Calling the Question Questions

Answers to questions submitted to Cagle's Parliamentary Procedure webpage.

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Calling the Question

I truly appreciate you taking some of your time to answer my questions. I also enjoy your style; it makes very clear to me. But I have another question for you. Is "calling the question" appropriate in our club board meeting? I have not found the "calling the question" terminology in Robert's. Thank you very much again.

There are a couple of points on "calling the question."

You will find it on p. 199 in Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised. Variations on "I call the question" are a colloquial form of the motion to close debate, formally called "Previous Question."

First of all, look at the rules for "previous question."

It is not in order when someone else has the floor--the person who "moves" the previous question or "calls the question" must have been recognized by the chair. The fact that someone yells it out does not compel the chair to recognize that as a legitimate motion, especially when the person who yells it out has already exhausted their rights to speak (i.e., twice) and when the chair is going to recognize someone who properly has asked to be recognized.

The motion, if made, needs to have a second, it is not debatable, and it requires a 2/3 vote to pass.

Years ago, before 1970, a "call for the question" was treated as simply an expression of opinion and not as a motion of any kind. However, the publication of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised established the principle that the chair is to treat "calling the question" as equivalent to a motion to close debate ("previous question").

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