Talk:Robert's Rules of Order

Latest comment: 1 year ago by Natefin in topic Reason for undo of 8/27/2022 edit

Request to add criticisms edit

While a prevalent method to organize meetings of all types, there is a growing criticism of Robert's Rule of Order. The main charge is that this methodology favors mainly the white, Anglo-Saxon mainstream culture above all other cultures. Robert's Rule favors linearity over spontaneity, the known over the unpredictable. As stated in his book "Deep Democracy" (2002) Arnold Mindell states (p.12) "There are obvious benefits to the rules; one of them is "regularity". However, what about people who are not the "regular" types? Robert did not address the effects of his rules on the individuals who are "restrained", judged so because they are "capricious". The rules unwittingly marginalize "irregular" people, feelings, and emotions while supporting the communication style of one culture over others. Furthermore, there is little awareness of nonmajority feelings, which are covertly forbidden or else simply ruled "out of order". [...] The spirit behind Robert's Rules of Order makes it impossible for certain people to be heard." I do not have the skills to make such an edit to this page, but I'm hoping that someone who can will read this request to balance the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:569:79A0:CD00:81E3:D09D:FA42:382B (talk) 16:33, 14 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This article already contains a "Consensus decision-making" section, with a link to the article on that. So, I'm not sure this discussion would lead to any change to this article. Apart from possible changes to this article, I do think the discussion is an interesting one. I thank the writer for contributing the Talk. Parliamentary procedure does have rules for protecting minorities and protecting individuals' right to be heard. My personal experience is that sometimes persons advocating "consensus" as being somehow nicer than parliamentary procedure really wish to bully manipulate or filibuster their way to more power than parliamentary procedure would allow them. Yes, sometimes parliamentary rules are used to intimidate persons who have insufficient knowledge of procedure, which is at least 99% of us. The intimidators are usually not actually following the rules themselves. If being heard is difficult when there are democratic rules in place, careful what you wish for. Try being heard when there are no rules, or secret rules.
"Spokes Council meetings were so chaotic that one activist, Meaghan Linick, likened them to Jerry Springer shows. 'There are a lot of angry people,' she told me. A few screamers - paranoids was another term - were blocking serious proposals. . . . Brooke Lehman, who had actively promoted the Spokes Council idea, was dismayed. 'It was a shock to me to create the Spokes Council,' she told me, 'and have it be a total [expletive deleted] show.'" [footnote-C] footnote-C – Todd Gitlin – Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street – It Books, 2012.
Of course there can be well defined rules in a consensus process. In that case, one would have to evaluate those specific rules themselves. I am addressing here the use of "consensus" when that is not well defined. Natefin (talk) 00:29, 15 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

12 edition is out edit

The 12th edition has been released ( This article and related Wikipedia articles will need to be updated to reflect the latest edition. I will start making edits when I get my copy (it will be released to the general public on September 1, 2020). Ronruser (talk) 19:20, 28 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

History and Origins edit

It's not clear what San Fransciso has to do with anything here. As far as I can tell the contentious church meeting was not there, nor did he write the rules there. In either case, there is no source for the connection listed. DoctorKarpiak —Preceding undated comment added 20:13, 15 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This edit might help connect the San Francisco commentary to the subject of the article, although it doesn't solve the sourcing issue. Mulligatawny (talk) 18:13, 11 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested move 6 January 2022 edit

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: Not moved per WP:SNOW (non-admin closure) (t · c) buidhe 10:50, 9 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Robert's Rules of OrderRobert's Rules of Order Newly Revised – There are a number of editions titled Robert's Rules of Order, and the subject of this article is specifically just the "... Newly Revised" editions. "titles should unambiguously define the topical scope of the article" (Wikipedia:Article_titles#Neutrality_in_article_titles). "... the full title and subtitle might be suitable to be used as a form of natural disambiguation" (Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(books)#Subtitles. Natefin (talk) 00:26, 6 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Oppose - it is very clear that the article covers multiple editions of the central work. -- Netoholic @ 02:30, 6 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment from the move requester, in response to Netoholic's opposition - Thank you for engaging with this. While I do not agree, having your response is better than being ignored. Democratic process is important; this should go without saying on this very day. Take the time to study this carefully. - I am not cherry picking from any random place in the article, this is sentence number 1 of the article: "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, commonly referred to as Robert's Rules of Order, RONR, or simply Robert's Rules, is a political book based on the original Robert's Rules of Order written by Henry Martyn Robert." So, the article equates "... Newly Revised" with "simply Robert's Rules", failing to acknowledge that "Robert's Rules" could refer to, for example, "Robert's Rules of Order the Modern Edition", along with a number of other editions not associated with the "Robert's Rules Association". And notice that 1st sentence's wording, calling the subject "... a political book based on ..." not "... a category of political books based on ...". Mid article has a list of 12 editions, listing only those written by the original Robert himself or his direct descendants; again, "... the Modern Edition", for example, is omitted. - Yes, mid article has a section "Unofficial Editions" which does acknowledge the existence of others. But they are only "Unofficial" to the officials of the "Roberts Rules Association". There are other parliamentary organizations that have as much a right to declare other editions as "official", for them. - I could write a much longer comment covering more text of the article. One could cherry pick some passages to argue otherwise. But, overwhelmingly, this is an article about those listed 12 editions only, the "... Newly Revised" editions and their direct ancestors. Natefin (talk) 07:59, 6 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Oppose per Netoholic (the page covers all editions) and common name. Randy Kryn (talk) 16:55, 6 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose this article is about all editions—blindlynx 18:52, 6 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Randy Kryn and blinklynx - please engage with the evidence I presented above. You might start by answering this Y|N Q.: Are the 12 editions listed in the table in the article the only editions in print and currently available on Amazon? Natefin (talk) 19:46, 6 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

