The silent majority is an unspecified large group of people in a country or group who do not express their opinions publicly. The term was popularized by U. S. President Richard Nixon in a November 3, 1969, speech in which he said, "And so tonight—to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans—I ask for your support." In this usage it referred to those Americans who did not join in the large demonstrations against the Vietnam War at the time, who did not join in the counterculture, who did not participate in public discourse. Nixon along with many others saw this group of Middle Americans as being overshadowed in the media by the more vocal minority. Preceding Nixon by half a century, it was employed in 1919 by Warren G. Harding's campaign for the 1920 presidential nomination. Before that, the phrase was used in the 19th century as a euphemism referring to all the people who have died, others have used it before and after Nixon to refer to groups of voters in various nations of the world.
The phrase had been in use for much of the 19th century to refer to the dead—the number of living people is less than the number who have died throughout human history, so the dead are the majority in that sense. Phrases such as "gone to a better world", "gone before", "joined the silent majority" served as euphemisms for "died". In 1902, Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan employed this sense of the phrase, saying in a speech that "great captains on both sides of our Civil War have long ago passed over to the silent majority, leaving the memory of their splendid courage." In May 1831, the expression "silent majority" was spoken by Churchill C. Cambreleng, representative of New York state, before 400 members of the Tammany Society. Cambreleng complained to his audience about a U. S federal bill, rejected without full examination by the United States House of Representatives. Cambreleng's "silent majority" referred to other representatives who voted as a bloc: Whenever majorities trample upon the rights of minorities—when men are denied the privilege of having their causes of complaint examined into—when measures, which they deem for their relief, are rejected by the despotism of a silent majority at a second reading—when such become the rules of our legislation, the Congress of this Union will no longer justly represent a republican people.
In 1883, an anonymous author calling himself "A German" wrote a memorial to Léon Gambetta, published in The Contemporary Review, a British quarterly. Describing French Conservatives of the 1870s, the writer opined that "their mistake was, not in appealing to the country, but in appealing to it in behalf of a Monarchy which had yet to be defined, instead of a Republic which existed. In Collier's magazine, Barton portrayed Coolidge as the everyman candidate: "It sometimes seems as if this great silent majority had no spokesman, but Coolidge belongs with that crowd: he lives like them, he works like them, understands."Referring to Charles I of England, historian Veronica Wedgwood wrote this sentence in her 1955 book The King's Peace, 1637–1641: "The King in his natural optimism still believed that a silent majority in Scotland were in his favour." In 1955, while Nixon was serving as vice-president to Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and his research assistants wrote in his book Profiles in Courage, "Some of them may have been representing the actual sentiments of the silent majority of their constituents in opposition to the screams of a vocal minority..."
In January 1956, Kennedy gave Nixon an autographed copy of the book. Nixon wrote back the next day to thank him: "My time for reading has been rather limited but your book is first on my list and I am looking forward to reading it with great pleasure and interest." Nixon wrote Six Crises, his response to Kennedy's book, after visiting Kennedy at the White House in April 1961. In 1967, labor leader George Meany asserted that those labor unionists who supported the Vietnam War were "the vast, silent majority in the nation." Meany's statement may have provided Nixon's speechwriters with the specific turn of phrase. In the months leading up to Nixon's 1969 speech, his vice-president Spiro T. Agnew said on May 9, "It is time for America's silent majority to stand up for its rights, let us remember the American majority includes every minority. America's silent majority is bewildered by irrational protest..." Soon thereafter, journalist Theodore H. White analyzed the previous year's elections, writing "Never have America's leading cultural media, its university thinkers, its influence makers been more intrigued by experiment and change.
