What is parliamentary procedure and why is it important? Parliamentary procedure refers to the rules of a democracy — the way a group of people come together, present and discuss possible courses of action, and make decisions. "Parliamentary procedure is not about making everybody play fair. It is about providing a level playing field."
What is a Parliamentarian? A Parliamentarian is appointed by the president. Her main function is to give advice on parliamentary procedure to the president, officers, committees, and members of the organization. “The Parliamentarian is much like an official in a game. She is to be impartial and make sure everyone plays by the rules.” She remains neutral on issues and cannot make motions, debate or vote, except by ballot.
How to be effective? Develop your knowledge and help members learn by utilizing resources available:
- Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised 11th edition
- Department of Iowa Blue Book 2016-2017 (www.iowaala.org/)
- American Legion Auxiliary Unit Guide Book (www.ALAforVeterans.org)
- National Constitution, Bylaws and Standing Rules (www.ALAforVeterans.org)
- Parliamentary Procedure Booklet (http://emblem.legion.org/searchprods.asp)
- District, County, Unit Constitution, Bylaws and Standing Rules.
All units are encouraged to review their Governing Documents at the beginning of the Auxiliary year. If your unit should make changes to your Constitution and Bylaws or Standing Rules, mail two (2) copies and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to me for approval. I will return one (1) copy to you and send one (1) copy to the Department Office. Please call if you have questions.
Parliamentary Procedure helps to get things done:
√ Make motions that are in order,
√ Obtain the floor properly,
√ Obey the rules of debate,
√ Speak clearly and concisely,
√ And most of all, be courteous.
√ That’s always in order!