'Robert's Rules of Order' is decidedly the WP:COMMONNAME for all editions. The entire article clearly deals with all editions not just the newly revised ones. I fail to understand your argument, they are all editions of the same book not a 'category of books'—blindlynx 20:20, 6 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"... deals with all editions." Please engage with the fact, as noted above, that there is, for example, an edition titled "Robert's Rules of Order the Modern Edition" (By Darwin Patnode, Ph.D.) which is clearly not part of the "... Newly Revised" series. What do you mean by "... deals with all editions" when "... the Modern Edition" is not dealt with and is part of the "all editions"? You did not answer my Y|N Q.; you were not required to, but it would have been helpful. Natefin (talk) 21:49, 6 January 2022 (UTC) (p.s. please sign your postReply[reply]
Do you genuinely not understand how editions of a book work?—blindlynx 03:59, 9 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Strong oppose: I have also noticed a tendency for this article to be edited in what I believe to be a POV biased way. Back in 2006, I tried to do some editing to make it more neutral, but some other editors want it to say that everyone including Wikipedia must endorse only the latest copyrighted edition published by a particular association, which is the only version that matters. Now someone is even proposing to change the title to something different from the WP:COMMONNAME that further promotes the most recent editions. As the article's lead section says "The copyright to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised is owned by the Robert's Rules Association". The average businessperson or politically active person knows the basic concepts of Robert's Rules and cares nothing about whatever new editions some particular copyright holder has been issuing in the last 50 years. I suggest the opposite of what some editors want the article to say – i.e., that the most notable editions are the early ones produced by Robert himself. Perhaps professional parliamentarians who are members of that association might have a different opinion, but most Wikipedia readers are not interested in the fine points and new editions at all – they just want to get a basic summary understanding of what the Robert's Rules practices are and some information about the (early) history of their development. Mulligatawny (talk) 02:19, 7 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree exactly with this diagnosis. Please join me in calling for the "Robert's Rules of Order" title to redirect to "Parliamentary Procedure"! If you think this existing article should be obliterated, say so. I was inclined to allow it to live on under a more accurate title. If you think there needs to be a "Robert's Rules of Order" article (rather than a redirect to "Parliamentary Procedure"), without first moving the existing article out of the way, what is your plan the make the necessary extensive edits stick? I will support you on the necessary edits if you wish to propose them. I will support you in escalating the issue if it seems that "Roberts Rules Association" partisans are blocking corrections. Natefin (talk) 03:25, 7 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    In my opinion, Robert's Rules of Order should not redirect to Parliamentary procedure. That article barely mentions Robert's Rules of Order. In my opinion, this article should cover and emphasize the original versions of Robert's Rules of Order, and it should not be renamed, and it should not unduly promote the more recent copyrighted publications of the "Robert's Rules Association". Currently, I believe it does unduly emphasize those recent publications, and the opening sentence exhibits that bias. Mulligatawny (talk) 19:44, 7 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose, as Robert's Rules of Order clearly meets WP:COMMONNAME and allows us to tidily explain the various versions and off-shoots of same, including (but not limited to) Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised. If we currently do a poor job of detailing all relevant versions, that's a different matter, but (with enough effort) a fixable one. — JohnFromPinckney (talk / edits) 21:36, 8 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Still time for others to weigh in. At this point, it looks like it might be easier to build a consensus around fixing this article than one around moving this article. I am very OK with that. Something needs to change. I particularly invite persons who are partial to the "... Newly Revised" editions to possibly advocate in favor of the move as an alternative to major edits. If they want to keep the shorter "Robert's Rules of Order" title, they should accept that the article will cover all editions of "Robert's Rules of Order" neutrally. Natefin (talk) 23:06, 7 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Being new to Wikipedia editing, I did not know to look at archived prior year talks. Now that I have noticed the 2018 Talk archive for this article, I see that this discussion that I have initiated is a near exact repeat of a 2018 discussion. I am seeking information on why that 2018 discussion ended abruptly June of that year. Anyone know? Natefin (talk) 03:12, 8 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Perhaps they grew weary from the four-month-long discussion, stretching from March leading to an RfC and a debate on splitting the article, all revolving around the same point? — JohnFromPinckney (talk / edits) 21:36, 8 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I asked Robert McClenon on his Talk page. His response, copied from his Talk page (talk), follows. I would like to see a major correction to the article. Taking a short breather, then see if the process can be completed without starting from square one. Natefin (talk) 00:08, 9 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There was a dispute about Robert's Rules of Order at DRN in March 2018. The moderated discussion took place at, and the moderated discussion concluded with the posting of a Request for Comments. The Request for Comments is at and was indecisive, with too little participation in the RFC and no formal closure. I was asked why the discussion ended in June 2018. The answer appears to be that it ended because it ended. Editors stopped discussing it. I think that I have no further knowledge of the matter. Robert McClenon (talk) 14:27, 8 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Some Changes suggested for the lede edit