Mr. Nixon's problem is to interpret what the silent people think, govern the country against the grain of what its more important thinkers think."Thirty-five years Nixon speechwriter Pat Buchanan recalled using the phrase in a memo to the president. He explained how Nixon singled out the phrase and went on to make use of it in his speech: "We used'forgotten Americans' and'quiet Americans' and other phrases, and in one memo I mentioned twice the phrase'silent majority,' and it's double-underlined by Richard Nixon, it would pop up in 1969 in that great speech that made his presidency." Buchanan noted that while he had written the memo that contained the phrase, "Nixon wrote that speech by himself."Coincidentall
Parliamentary procedure is the body of rules and customs governing meetings and other operations of clubs, legislative bodies and other deliberative assemblies. In the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and other English-speaking countries it is called chairmanship, the law of meetings, procedure at meetings or the conduct of meetings. In the United States, parliamentary procedure is referred to as parliamentary law, parliamentary practice, legislative procedure or rules of order. At its heart is the rule of the majority with respect for the minority, its object is to allow deliberation upon questions of interest to the organization and to arrive at the sense or the will of the assembly upon these questions. Self-governing organizations follow parliamentary procedure to debate and reach group decisions—usually by vote—with the least possible friction. Rules of order consist of rules written by the body itself, but usually supplemented by a published parliamentary authority adopted by the body.
National, state/provincial and other full-scale legislative assemblies have extensive internally written rules of order, whereas non-legislative bodies write and adopt a limited set of specific rules as the need arises. The term gets its name from its use in the parliamentary system of government. In the 16th and 17th century, there were rules of order in the early Parliaments of England. In the 1560s Sir Thomas Smyth began the process of writing down accepted procedures and published a book about them for the House of Commons in 1583. Early rules included One subject should be discussed at a time Personal attacks are to be avoided in debate Debate must be limited to the merits of the question Division of a question when some seem to be for one part but not the other The Westminster parliamentary procedures are followed in several Commonwealth countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In Canada, for example, the House of Commons uses House of Commons Procedure and Practice as its primary procedural authority.
Others include Arthur Beauchesne’s Parliamentary Rules and Forms of the House of Commons of Canada, Sir John George Bourinot’s Parliamentary Procedure and Practice in the Dominion of Canada, Erskine May’s The Law, Privileges and Usage of Parliament from Britain. The rules of the United States Congress were developed from the parliamentary procedures used in Britain; the American parliamentary procedures are followed in many nations, including Indonesia, the Philippines and South Korea. The procedures of the Diet of Japan have moved away from the British parliamentary model. In Occupied Japan, there were efforts to bring Japanese parliamentary procedures more in line with American congressional practices. In Japan, informal negotiations are more important than formal procedures. Written codes of rules govern in Italy the life of the Houses of the Parliament: the Constitutional Court is judge on the limits beyond which these regulations cannot go, exceeding the parliamentary or political function, on their bad application when a law is passed through.
Parliamentary procedure is based on the principles of allowing the majority to make decisions and efficiently, while ensuring fairness towards the minority and giving each member or delegate the right to voice an opinion. Voting determines the will of the assembly. While each assembly may create their own set of rules, these sets tend to be more alike than different. A common practice is to adopt a standard reference book on parliamentary procedure and modify it through special rules of order that supersede the adopted authority. A parliamentary structure conducts business through motions. Members bring business before the assembly by introducing main motions, or dispose of this business through subsidiary motions and incidental motions. Parliamentary procedure allows for rules in regards to nomination, disciplinary action, appeals and the drafting of organization charters and bylaws; the most common procedural authority in use in the United States is Robert's Rules of Order. Other authorities include The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure and Demeter's Manual of Parliamentary Law and Procedure.
A common text in use in the UK within trade unions, is Lord Citrine's ABC of Chairmanship. In English-speaking Canada, popular authorities include Kerr & King's Procedures for Meeting and Organizations; the Conservative Party of Canada uses Wainberg's Society meetings including rules of order to run its internal affairs. In French-speaking Canada used rules of order for ordinary societies include Victor Morin's Procédures des assemblées délibérantes and the Code CSN. Legislative assemblies in all countries, because of their nature, tend to have a specialized set of rules that differ from parliamentary procedure used by clubs and organizations. In the United Kingdom, Thomas Erskine May's Treatise on the Law, Privileges and Usage of Parliament is the accepted authority on the powers and procedures of the Westminster parliament. There are the Standing Orders for each House. Of the 99 state legislative chambers in the United States, Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure governs parliamentary procedures in 70.
