Steve G.

Robert’s Rules And a Plea to Angela

In Libertarian Party-US on September 10, 2008 at 11:50 am
Brian Miller wrote:
An individual sitting on the body cannot be ‘removed from the room’ unless he or she is also removed from the body through a 2/3 vote. […]  LNC has one of two options — it can pass a resolution condemning Ms. Keaton (which she has full right to debate and participate within, including a vote, as a sitting member). Or, it can vote on expulsion, which requires a 2/3 vote of the committee. It may not ‘kinda expel’ a member.
RRONR pp. 626-628 discusses “Breaches of order by members in a meeting.”  It says in part:
A motion offered in a case of this kind can propose that the offender be required to make an apology, that he be censured, that he be required to leave the hall during the remainder of the meeting or until he is prepared to apologize, that his rights of membership be suspended for a time, or that he be expelled from the organization. The offending member can, by majority vote, be required to leave the hall during the consideration of his penalty, but he should be allowed to present his defense briefly first.
It’s arguably a breach of order to divulge information from an executive session in near-real-time (i.e. before the weekend’s meeting ends, and more executive sessions are possible).  The LNC Policy Manual excerpts at http://lncregion7.blogspot.com/2008/09/for-breaching-confidentiality-in.html make it clear just how serious the LNC is about confidentiality of such sessions.
Miller also wrote:
As a finalist in the Northeastern Parliamentary Debate Society for several years in the mid and late 1990s, and a semifinalist in the world competition, I am quite familiar with Roberts’ Rules. […] RR is not a difficult book. It’s about 90 pages long. Read the damn book and get to know it.
RRONR is 704 pages long.
Lots of people involved in this contretemps are shooting themselves in the foot, but as Chuck Moulton says, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are breaking a rule in some actionable way.  Libertarians, of all people, should know that not all ill-advised actions are (or should be) against the rules.
I don’t like Angela allegedly breaking executive session confidentially about contract discussions, but I tend to like the idea of LNC members live-blogging their meetings.  LP convention delegates are grownups who can decide for themselves whether to keep Angela on the LNC, and whether her commendable dedication to transparency outweighs public comments like this (at http://disinter.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/back-from-the-rally-for-the-republic/) :

they need to put more effort into those displays if they want to be taken seriously. Not by me of course. I gave up months ago. The LP is hopeless.

Angela, please issue the narrowest and most succinct apology you can muster for this alleged breach of executive session confidentiality, and then stay on the LNC.  The LNC needs to keep hearing you speak for your constituents, and all of us members need to keep hearing your reports on what the LNC does.  If you want to give up on the LP, that’s fine, but those of us who haven’t given up think it would only hurt the Party if you accept the martyrdom that was offered to you.

  1. I’m in full agreement with Brian.

    On this🙂

    (though I do think that live-blogging a meeting you are attending as a voting member can be a distraction from your meeting duties – and a distraction to others at the meeting who may feel their remarks do not have your full attention).

  2. Thanks for that cite, Brian. It was probably the cite read at the meeting by Aaron Starr. Like I said though, I wasn’t taking notes.

    I agree with everything Brian says up there:
    1. The LNC remove from room motion was valid under RRONR
    2. The LNC remove from room motion was politically stupid
    3. Live blogging is a service to the membership
    4. Angela should narrowly apologize and stay on the LNC

  3. Good point about distraction but I’ll take a distracted LNC rep and a live blog over no live blog any day.

    One of the things we need to organize IMO is getting non-LNC members to LNC meetings who are also interested in working on transparency efforts, like videotaping or making audio records and live blogging.

    And to support that we need people and materials for training those non-LNC members who attend those meetings to be able to do that kind of transparency work.

    Live blogging is dead simple these days. Set up a twitter account and post to it assuming the location as net access, or if not just use a word processor document with frequent auto-saving.

  4. I agree with Brian H. and all the commenters so far.

  5. One of the things we need to organize IMO is getting non-LNC members to LNC meetings who are also interested in working on transparency efforts, like videotaping or making audio records and live blogging.

    Now THAT strikes me as a good idea. Let’s work through the schedule of meetings and line up a couple of reliable and even-tempered folks who live close enough for easy travel to each one. Perhaps rads and reformers could work together (heh, Ron Paul’s speech must have been more effective than I gave him credit for:) to each be represented and compare notes.

  6. As a party, do we want to play games with Roberts’ Rules or do we want to elect people to office? Sadly, the answer appears to be the former.

  7. The motion to eject and to go into ES are only valid if they followed their own policy.

    At this point there is no evidence to indicate that happened.

    Where’s Austin’s video, and where are the meeting minutes, and will they jive, assuming that Sullentrup doesn’t destroy the evidence for a potential JudCom appeal first? (that’s assuming it goes that far and hopefully it won’t?)

  8. I am so totally with y’all on #1-5!

    All very good ideas.

    So, how can I help you facilitate that? :o)

    This morning, one of our candidates sent me this . . .

    you can express the realization that the basic tenants of libertarianism are simply the tenants of an harmonious society, one of bravery and hard work, not fault and fear.

    That’s the way I like to look at it…

    Dan.

    Brilliant man. Bravery and hard work. Can we let loose of some of the fault and fear? I’m doing my best . . . will you?

  9. There is no reason for the LNC to have executive meetings except for legal matters, period. Anything else, as karlan’s policy book, is a fraud on Libertarianism, and was initiated by frauds who now defend it.

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