- Previous question
Previous question, in parliamentary procedure (also known as calling for the question, calling the question, close debate and other terms) is a motion to end debate, and the moving of amendments, on any debatable or amendable motion and bring that motion to an immediate vote.
Explanation and Use
It is often invoked by a member saying, "I call [for] the question."
Previous question (RONR) Class Subsidiary motion In order when another has the floor? No Requires second? Yes Debatable? No May be reconsidered? Yes, but if vote was affirmative, only before any vote has been taken under it. A negative vote on this motion can be reconsidered only until such time as progress in business or debate has made it essentially a new question. Amendable? No Vote required: Two-thirds
Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR)
Under Robert's Rules of Order and other parliamentary authorities, when a call for the question is made, a two-thirds vote is required to end debate. The motion for the previous question itself is not debatable.
The Standard Code (TSC)
The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure criticizes the "previous question" terminology as being confusing, and instead calls this motion the motion to close debate, the motion to vote immediately, or the motion to close debate and vote immediately. Regardless of the terminology, a two-thirds vote is required to end debate.
In legislative bodies, this concept is frequently referred to as cloture. The number of votes required for cloture varies, for example in the United States Senate, the vote required is three-fifths of the total number of Senators. Additionally, cloture in the U.S. Senate does not immediately end debate on the pending question, but rather imposes strict limitations on debate. It is therefore more akin to the motion to limit debate found in Robert's Rules, than the motion for the previous question.
- ^ AIP; Sturgis, Alice F. (2001). The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (4th ed. ed.). p. 235.
Parliamentary procedure Major concepts Subsidiary motions Privileged motions Incidental motions Incidental motions
(Requests and inquiries)
Motions that bring a question
again before the assembly
Legislative procedure Disciplinary procedures Parliamentary authoritiesRobert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR) · The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (TSC or Sturgis) · Demeter's Manual of Parliamentary Law and Procedure · Riddick's Rules of Procedure · Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure · Erskine May: Parliamentary Practice
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.