The United States Senate follows the Standing Rules of the United States Senate, whil
Abstention is a term in election procedure for when a participant in a vote either does not go to vote or, in parliamentary procedure, is present during the vote, but does not cast a ballot. Abstention must be contrasted with "blank vote", in which a voter casts a ballot willfully made invalid by marking it wrongly or by not marking anything at all. A "blank voter" has voted, although their vote may be considered a spoilt vote, depending on each legislation, while an abstaining voter hasn't voted. Both forms may or may not, depending on the circumstances, be considered to be a protest vote. An abstention may be used to indicate the voting individual's ambivalence about the measure, or mild disapproval that does not rise to the level of active opposition. Abstention can be used when someone has a certain position about an issue, but since the popular sentiment supports the opposite, it might not be politically expedient to vote according to his or her conscience. A person may abstain when they do not feel adequately informed about the issue at hand, or has not participated in relevant discussion.
In parliamentary procedure, a member may be required to abstain in the case of a real or perceived conflict of interest. Abstentions do not count in tallying the vote positively. White votes, may be counted in the total of votes, depending on the legislation. An active abstention can occur where a voter votes in a way that balances out their vote as if they had never voted; this has occurred many times in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. During a division, a Member of Parliament may abstain by voting both "yes" and "no"; this is the same as not voting at all, as the outcome will not be changed by the active abstention. However, in the House of Lords of the United Kingdom, active abstention is not possible as a Lord voting both ways will be removed from the list of votes. In another manner, an intentionally spoilt vote could be interpreted as an active abstention. An intentionally spoilt vote is caused by a voter who turns to an election and invalidates the ballot paper in some way; because of the nature of an abstention, only intentionally spoiled ballots could be counted as an active abstention.
In the United Nations Security Council, representatives of the five countries holding a veto power sometimes abstain rather than vetoing a measure about which they are less than enthusiastic if the measure otherwise has broad support. By convention, their abstention does not block the measure, despite the wording of Article 27.3 of the United Nations Charter. If a majority of members of the United Nations General Assembly or one of its committees abstain on a measure the measure fails. In the Council of the European Union, an abstention on a matter decided by unanimity has the effect of a yes vote. In the United States House of Representatives and many other legislatures, members may vote "present" rather than for or against a bill or resolution, which has the effect of an abstention. In the United States Senate, the Presiding Officer calls each Senator's name alphabetically, and, if abstaining, the Senator must give a reason for the abstention. Members may decline to vote, in committee or on the floor, on any matter which he or she believes would be a conflict of interest.
There have been a number of instances around the world where popular movements have boycotted elections. In South Africa, there is a strong presence of abstention campaigns that make the structural argument that no political party represents the poor; the "No Land! No House! No Vote!" Campaign, started by the Landless Peoples Movement in 2004, is the largest of such campaigns. These campaigns have been met with significant repression. In 1999, a human rights activist was convicted in Belarus for calling not to participate in the local elections he considered to be undemocratic. In 2004 the United Nations Human Rights Committee found the conviction to violate freedom of expression. Other social movements and civil society organisations in other parts of the world have similar campaigns or non-voting preferences; these include the Naxalites in India, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in Mexico and various anarchist and left communist oriented movements. In Mexico's mid term 2009 elections there was strong support for'Nulo'—a campaign to vote for no one.
