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for the Governance of the World Science Fiction Society Business Meeting
Group 1 - Meetings
Group 2 - New Business
Group 3 - Debate Time Limits
Group 4 - Official Papers
Group 5 - Variations of Rules
Group 6 - Mark Protection Committee Elections
Group 7 - Miscellaneous
Group 1: Meetings
Rule 1.1: Meeting and Session.
The Annual Meeting of the World Science Fiction Society shall consist of one or more Preliminary Business Meetings and one or more Main Business Meetings. The first meeting shall be designated as a Preliminary Business Meeting. All meetings at a Worldcon (preliminary, main, or otherwise) shall be considered a single "session" as defined in the Parliamentary Authority (see section 5.1 of the WSFS Constitution), regardless of whether such gatherings are called "meetings" or "sessions."
Rule 1.2: Preliminary Business Meeting(s).
The Preliminary Business Meeting may not directly reject, pass, or ratify amendments to the Constitution; however, all motions adhering to a Constitutional amendment are in order if otherwise allowed. The Preliminary Business Meeting may not refer a Constitutional amendment to a committee unless the committees instructions are to report to the Main Business Meeting. The Preliminary Business Meeting may not postpone consideration of a Constitutional amendment beyond the last Preliminary Business Meeting. The Preliminary Business Meeting may not amend a Constitutional amendment pending ratification. The Preliminary Business Meeting may consider any business not expressly forbidden to it by the Standing Rules or expressly reserved to the Main Business Meeting.
Rule 1.3: Main Business Meeting(s).
The Main Business Meeting may reject, pass, or ratify amendments to the Constitution. One Main Meeting shall be also be designated as the Site-Selection Meeting, where Site-Selection business shall be the special order of business.
Rule 1.4: Scheduling of Meetings.
The first Main Meeting shall be scheduled no less than eighteen (18) hours after the conclusion of the last Preliminary Meeting. No meeting shall be scheduled to begin before 10:00 or after 13:00 local time.
Rule 1.5: Smoking.
If smoking is allowed in the place where the Business Meeting is held, the Presiding Officer shall divide the room into smoking and non-smoking sections at the beginning of each meeting.
Group 2: New Business
Rule 2.1: Deadline for Submission of New Business.
The deadline for submission of non-privileged new business to the Business Meeting shall be two (2) hours after the official opening of the Worldcon or eighteen (18) hours before the first Preliminary Meeting, whichever is later. The Presiding Officer may accept otherwise qualified motions submitted after the deadline, but all such motions shall be placed at the end of the agenda.
Rule 2.2: Requirements for Submission of New Business.Two hundred (200) identical, legible copies of all proposals for non-privileged new business shall be submitted to the Presiding Officer before the deadline in Rule 2.1 unless such proposals are distributed to the attendees at the Worldcon by the Worldcon Committee. All proposals must be legibly signed by a maker and at least one seconder.
Rule 2.3: Interpretation of Motions.
The Presiding Officer shall reject as out of order any proposal or motion that is obviously illegal or hopelessly incoherent. In the absence of the maker of a motion or instructions to the contrary, the Presiding Officer shall be free to interpret the meaning of any motion.
Rule 2.4: Short Title.
Any item of new business considered by the Business Meeting shall contain a short title.
Group 3: Debate Time Limits
Rule 3.1: Main Motions.
The Presiding Officer shall designate the default debate time for main motions. The Business Meeting may, by majority vote, set the initial debate time limit for any motion to any positive whole number of minutes.
Rule 3.2: Allotment of Time.
If a question is divided, the time limits applicable to the question before it was divided shall apply to each portion of the divided question. Debate time shall be allotted equally to each side of a question. Time spent on points of order or other neutral matters arising from a motion shall be divided equally and charged to each side.
Rule 3.3: Amendments.
Debate on all amendments to main motions shall be limited to five (5) minutes, allotted equally to each side. Time spent on debate of an amendment shall be charged against the time for the main motion.
Rule 3.4: Motions Allowed After Expiration.
Motions that adhere to the main motion shall not be out of order because of the expiration of debate time, but shall be undebatable.
Rule 3.5: Minimum Substantive Debate.
If the debate time expires before either or both sides of the question have had an opportunity for substantive debate, any side that has not had such an opportunity shall have two (2) minutes to be used solely for the purpose of substantive debate.
Group 4: Official Papers
Rule 4.1: Indicating Revisions.
The Business Meeting staff shall clearly indicate all changes (including deletions) from the previous years version when they provide the Constitution and Standing Rules for publication prior to the following Worldcon. However, the failure to indicate such changes shall not affect the validity of the documents.
Rule 4.2: Corrections.
Any correction of fact to the Minutes or to the Constitution or Standing Rules as published should be brought to the attention of the Secretary of the Business Meeting in question and of the next available Business Meeting as soon as they are discovered.
Rule 4.3: Numbers, Titles, References, and Technical Corrections.
Numbers and titles of the various parts of the Constitution and Standing Rules are for the sake of easy reference only. They do not form a substantive part of these documents nor of any motion to amend these documents. The Business Meeting Secretary shall incorporate into these documents appropriate changes as required by newly adopted amendments. When making any such adjustments required by this section, the Business Meeting Secretary shall change article and section numbers, titles, and internal cross-references as necessary to maintain a consistent, parallel structure, which shall not be altered unless the Business Meeting explicitly so directs. The Business Meeting Secretary may change punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and other wording in the Constitution and Standing Rules only insofar as such changes clarify meaning and enhance consistency, and only insofar as such changes do not modify the substantive meaning of the documents.
Group 5: Variations of Rules
Rule 5.1: Nonstandard Parliamentary Authority.
