In Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, the naïve Mr. Smith yields the Senate floor out of courtesy to a colleague, In doing so he loses his ability to debate on his legislation to prevent graft and corruption, Mr. Smith learned the hard way about the importance of knowing procedural rules. Officers and members of boards and and associations need to know the rules of order to achieve their goals and help their enterprises succeed. Our expertise includes:
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Question: In a meeting, what is the president asking for when she asks "Is there anything for the good of the order?"
Answer: In the first instance, you should always feel free to ask the preisding officer, whether the presiding officer is a president, chairman, or moderator, what something means. To ask a question in a formal manner, you can make a “parliamentary inquiry.” This is an incidental motion that needs no second and is intended to ask a question or gain information about a matter of parliamentary law, procedure or rule of order. While a “parliamentary inquiry” is the technical name for this motion, and you should use it (by rising even when someone else is speaking and stating, "Mr. President, I rise to a parliamentary inquiry."), a good presiding officer should accept the simple question: “Could you please tell me what you are asking when you call for the good of the order?”
Context can sometimes make a difference in the meaning of phrases such as the Good of the Order. Although Good of the Order is quite a straight forward term, some organizations may have a different meaning for it. You should look to the organization's bylaws and the organizations manual of parliamentary procedure for clarity.
According to Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised 10th ed. (RONR), the term Good of the Order refers to that portion of the agenda or meeting during which members may make statements or offer observations about the character or work of the organization without having any particular item of business before the meeting. That is, under normal circumstances, members of a meeting are allowed to speak on business matters associated with an agenda such as a report of an officer or committee of the organization, or making a motion and speaking in favor or in opposition to a motion. Under the agenda heading Good of the Order, however, no particular business needs to be at hand in order for members to make statements relating to the organization.
Items that may come up under this heading are statements such as compliments or criticisms about some program or activity that the organization had undertaken. A Kiwanis Club member may want to commend the leadership for providing such a good guest speaker at last monht's meeting, or a member of the local Rotary Club may wish to express disatisfaction over a portion of the junior leadership training program. RONR also notes that some organizations take up motions or resolutions regarding formal disciplinary actions. Items that may be brought up under the heading of the Good of the Order vary from organization to organization. That's why it's important to consult the bylaws of the organization's bylaws or manual of parliamentary procedure.
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