Debate is the right of every member to attempt to convince others to their point of view. Thoughtful and respectful debate will,

  • Engage members in the organization,
  • Engage members in the decision making process,
  • Allow members to better understand the issues,
  • Make members feel they have contributed, and
  • Result in better decisions.


Every member has the right to speak to every debatable motion before it is finally acted upon, unless this right is interfered with by a two-thirds vote of the assembly.


A member has the right to make two speeches of ten minutes length per day on each debatable question, and to change the limits of debate requires a motion adopted by a two-thirds vote. No member can speak a second time before another member who has not yet spoken wishes to speak.


In debate, members should observe the following;

  1. Confine remarks to the pending question,
  2. Refrain from attacking a members motives,
  3. Address all remarks through the Chair,
  4. Avoid the use of members’ names,
  5. Refrain from speaking against one’s own motion,
  6. Refrain from reading from papers or books, unless with permission of the assembly,
  7. Be seated unless speaking, and
  8. Refrain from disturbing the assembly.
  9. The Chair must remain impartial during debate and should have nothing to say on the merits of a pending question. To participate in debate, the Chair must relinquish the chair.