Parlimentary Procedure

I had the opportunity to sit in meetings governed by Robert’s Rules of Order for nearly 12 hours yesterday. People motioned, seconded, and even addressed people by their official titles — “Mr. Chairman” or “Mr. Secretary” or “Mr. Don’t Taze Me, Bro” — all for the sake of order, procedure, fairness and, let’s face it, fun.

I do enjoy watching the proceedings of such a meeting. The only irony is the fact that everyone moves to do this or approve that, yet we sit perfectly still while doing so. Nevertheless, in all of that stillness… that sleepy, hypnotic stillness, things get done. Or argued about. Either way, it’s all in good order… Robert’s order, that is.

Here are a few little-known facts from Robert’s Rules of Order that I’m making up as I go:

  • If the chairman of the board is running the meeting not from a chair but a couch, they are to be referred to as “Your Davenportness” or, simply “Hassock”
  • A gavel is a perfectly acceptable tool for gaining order, either by striking a tabletop or that mouthy guy in row four.
  • When someone in the meeting says “Call the Question”, everyone is to simultaneously put their hands in the air and say “Whatever happened to Tony Danza?”
  • Whether you’re building a deck or nominating a liaison, the same advice applies: measure twice, cut once. While this rule makes perfect sense when building a deck, experts are still baffled as to why Robert’s Rules of Orders mentions it.
  • I move that this blog post be done right now.

    Does anyone second?


    About radamdavidson

    I'm a husband, dad, and pastor living in Portage, Michigan. I suppose I'm a euphoric melancholy generalist with average skills, experiences, and passions across several intertwined disciplines and hobbies including music, speaking, writing, leadership, ministry, and collecting cultural artifacts from the 1980's -- mostly vintage boomboxes. You can read my blog at, subscribe to my podcast (RadCast) or friend me on
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