A Subtle Action to Watch for at GS 2007

This is just a short post, of special interest to voting delegates at GS2007.

Last year, during the formation of General Synod, it was suggested that the Synod give blanket privilege of the floor to all staff (allowing them to speak). This was an innovation; normally staff are not to speak at the Synod except to answer questions specifically put to them (Wes tends to break that rule pretty consistently, but, oh well) so that they will not be in the position of unduly influencing the delegates. The argument for doing this, according to Wes, was that, otherwise, the GS had to grant privilege of the floor each time a staff member was asked a question, and this was cumbersome and time-consuming.

Unfortunately, the motion put on the floor and approved gave staff privilege of the floor to speak to anything and everything–a status equal to and, in practice, greater than that of corresponding delegates (who were encouraged only to speak to areas of expertise, etc.)–and the staff used that status.

My suggestion would be that a voting delegate needs to be in front of this, making a motion specifically to allow staff privilege of the floor TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM THE SYNOD. This would deal with the time-consumption issue while appropriately limiting the role of staff, avoiding any appearance of undue influence. Delegates should argue against any larger blanket privilege motion.

Just something for which you can keep your eyes and ears open.

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3 thoughts on “A Subtle Action to Watch for at GS 2007

  1. I’ll keep that in mind. You have identified a good point of order. Maybe we should also motion for Wes to keep his mouth shut (or maybe even resign).

  2. Motioning for Wes to resign is unproductive and inflammatory. Motioning for him to be more circumspect is only helpful if the chair enforces it (and I haven’t seen that happen in years).

  3. I also it would be helpful to the president to be informed that lettimg Wes speak only to the question is the appropriate thing to do. Time managemnt alone makes that a prudent approach. I missed hearing about the ‘blanket’ approval for staff to speak (I am sure that they are not free to say anything but to ‘speak with one voice…’

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