Can the Chair refuse to accept an amendment because the “number” is too different?

I have received a question from a person who found me on Google.

His question is that the Chair had refused to accept an amendment to a motion because he felt that the number in the amendment was too fay away from the original.

Let me explain. The original motion was regarding the number of people who should be on a committee – it suggested 3 people. The amendment was to change 3 to 7. The Chair refused the amendment because the difference in number was too great – 3 to 7.

Was his ruling correct? Absolutely not! The difference in the number is of no consequence in regards ti the chair accepting or not accepting the amendment UNLESS the rules of the organisation state that the number cannot be more (or less) than a certain number. In this case no such rule existed. And so, the Chair was effectively making a decision which the meeting should rightly have made.

So the chair should have accepted the amendment and then allowed debate and the meeting to make a decision.

Bottom line: The Chair can only refuse an amendment if it is outside the rules of the organisation, or if it acts against the original INTENT of the motion. In this case the intent was to form a committee. The number was not the INTENT.

Please Note: The author accepts no responsibility for anything which occurs directly or indirectly as a result of using any of the suggestions or procedures detailed in this blog. All suggestions and procedures are provided in good faith as general guidelines only and should be used in conjunction with relevant legislation, constitutions, rules, laws, by-laws, and with reasonable judgement.

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