If a Worldcon Committee adopts for the governance of the Business Meeting a parliamentary authority other than that specified in the Constitution, the Committee must in timely fashion publish information about how to obtain copies of the authority in question.
Rule 5.2: Constitutional and Standing Rule Amendments.
Motions to Amend the Constitution, to Ratify a Constitutional Amendment, and to Amend the Standing Rules shall be considered ordinary main motions, except as otherwise provided in the Standing Rules or Constitution. An object to consideration shall not be in order against ratification of a constitutional amendment.
Rule 5.3: Postpone Indefinitely.
The motion to Postpone Indefinitely shall not be allowed.
Rule 5.4: Amend; Secondary Amendments.
Secondary amendments (amendments to amendments) are not allowed except when the primary amendment is to substitute.
Rule 5.5: Previous Question.
A person speaking to a motion may not immediately offer a motion to close debate. The motion for the Previous Question (also known as the motion "close debate," "call the question," and "vote now") shall not be in order when there is less than one minute of debate time remaining, nor when either or both sides of the debate have yet to speak to a question. Before voting on the motion for the Previous Question, the Presiding Officer shall, without debate, ask for a show of hands of those persons who still wish to speak to the matter under consideration. Rule 5.6: Lay on the Table. The motion to Lay on the Table shall require a two-thirds (2/3) vote for adoption. Rule 5.7: Adjournment. The incidental main motion to adjourn sine die shall not be in order until all Special and General Orders have been discharged.
Rule 5.8: Suspension of Rules.
Rules protecting the rights of absentees, including this rule, may not be suspended.
Group 6: Mark Protection Committee Elections
Rule 6.1: Nominations.
Nominations for election to the Mark Protection Committee shall be allowed from the floor at each Preliminary Business Meeting. To be listed on the ballot, each nominee must submit to the Secretary of the Business Meeting the nominees consent to nomination and the nominees current region of residence. A nominee shall be ineligible if the nominee could not be elected due to the regional residence restrictions. The deadline for submitting such consent to nomination shall be set by the Secretary.
Rule 6.2: Elections.
Elections to the Mark Protection Committee shall be a special order of business at a designated Main Business Meeting. Voting shall be by written preferential ballot with write-in votes allowed. Votes for write-in candidates who do not submit written consent to nomination and region of residence to the Presiding Officer before the close of balloting shall be ignored. The ballot shall list each nominees name and region of residence. The first seat filled shall be by normal preferential ballot procedures. After a seat is filled, votes for the elected member and for any nominee who is now ineligible due to regional residence restrictions shall be eliminated before conducting the next ballot. This procedure shall continue until all seats are filled. Should there be any partial-term vacancies on the committee, the partial-term seat(s) shall be filled after the full-term seats have been filled.
Group 7: Miscellaneous
Rule 7.1: Question Time.
During the Site-Selection Meeting, fifteen (15) minutes of program time shall be allocated to each future seated Worldcon committee. During the first five (5) minutes, each committee may make such presentations as they wish. The remaining time shall be allocated for questions to be asked about that committees Worldcon. Questions may be submitted in writing at any previous meeting. Questions submitted in writing shall have priority over other questions if the person who submitted the question is present and still wishes to ask the question. No person may ask a second question as long as any person wishes to ask a first question. Questions are limited to fifteen (15) seconds and responses to two (2) minutes. If time permits at the Site-Selection Meeting, committees bidding for the right to host any Worldcon whose selection will take place in the next calendar year shall be allocated five (5) minutes of program time to make such presentations as they wish. The time limits in this rule may be modified by majority vote.
Rule 7.2: Dilatory Actions; Misuse of Inquiries.
The sole purpose of a "point of information" or "parliamentary inquiry" is to ask the Presiding Officer for an opinion of the effect of a motion or for guidance as to the correct procedure to follow. The Presiding Officer shall treat as dilatory any attempts to circumvent the rules of debate under the guise of points of information, parliamentary inquiries, or other queries and requests.
Rule 7.3: Counted Vote.
The Presiding Officer shall take a counted vote upon the request of ten percent (10%) of those members attending the meeting.
Rule 7.4: Carrying Business Forward.
Motions other than Constitutional amendments awaiting ratification may be carried forward from one year to the next only by being postponed definitely or by being referred to a committee.
Rule 7.5: Continuing Resolutions.
Resolutions of continuing effect ("continuing resolutions") may be repealed or amended by majority vote of subsequent Business Meetings without notice, and shall be automatically repealed or amended by applicable amendments to the Constitution or Standing Rules or by conflicting resolutions passed by subsequent Business Meetings.
Rule 7.6: Committees.
All committees are authorized to organize themselves in any lawful manner and to adopt rules for the conduct of their business, which may include conducting balloting by mail and limiting debate, subject to any contrary provisions of the Constitution, the Standing Rules, or instructions given to the committee by the Business Meeting.
Rule 7.7: Nitpicking and Flyspecking Committee.
The Business Meeting shall appoint a Nitpicking and Flyspecking Committee. The Committee shall:
- Maintain the list of Rulings and Resolutions of Continuing Effect
- Codify the Customs and Usages of WSFS and of the Business Meeting.
Rule 7.8: Worldcon Runners Guide Editorial Committee.
The Business Meeting shall appoint a Worldcon Runners Guide Editorial Committee. The Committee shall maintain the Worldcon Runners Guide, which shall contain a compilation of the best practices in use among those who run Worldcons.
The above copy of the Standing Rules for the Governance of the WSFS Business Meeting is hereby Certified to be True, Correct, and Complete:
Kevin Standlee, Chair
Pat McMurray, Secretary
2003 WSFS Business Meeting