Libertarian National Committee Region 7
Monday, September 15, 2008
Executive Session, Robert's Rules, LNC Policy Manual
An incredible number of party members have been hopping up and down mad about Robert's Rules, the use of Executive Session and the formality of meetings
Robert's Rules are a set of private rules, also known as parliamentary procedure, that are a means of ensuring a fair, orderly meeting in which the Chair does not have too much power.
This set of rules are used by at least 80% of all businesses, private clubs and organizations. Libertarian Party Bylaws (Article 13) specify our use of Robert's Rules. It's actually the best system for us to conduct meetings - private rules for a private, self-governing organization.
Robert's Rules are also guidelines for polite meetings. Meetings that don't start out in an orderly fashion, and don't have rules, often degenerate into unruly, disorderly, anarchic free-for-alls in which nothing is accomplished. Formality is part of this procedure, and politeness and the use of respect (which may include the use of earned titles) can help to diffuse a lot of animosity in contentious situations. It also helps to remind me that obnoxious, untempered outbursts only hurt my chances of persuading my colleagues on the Committee.
Persuasion is one of the few tools I have, since my husband beats me for the use of force. .:very big evil grin:.
I also note that the titles used in meetings are earned titles; not only is the Admiral a hero for his long and distinguished service to our country, he is a reasonable, thinking and logical man whose opinions I very much respect. He has truly given His Time, His Treasure and His Sacred Honor in his service to both our country and the LNC in his contribution to more Liberty. Don't diss the Admiral in my hearing. (And for those of you to whom this is important, he also supports The Keaton's actions when she is right, and I believe that she still has his emotional support and friendship even if she is not totally in the right.)
Dr. Lark has earned his title of Dr. Not only is he a highly educated man and a college professor, he gives an incredible amount of His Time, His Treasure and His Sacred Honor to Liberty. He builds, maintains, and assists college libertarian organizations, as well as serving on the Board at The Advocates for Self-Government, and the Board of Directors of the International Society for Individual Liberty.
Dr. Mary Ruwart has also dedicated much of Her Time, Her Treasure, and her Sacred Honor to the cause. Dr. Ruwart has served on the boards of the International Society for Individual Liberty, the Fully Informed Jury Association, and the Michigan chapter of the Heartland Institute.
You may have differing opinions, but it's in all of our best interests to respect those who work so hard for the cause. After all, all of us like to get credit where it's due, and dissing others is a pretty sure way to make sure that you are dissed.
The LNC Policy Manual
These are the rules under which the LNC operates, within Party Bylaws. When we join the LNC, we get a copy. It's in all our meeting binders, along with the Bylaws. This is where the use of Executive Session, and the rules that govern how it is used, are detailed. The policy of how and when Executive Session can be used are basically the same as what is used in Washington State meeting, under our Public Meetings Act. There are some differences, of course, especially in that the LNC Policy Manual contains fewer subjects for Executive Session.
There have been several suggestions that the LNC Policy Manual be made available on LP.org. Until this is instituted (and I'm sure it will be!), the Policy Manual is available from me. (Your Regional Rep. will probably be willing to provide it, as well.) It's a fairly large .pdf file. Email LPWA.email@example.com, with "LNC Policy Manual Request" in the subject line, and I'll send it to you. I'll get it to you as quickly as possible, but be aware that it may take a week. It usually won't, but give me that long, please.
I hope that this answers some of the questions that you may have had about about these issues, and clears up some misconceptions.
Now go out an make it a gentle week . . . :o)