Conflict of interest can be complicated

By Ann Macfarlane / February 14, 2020 / Comments Off on Conflict of interest can be complicated
A yellow road sign with icons of two cyclists and arrows pointing in opposite directions, indicating a two-way bike lane, helps avoid the conflict of interest between riders going different ways.

The basic principle underlying conflict of interest is easy to state but applying it in real-life cases can be complicated. In a nutshell, when you accept a position on a local government body or a nonprofit board, you are obliged to put the interests of the organization above your own personal interest, and you can’t…

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If you abstain from a vote, what happens?

By Ann Macfarlane / April 17, 2015 /
A diverse group of hands of various skin tones, some choosing to abstain from joining, are raised against a blue sky backdrop.

A council member called me recently with one of the most common errors people make about Robert’s Rules of Order. She said, “We have a really controversial vote coming up, and if someone abstains, that counts as a ‘yes’ vote, right?” No, it doesn’t. Under Robert’s Rules of Order, you can vote “aye” or you…

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