f The usual mode of organizing a meeting is for some
one * at the time appointed, to request the attention of the assembly present, and after suggesting the propriety of appointing a president, solicit nominations for that office. The nominations being made, he moves that the person first nominated be requested to preside over the deliberations of the meeting. If that be seconded, he says: "Those in favor of this motion will please signify it by saying l Aye P" The response to this being given, he adds: "Those opposed to the motion will please say i No P"
If the question be decided in the affirmative, f the person so elected immediately takes the chair, and proceeds to complete the organization, by requesting the members to nominate a suitable person for the office of Secretary, as also persons for such other offices as may be deemed necessary or expedient.
* If the meeting has been convened by a public call, or advertise ment, it seems most proper that one of the persons signing the call should commence business by either nominating a person to preside, or soliciting nominations from the assembly. A call for a public meeting should always state clearly the object had in view, and be Bigned by the parties most prominent in originating it.
f If, however, the question be negatived, another nomination is, of course, requested, and acted upon as before; and this process is repeated, if necessary, till a president is chosen.
28. Would it be in order to organize temporarily, for the purpose of effecting a permanent organization?
It would not only be in order, but it is also sometimes very desirable to effect a temporary organization, for the express purpose of obtaining a judicious selection of officers. This is especially the case where the meeting is composed of persons from different and distant parts of the country, and who may not, consequently, be personally known to one another.
The mode of appointing a chairman and other officers pro tern., is the same as that described (in answer to question 27) for the appointment of permanent officers.
29 In what way does the meeting, thus temporarily organized, proceed to select suitable officers f
It is customary, and, perhaps, always best, to refer the matter to a committee. The committee, in such case, should retire immediately, examine the claims of the several persons apparently suitable for the places to be filled, and, with all convenient dispatch, report a list of candidates to the meeting.*
30. Suppose it should be the will of a meeting, called for a temporary purpose, to form itself into a regular society, what form should he observed in so doing?
* For the mode of presenting and receiving the Report of a Committee, see page 000.
A meeting, or convention convoked for a temporary object, may be converted into a permanent organization, by passing a resolution to that effect, and providing, also, by resolution, for the appointment of a committee to draft and report a constitution for the proposed society. The constitution, when duly accepted and adopted, should be signed by all the persons adopting it, and should fix the conditions, on which other persons might afterwards be admitted to membership.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS AND MEMBERS.
31. What are the duties of the President?
The ordinary duties of the President are the following:
(1.) To preside impartially over the deliberations of the assembly,—to enforce the rules of order in the transaction of business,—to be kind and courteous himself, and to maintain due decorum among the members,—to give information, when necessary, on points of order, and, in cases of dispute, to decide upon questions of Parliamentary practice:
(2.) To receive and duly announce all messages and communications for the assembly,—to insist upon a strict observance of the order of business,—to submit, in an orderly way, all proper motions, propositions or petitions made by members,—to see that each member has his just rights and privileges in debate,—to put to vote all questions that have been properly brought forward for discussion and decision, and officially make known the result.
(8.) To appoint by name, when so directed or required, the members that are to serve on committees,— to take measures, as far as may be, that such committees discharge efficiently the duties incumbent upon them; and at all meetings, whether stated or special, to call for their Eeports, if due, and see that these are, in proper form, presented to the meeting:
(4.) To see, that the several other officers properly discharge the duties assigned to them,—that the requisitions of the Constitution and By-Laws be fully complied with,—that the instructions of the society on every occasion be rightly carried out,—that its acts and proceedings, when necessary, be duly authenticated by his signature; and, in short, that the true aims of the organization never be frustrated, either by his own, or the negligence of others.
32. What is the duty of a Vice-President?
The duty of the Vice-President is, in the absence of the President, to assume and transact all such business as properly falls within the province of the presidential office.
33. What are the duties of the Recording Secretary? The duties of the Eecording Secretary are, in general,
To call the roll at the opening of a meeting, and note the names of the members absent,-^-to record faithfully the doings of the society,—to read aloud such papers as may be ordered to be read,—to call the roll when the vote is taken by yeas and nays, and record the answer of each member,—to notify commit