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Stop that Railroad Train!

How To Run A Meeeting

If you would like to know more about how Parliamentarian Procedure from Little Ben, click here for my DVD called How To Run A Meeting.

 

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LITTLE BEN SAYS: NO RAILROADING ALLOWED!

            A great fear that many have today is that their airplane might be high jacked and they would be taken hostage.  This can happen at meetings, too!  Have your ever attended a meeting where a group of people have obviously gotten together before the meeting and planned to take over and the chair was involved, too?!  (This is definitely wickedness in high places.)  A member of a group presents its motion, the chair allows only them to speak or perhaps one of the opposition, the motion to debate is made, adopted, the vote taken and viola—it’s a done deal.  You have just experienced the “locomotion express.”

            Although express trains are great when traveling or commuting, they are destructive to the democratic process and cause great harm to organizations and the unity of its members. There are ways to stop this during the decision making process, but probably not as effective as the motion at the end to “reconsider and enter on the minutes.” 

            During the debate process a member can raise a point of order when sees his rights taken away, but no doubt this rebel group will stop that too. Usually a railroad job is when many members that would oppose its motion or antics are absent from the meeting.  That is where “to reconsider and enter on the minutes” works.  For this to work a member of the opposition needs to vote in favor of the motion.  That’s right he must vote in favor because the rule on this motion is that only a person on the prevailing side (those who are doing the railroad job) can make this motion.  But once it gets a second there is no debate.  Instead the motion is stopped, meaning not carried out until it can be brought up again at the next meeting.  This gives the opposition time to organize, get absent members to come to the next meeting, and plan its strategy on how to reverse this tyranny.