A "Motion" is used to move the debate away from the traditional format. "Motions" can ask the chair to change the order in which things are discussed, to call speakers for or against the resolution out of turn, or to force delegates not to abstain from voting. Motions may not interrupt the speaker.
Be careful when considering these motions. Some conferences or chairs may not recognise these particular items of procedure so may not give you the chance to speak if these are used "out of turn". Each conference should list in their individual handbooks which motions can be used. Handbooks will also state whether a motion can be voted upon, of if the discretion of the Chair is used.
To start of a Motion, any delegate can say "Motion to...." followed by any of the motions listed on this page. Motions must be agreed upon (or "seconded") by another delegate before they can go any further, and likewise any delegate can disagree with a motion (or "object") to stop it from continuing.
Usually Motions that are seconded but have no objections will be allowed to take effect. Motions that have objections might require a vote. A table showing which Motions require support of fellow delegates (and the amount of support required) is shown at the bottom of this page.
Motion to Move into Closed DebateEdit
Likewise, if the debate is "open", this motion will change it to "closed".
Motion to Extend Time For/AgainstEdit
Debates usually have a set time limit. A certain time is allowed for people to speak for a topic, and a certain time is allowed to speak against the topic. These times are set before the debate starts by the Chair. If you feel that there is more to be said either for or against, you can extend the allowable debate time with this motion.
Motion to Move into Time For/AgainstEdit
In a similar fashion, if you feel that there is no more to be added to one side or the other, this motion will allow you to give up on time either for or against, and move into the other side of the argument.
Motion to Table the TopicEdit
This motion tables a topic (ending debate on the topic) until it is reopened with a Motion to Reconsider. This motion can be used if you feel that enough has been said for now, and more could be said at a later time.
Motion to ReconsiderEdit
This motion is used to bring a resolution or topic that has been previously tabled back to the floor. It requires a previous topic to have been put aside.
Motion to Have a Coffee Break Edit
This motion is used when it is quite obvious that many delegations are either not paying attention or require a break to stimulate their thinking processes. Although this motion is looked down upon by chairs, it is often popular amongst delegates and may result in a standing ovation.
Similar to the "Consensus" motion above, this takes an Amendment that is under discussion and asks that it be passed straight away because no delegation will be voting against it. This is used commenly when an Amendment is, for example, correcting a spelling mistake.
Motion to Introduce an Unfriendly AmendmentEdit
This motion brings an amendment that has already been submitted to the Chair with the appropriate number of signatories to the floor for general debate and a vote when debate is closed on the resolution.
Motion to Divide the HouseEdit
In the likely event of a vote being particularly close, or even a tie, this motion forces all of those who have not voted (or "abstained") to vote either for or against. This could lead to a success or a failure for the resolution.
Motion to Divide the IssueEdit
In some cases, a delegate may approve of one particular part of a resolution and strongly disagree with another part. Dividing the Issue means that the sections of the resolution (as defined by the delegate) are debated, and voted upon, seperately.
Motion to Appeal the Decision of the ChairEdit
This motion appeals a dedcision of the Chair to the body. This motion requires the consent of the Chair and may be deemed out of order. If accepted by the Chair, the Chair and the Delegate shall each be given one minute to present their argument to the body.
Motion to EvictEdit
Should a fellow delegate (or an official such as the Chair) be making debate procedures difficult for all concerned, they may be evicted from the committee for an indefinate period. This motion should be used sparingly.
Some motions may be debated upon before they come into play, and some can take effect straight away. Some require a vote and can be passed with a simple majority (if over half of the non-abstaining delegates who vote for the motion) and some need an overwhelming majority (two thirds of the voters), others only require the decision of the Chair.
Note: Individual conferences may have slightly different rules and procedures when dealing with motions. The following table is for guidance only.
|Motion||Is Debate Required/Allowed?||Decision|
|Motion to Move into Open Debate||Required||Simple Majority|
|Motion to Move into Closed Debate||Required||Simple Majority|
|Motion to Extend Time For/Against||Allowed||Simple Majority|
|Motion to Move into Time For/Against||Allowed||Simple Majority|
|Motion to Table the Topic||Required||Overwhelming Majority|
|Motion to Reconsider||Allowed||Overwhelming Majority|
|Motion to Have a Coffee Break||Not Allowed||Requires no Objections|
|Motion to Introduce a Friendly Amendment||Not Allowed||Requires no Objections|
|Motion to Introduce an Unfriendly Amendment||Not Allowed||Chair|
|Motion to Divide the House||Allowed||Chair|
|Motion to Divide the Issue||Required||Chair|
|Motion to Appeal the Decision of the Chair||Required||Simple Majority|
|Motion to Evict||Allowed||Overwhelming Majority|