Outback Steakhouse is one of my favorites. The company aims to please, and yet “No Rules, Just Right” can have a twist to it. There are rules for medium rare as well as how customers are served. The people appreciate this. Certainly, one doesn’t just walk out after the meal saying, “No Rules” – you have to pay, and that’s just right.
Spartanburg County GOP Convention had a generally pleasant convention April 9, 2011. However, it is sad to see an arrogant attitude displayed in the 2009 SCGOP Convention find its way to county convention process this year. Delegates to the state convention May 16, 2009 may remember well that after one introduced himself and stated to the chair that he represented Spartanburg County, the Temporary President, Bobby Harrell, asked in a condescending tone, “And who are you?” Then the motion to slightly amend the SCGOP platform was silenced with a “slight of the tongue” from a person on the platform behind the chair.
That parliamentary maneuver from Robert’s Rules incensed us then as was very clearly voiced to those who served in the “360 on the SCGOP Convention” evaluation May 30, 2009. These negative Party attitudes necessitate staking rights to insure that no rules subvert the pleasure of the people in convention.
Customs and rules obstructed what’s “Just Right” for the Spartanburg County GOP Convention, April 9, 2011, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Temporary President, Mr. David Britt, evidenced this when he announced “I’M going to get us out of here, as I said, by 1:00 p.m.” Later Mr. Britt disallowed a request to move a resolution from the floor, by repeating “This is NOT OUR CUSTOMARY procedure.” Is it customary for a single-issue resolution having received overwhelming support at the precinct level to be suppressed in the county convention? “Tradition” must not trump respectful speech. Will it be allowed at the state convention, or are we just fulfilling a “program” and then “Go Party?”
Again the chair disallowed an appropriate request for a 2/3 vote to suspend the rules and consider a motion from the floor. While the parliamentarian poorly advised the chair, a “Party attitude” that wreaks of an arrogant mindset holds hostage the convention with strict rules, agenda and a stopwatch. This suppresses the voice of WE THE PEOPLE and smacks of that same cocky attitude displayed by those on the platform of the 2009 state convention.
Delegates, pay close attention to the agenda and the LATER RULES hastily presented at the beginning of a convention! These could be modified.
Momma used to holler down the basement steps, “Don’t make me come down there!” The SC Patriots may come down when the right of the people is snatched by a “Ruler” – and we will not be alone.
Someone will say, “But what of the media or perhaps the reputation of a censured official?” The November 2010 election evidenced that THE PEOPLE have had enough! ENOUGH being run over rough shod because elected leaders communicate, “I know what’s best for the people.” We continually see this in the way “business” is done in the Capitol, and we’re not going to take it anymore.
Calm down. OK. Scripture admonishes us to “speak the truth in love.” It may more literally be translated “Truthing in love.” It’s an attitude from the heart. I can have Christian love for a person and disagree with that individual’s political pattern of going against the people served. We can attack the political pattern, but should an individual be singled out?
In my view this response, “You don’t want to have a floor fight ALL afternoon, do you?” lacks respect for The People’s Voice and their sacred honor. Our Founding Fathers invested long afternoons in sweltering Philadelphia heat forging words for our cherished liberty and freedoms. Should we expect less today in air-conditioned comfort?
Robert’s Rules parliamentary procedure is a METHOD whereby a body MAY be able to do business in a respectful fashion. While not an expert, in over twenty years of chairing, I allowed persons to speak respectfully and Robert’s Rules, or “convention rules” were never used as a WEAPON to circumvent the voice and choices of the people.
The GOP is not well served by having “open secrets” hidden behind “rules.” Our vote is secret. The voice is not secret. Actually, there are higher rules than Robert’s Rules – starting with the 1st Article, “The right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” If the Party plans to govern by the the constitution, let’s remember what comes first.
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