(To be read at the Delegates welcome session)
Generally speaking, the AOSM follows “Robert’s Rules of Order”, and proceeds on as informal a basis as possible consistent with the rights of all concerned. It is important to remember that the purpose of rules of order is to make it easier for the AOSM to conduct its business. Rules exist to allow the AOSM to do what it needs to do to carry out the will of the Fellowship by reaching an informed group conscience.
Over the years AA has adopted some exceptions to Robert’s Rules, which help it to proceed more closely in accord with the spirit of A.A. Tradition. General Rules of Debate and Voting should be agreed to at the beginning of the AOSM,
- Each Committee considers carefully the items before it and presents its recommendations to the AOSM for acceptance or rejection.
- A Recommendation from a committee automatically becomes a motion made and seconded and ready for debate.
- Committee Chairs report back to the AOSM on behalf of the committee, but the AOSM Chair runs the session.
- Everyone goes to the microphone to speak so that all those present are part of the same discussion.
- Each time you speak please introduce yourself as follows:
First name / Last name, Country or Region
- Each person may speak for two (2) minutes
- Everyone is entitled to, and should, express his or her opinion. However, if someone else has already stated your perspective, it is not necessary to repeat the view. There is no third chance except on points of clarification.
- The AOSM Chair can ask for a “sense of the AOSM” about the committee recommendations. If there appears to be a consensus for the topic a vote is taken without debate. This is not to stifle discussion, but to help with the administration of the AOSM.
- On items of major importance a 2/3 majority or 2/3 against is needed .
- The Chair cannot rule on anything except points of order.
- Voting is normally by a show of hands.
- Third Legacy procedure is used for voting for the Chair, Secretary & Treasurer.
“Minority Voice “should always be given the opportunity to the side, which did not succeed.
After a deciding vote the Chair will ask if there is a minority voice. This is an
opportunity for a member who voted against the majority to make a new argument. They cannot repeat information already put to the AOSM.
After hearing the minority voice, any member who voted with the majority can either move to revote the motion or prepare a new motion. In other words, the minority voice has to convince at least one former opponent to change their vote. If no one who voted in the majority suggests either of these options, the original vote stands and discussion ends.