In India, poor peoples movements in Singur and Lalgarh have rejected parliamentary politics. There have been no vote campaigns in Canada and Spain. In September 2011, the New York Times argued that there was a growing "scorn for voting" around the world. In support for this non-political strategy, some non-voters claim that voting does not make any positive difference. "If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal," is an oft-cited sentiment attributed to anarchist Emma Goldman. In addition to strategic non-voters, there are ethical non-voters, those who reject voting outright, not as an ineffective tactic for change, but moreover because they view the act as either a grant of consent to be governed by the state, a means of imposing illegitimate control over one's countrymen, or both. Thus, this view holds that through voting, one finds themselves violating the non-aggression principle. Herbert Spencer noted that whether a person votes for the winning candidate, votes for a losing candidate, or abstains f
A committee is a body of one or more persons, subordinate to a deliberative assembly. The assembly sends matters into a committee as a way to explore them more than would be possible if the assembly itself were considering them. Committees may have different functions and their type of work differ depending on the type of the organization and its needs. A deliberative assembly may form a committee consisting of one or more persons to assist with the work of the assembly. For larger organizations, much work is done in committees. Committees can be a way to formally draw together people of relevant expertise from different parts of an organization who otherwise would not have a good way to share information and coordinate actions, they may have the advantage of sharing out responsibilities. They can be appointed with experts to recommend actions in matters that require specialized knowledge or technical judgment. Committees can serve several different functions: Governance In organizations considered too large for all the members to participate in decisions affecting the organization as a whole, a smaller body, such as a board of directors, is given the power to make decisions, spend money, or take actions.
A governance committee is formed as a separate committee to review the performance of the board and board policy as well as nominate candidates for the board. Coordination and administration A large body may have smaller committees with more specialized functions. Examples are an audit committee, an elections committee, a finance committee, a fundraising committee, a program committee. Large conventions or academic conferences are organized by a coordinating committee drawn from the membership of the organization. Research and recommendations Committees may be formed to do research and make recommendations on a potential or planned project or change. For example, an organization considering a major capital investment might create a temporary working committee of several people to review options and make recommendations to upper management or the board of directors. Discipline A committee on discipline may be used to handle disciplinary procedures on members of the organization; as a tactic for indecision As a means of public relations by sending sensitive, inconvenient, or irrelevant matters to committees, organizations may bypass, stall, or disacknowledge matters without declaring a formal policy of inaction or indifference.
However, this could be considered a dilatory tactic. Committees are required to report to their parent body. Committees do not have the power to act independently unless the body that created it gives it such power; when a committee is formed, a chairman is designated for the committee. Sometimes a vice-chairman is appointed, it is common for the committee chairman to organize its meetings. Sometimes these meetings are held through videoconferencing or other means if committee members are not able to attend in person, as may be the case if they are in different parts of the country or the world; the chairman is responsible for running meetings. Duties include keeping the discussion on the appropriate subject, recognizing members to speak, confirming what the committee has decided. Using Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised, committees may follow informal procedures; the level of formality depends on the size and type of committee, in which sometimes larger committees considering crucial issues may require more formal processes.
Minutes are a record of the decisions at meetings. They can be taken by a person designated as the secretary. For most organizations, committees are not required to keep formal minutes. However, some bodies require that committees take minutes if the committees are public ones subject to open meeting laws. Committees may meet on a regular basis, such as weekly or more or meetings may be called irregularly as the need arises; the frequency of the meetings depends on the needs of the parent body. When the committee completes its work, it provides the results in a report to its parent body; the report may include the methods used, the facts uncovered, the conclusions reached, any recommendations. If the committee is not ready to report, it may provide a partial report or the assembly may discharge the committee of the matter so that the assembly can handle it. If members of the committee are not performing their duties, they may be removed or replaced by the appointing power. Whether the committee continues to exist after presenting its report depends on the type of committee.
