Kānāwai Hoʻomalu Laulaha - General Parliamentary Law
All proceedings of meetings of the League and of the Executive Council shall be governed by the usual decorum and rules of Parliamentary Usage.
—Ka Hui Hawaiʻi Aloha ʻĀina (Hawaiian Patriotic League), bylaws, 3/4/1893
At least 80 percent of the content of RONR will be needed less than 20 percent of the time... The commonly needed basics of parliamentary procedure are well within the grasp of any person of ordinary schooling.
In only twenty minutes, the average reader can learn the bare essentials, and with about an hour's reading can cover all the basics.
The application of parliamentary law is the best method yet devised to enable assemblies of any size, with due regard for every member’s opinion, to arrive at the general will on the maximum number of questions of varying complexity in a minimum amount of time and under all kinds of internal climate ranging from total harmony to hardened or impassioned division of opinion.
Formal procedure is focused on accomplishing things, not just talking about things... this entire book is about solving meeting problems. Good governing documents and proper parliamentary procedure prevent many issues from ever becoming problems.
Parliamentary Procedure is about helping the group come to a decision; it is not about helping any one individual get his or her way, and it is certainly not intended to prevent members from participating in the group.
Robert's Rules is about conducting good meetings without any more formality than is absolutely necessary to protect the rights of everyone and keep things orderly. The rules are there to help, not hinder, business.
There are basically two ways to structure an organization. One way is based on the authoritarian model, which favors the concentration of power in a leader or a small group of people who may or may not be responsible to the members. In the extreme form of this model, one person or a small group (such as a board of directors) may make all the decisions with no input or final approval from the membership.
The second way to structure an organization is based on the democratic model, which means that the people or the members govern. In the pure form of this model, the members, not elected representatives, make all decisions. However, in most organizations, there is an agreed-upon balance of power between members and the officers they elect.
Adhering to parliamentary procedure is democracy in action.
Members always have a right to bring forward ideas or business for the entire membership to discuss, which they do by making a main motion. Ideas are not discussed first and then a motion made, but rather a motion is made and then discussed.
Interest in parliamentary procedure usually begins when people have a need for the knowledge. Perhaps you are elected chairman of the board or president of an organization. You now need the tools to do a good job if you want to have a productive term that strengthens the group. You must know how to plan a meeting and how to run one in an efficient and democratic manner. How does a presiding officer stay in control of the floor? What is his role in keeping the group focused on the motion at hand?
Notes and Comments emphasizes the simple machinery in Robert's, relates Robert's to the procedures most commonly used in meetings, and elaborates on concepts found in Robert's in an easy to follow question-and-answer format. Notes and Comments encourages members to obtain and study, rather than avoid, Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised.
Whether a society realizes it or not, the most important document for its members is the bylaws. It is the only document that tells the members how the society is supposed to function.
... guides the office professional of any level through the many steps of arranging meetings, putting together agendas, taking notes or minutes, transcribing them in a professional format, and doing the necessary follow-up to be successful... easy-to-understand and easy to put into practice... it remains a timeless resource and the most comprehensive and exhaustive primer written regarding meetings and minutes.
Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono
The object of this League shall be to affirm the continuity of Hawaiian independence; to restore Hawaiian national identity; to exert all peaceful and legal efforts to secure for the Hawaiian People and Citizens their Civil Rights; and to ensure that the United States of America complies with international humanitarian law.