Dear Dinosaur Advice Column

Got questions about Robert's Rules of Order? Ann Macfarlane is a dinosaur who knows her stuff. She explains the complexity of Robert's Rules so it makes sense. She loves hearing from readers with their questions about Robert's Rules of Order.

Will a Vote of No Confidence remove the chair?

Dear Dinosaur: We have a small group in our Precinct who are trying to remove the Chairman and causing chaos, infighting, and name calling. They are going to call for a Vote of No Confidence at our next meeting. We have adopted Robert’s Rules of Order but don’t have any bylaws. How can we stop this coup?

Answer: A vote of no confidence is an expression of displeasure, but it causes no action to occur. If you had bylaws, perhaps they would define the procedure to remove the chair. Without them, you must refer to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, 12th edition, Chapter XX, Disciplinary Procedures. You will see that it is no small matter to remove a chair. You can read our post Removing the chair during a meeting here.

We strongly recommend that you adopt bylaws as soon as possible. Bylaws are an agreement between the organization and its members, and will give you tools to manage the chaos. Good luck!

Dear Dinosaur provides simple, practical answers to questions about Robert’s Rules and parliamentary procedure. Send your questions to Dear Dinosaur here. Our answers are based on Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 12th edition. As always, nothing in this post constitutes legal or business advice. For specific issues, seek a qualified authority.

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Ann Macfarlane

Ann G. Macfarlane is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. She offers an interactive and user-friendly way to master the key points for effective, efficient and fair meetings. Her background as a diplomat and Russian translator enables her to connect with elected officials and nonprofit board directors and give them the tools they need for success. She is the author of Mastering Council Meetings: A guidebook for elected officials and local governments.