Committees established by the bylaws or the organization's rules continue to exist, while committees formed for a particular purpose go out of existence after the final report. In parliamentary procedure, the motion to commit is used to refer another motion—usually a main motion—to a committee. A motion to commit should specify to which committee the matter is to be referred, if the committee is a special committee appointed for purposes of the referred motion, it should specify the number of committee members and the method of their selection, unless, specified in the bylaws. Any proposed amendments to the main motion that are pending at the time the motion is referred to a committee go to the committee as well. Once referred, but before the committee reports its recommendations back to the assembly, the referred motion may be removed from the committee's consideration by the motion to discharge a committee. In the United States House of Representatives, a motion to recommit
Minutes known as minutes of meeting, protocols or, notes, are the instant written record of a meeting or hearing. They describe the events of the meeting and may include a list of attendees, a statement of the issues considered by the participants, related responses or decisions for the issues. Minutes may be created during the meeting by a typist or court reporter, who may use shorthand notation and prepare the minutes and issue them to the participants afterwards. Alternatively, the meeting can be audio recorded, video recorded, or a group's appointed or informally assigned secretary may take notes, with minutes prepared later. Many government agencies use minutes recording software to record and prepare all minutes in real-time. Minutes are the official written record of the meetings of an group, they are not transcripts of those proceedings. Using Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, the minutes should contain a record of what was done at the meeting, not what was said by the members; the organization may have its own rules regarding the content of the minutes.
For most organizations or groups, it is important for the minutes to be terse and only include a summary of the decisions. A verbatim report is not useful. Unless the organization's rules require it, a summary of the discussions in a meeting is neither necessary nor appropriate; the minutes of certain groups, such as a corporate board of directors, must be kept on file and are important legal documents. Minutes from board meetings are kept separately from minutes of general membership meetings within the same organization. Minutes of executive sessions may be kept separately. Committees are not required to keep formal minutes. For committees, their formal records are the reports submitted to their parent body; the format of the minutes can vary depending on the standards established by an organization, although there are general guidelines. Robert's Rules of Order contains a sample set of minutes. Minutes begin with the name of the body holding the meeting and may include the place, list of people present, the time that the chair called the meeting to order.
Since the primary function of minutes is to record the decisions made, all official decisions must be included. If a formal motion is proposed and seconded this is recorded; the voting tally may be included. The part of the minutes dealing with a routine motion might note that a particular motion was "moved by Ann and passed", it is not necessary to include the name of the person who seconds a motion. Where a tally is included, it is sufficient to record the number of people voting for and against a motion, but requests by participants to note their votes by name may be allowed. If a decision is made by roll-call vote all of the individual votes are recorded by name. If it is made by general consent without a formal vote this fact may be recorded; the minutes may end with a note of the time. Minutes are sometimes submitted by the person, responsible for them at a subsequent meeting for review; the traditional closing phrase is "Respectfully submitted", followed by the officer's signature, his or her typed name, his or her title.
One of the first items in an order of business or an agenda for a meeting is the reading and approval of the minutes from the previous meeting. If the members of the group agree that the written minutes reflect what happened at the previous meeting they are approved, the fact of their approval is recorded in the minutes of the current meeting. If there are significant errors or omissions the minutes may be redrafted and submitted again at a date. Minor changes may be made using the normal amendment procedures, the amended minutes may be approved "as amended", it is appropriate to send a draft copy of the minutes to all the members in advance of the meeting so that the meeting is not delayed by a reading of the draft. Diary Gazette American Institute of Parliamentarians; the Complete Minutes Manual. American Institute of Parliamentarians. National Association of Parliamentarians. Pathways to Proficiency - What Was Done at the Meeting: A Guide to Minutes. Independence, MO: National Association of Parliamentarians.
