Saturday, October 17, 2009

Robert's Rules of Order 

Today I attended the statewide meeting of MN Republican Women and again was reminded of something we really take for granted - a structure to run meetings. Robert's Rules of Order (RRO) has provided guidelines for meetings since 1876. Most of us grew up with its procedures and just assume that meetings will be run following them.

This is a rarity. I'm reminded of a Russian immigrant at a statewide Republican Convention a few years ago. He stood up at one point in the meeting and said (I paraphrase): "Do you realize how wonderful this is? People can debate, disagree, but they are heard. And no one gets mad. This is beautiful! This is America."

We hold debates in a civil manner and there is a procedure. It seems cumbersome at times but it works. If we lose our freedoms, RRO will also be lost. As frustrated as I used to get having to follow the RRO parliamentary process, I now appreciate it for its thoroughness and yes, beauty.

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