What's a "paliamentarian?" Aren't they in Great Britain?by Bylaw Bill Gillmeister on 10/22/13
Yes, I'm sure there are parliamentarians in Great Britain, but a parliamentarian is considerably different from a member of the British Parliament! A parliamentarian attempts to help meetings go better by applying procedural rules that meeting members agree to ahead time to make decisions.
One of the best rules is to limit the number of times and the amount of time each member can speak to, say, two times for two minutes. Have you ever been in a meeting where one member goes on and on and on? You sure could have used a rule this to prevent this from happening. This rule is generally called a limit to debate.
Many similar rules exist and have been compiled in various manuals of parliamentary procedure. The most famous is Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised. Arguabley the most famous person to have ever compiled such a manual is Thomas Jefferson who, in 1801, published the first uniquely American Manual of Parliamentary Practice.
He wrote and published this manual after years of serving in various legislative bodies including the Continental Congress. Many of these bodies had developed their own rules out of necessity to reach decisions in an organized and efficient manner. Our Founding Fathers saw the need to establish rules for the efficient and organized conduct of meetings.
Parliamentarians are indeed a critical element to successful meetings.