ISBN 9781884048562. Mina, Eli. Mina's Guide to Minute Taking. Vancouver: Eli Mina Consulting. ISBN 978-0973442809
The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure
The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure is a book of rules of order. It is the second most popular parliamentary authority in the United States after Robert's Rules of Order, it was first published in 1950. Following the death of the original author in 1975, the third and fourth editions of this work were revised by a committee of the American Institute of Parliamentarians. In April 2012, a new book, entitled American Institute of Parliamentarians Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure was released; the Standard Code omits several of the motions and sometimes-confusing terminology used in Robert's Rules of Order. The cover quote of the 2001 edition states, "Anyone who has trouble with Robert's Rules of Order will welcome the simplicity of this streamlined guide to parliamentary procedure." The Standard Code devotes a chapter to the differences between the two works, along with suggestions for those familiar with the Standard Code when participating in organizations that use "Robert's Rules" as their parliamentary authority.
AIPSC omits this chapter as well as any other mention of "Robert's Rules". Sturgis, Alice. Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure. New York: McGraw-Hill. ASIN B000EAC3AQ. Sturgis, Alice. Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-062272-2. Sturgis, Alice. Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-062399-6. Sturgis, Alice; the Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-136513-0. American Institute of Parliamentarians. American Institute of Parliamentarians Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-177864-0. Education Department, American Institute of Parliamentarians. AIP Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure Workbook: A workbook for users of American Institute of Parliamentarians Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure. American Institute of Parliamentarians. Glazer, Barry. Differences Between AIPSC and RONR. American Institute of Parliamentarians.
Archived from the original on 2016-03-10. Education Department, American Institute of Parliamentarians. Here is the Answer! What is the Question?: Book 6, Covering American Institute of Parliamentarians Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure. American Institute of Parliamentarians
In Boolean logic, the majority function is a function from n inputs to one output. The value of the operation is false when n/2 or more arguments are false, true otherwise. Alternatively, representing true values as 1 and false values as 0, we may use the formula Majority = ⌊ 1 2 + − 1 / 2 n ⌋. The" − 1/2" in the formula serves to break ties in favor of zeros. If the term "−1/2" is omitted, the formula can be used for a function that breaks ties in favor of ones. A majority gate is a logical gate used in circuit complexity and other applications of Boolean circuits. A majority gate returns only if more than 50 % of its inputs are true. For instance, in a full adder, the carry output is found by applying a majority function to the three inputs, although this part of the adder is broken down into several simpler logical gates. Many systems have triple modular redundancy. A major result in circuit complexity asserts that the majority function cannot be computed by AC0 circuits of subexponential size.
For n = 1 the median operator is just the unary identity operation x. For n = 3 the ternary median operator can be expressed using conjunction and disjunction as xy + yz + zx. Remarkably this expression denotes the same operation independently of whether the symbol + is interpreted as inclusive or or exclusive or. For an arbitrary n there exists a monotone formula for majority of size O; this is proved using probabilistic method. Thus, this formula is non-constructive. However, one can obtain an explicit formula for majority of polynomial size using a sorting network of Ajtai, Komlós, Szemerédi; the majority function produces "1" when more than half of the inputs are 1. Most applications deliberately force an odd number of inputs so they don't have to deal with the question of what happens when half the inputs are 0 and half the inputs are 1; the few systems that calculate the majority function on an number of inputs are biased towards "0"—they produce "0" when half the inputs are 0 -- for example, a 4-input majority gate has a 0 output only when two or more 0's appear at its inputs.
In a few systems, a 4-input majority network randomly chooses "1" or "0" when two 0's appear at its inputs. For any x, y, z, the ternary median operator 〈x, y, z〉 satisfies the following equations. 〈x, y, y〉 = y 〈x, y, z〉 = 〈z, x, y〉 〈x, y, z〉 = 〈x, z, y〉 〈〈x, w, y〉, w, z〉 = 〈x, w, 〈y, w, z〉〉An abstract system satisfying these as axioms is a median algebra. Knuth, Donald E.. Introduction to combinatorial algorithms and Boolean functions; the Art of Computer Programming. 4a. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley. Pp. 64–74. ISBN 0-321-53496-4. Media related to Majority functions at Wikimedia Commons Boolean algebra Boolean algebras canonically defined Boyer–Moore majority vote algorithm Majority problem