I suggest a new sentence be inserted after the first sentence of the lede:

The term Robert's Rules of Order is also used more generically to refer to any of the more recent editions, by various editors and authors, based on any of Robert's original editions, and the term is used in the United States more generically to refer to parliamentary procedure.

Given this inserted sentence, the word "it" in the following sentence (currently second sentence) would be replaced by "Robert's manual".

The sentence that begins "After the death of Robert" would, given the suggested insertion, be removed as redundant.

— discussion — The results of an Amazon search for "Robert's Rules of Order" will abundantly justify the claim that Robert's refers to many more recent editions. I support the claim that Robert's refers to parliamentary procedure by citing Edwin C. Bliss' note To The Reader in the front of "The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, Third Edition": The term "Robert's rules of order" is commonly used today as a synonym for parliamentary procedure.

I suggest the remainder of the lede, beginning with "A series of these variations" be removed. It is redundant with text already in the "Official Editions" section.

— discussion – I believe claims that Newly Revised is most popular and is blessed by descendants of Major Robert are well supported. Those claims deserve to be included in a section devoted to Newly Revised. The lede should be kept neutral. If claims in favor of Newly Revised were included in the lede, other claims in favor of more concise editions (which some persons actually prefer) would also have to be included in the lede. I believe the distinction between "official" editions and "not authorized" editions is not very meaningful. Editions not authorized by one group are in fact authorized by another group. The more meaningful distinction is between the more comprehensive approach of Newly Revised and the more concise approach of, for example, "The Modern Edition". In future, I will suggest further changes to reflect this more meaningful distinction. Natefin (talk) 14:13, 10 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

misleading infobox edit

Just noticed that the article contains a book infobox, including "name=Robert's Rules of Order _linebreak_ Newly Revised". I believe this is misleading. The "Newly Revised" edition referenced in the infobox is not the same book as the original "Pocket Guide". For example, the two books do not share the same authorship, though there is a partial overlap of authorship. If this article is to be exclusively about the "Newly Revised" edition, it should be renamed. This article, with its existing name, must be about "Robert's Rules of Order" more broadly. That "In Brief" redirects here proves the point. Natefin (talk) 16:39, 28 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Clarifying distinction between "Newly Revised" editions and others, and making a little progress towards shortening this article edit

As noted in my March 10 talk, I believe the distinction between "official" and "not authorized" is misleading. There is not consensus on who gets to decide what is "official". The meaningful neutral distinction is between the "Newly Revised" editions' comprehensive approach and other guides' concise approach. This article needs extensive revision to change it from being an advertisement for the "Newly Revised" editions towards being a neutral article about Robert's Rules of Order, including the "Newly Revised" editions and also other editions. This talk is to suggest a set of specific revisions that might accomplish that change.

The length of the article is one matter, the vast majority of the content is specific to "Newly Revised." "Wikipedia:Article size" states "> 50 kB — May need to be divided (likelihood goes up with size)." This article is now 55,264 bytes. "Article size" states "When an article is too large, consider breaking it into smaller articles, spinning part of it out into a new article, or merging part of it into another existing article." Spinning a large part of this article into a "Newly Revised" article can be considered. Deleting a significant portion of the "Newly Revised" contents of this article (for being too detailed) can be considered. Here, I am suggest that just little of the content in this article be moved to the "Parliamentary Procedure" article, and just a little be removed as redundant.

Section 9.4 "Parliamentarians" is redundant with the article "Parliamentarian_(consultant)". I suggest keeping the section, but replacing its contents with a reference to the "Parliamentarian_(consultant)" article.

The first paragraph of the "Official editions" section can be moved to the end of the "History" section. The subsection 2.1 "In Brief" can be relocated within this article, as suggested below. The remainder of the "Official editions" section can be renamed "Comprehensive editions." The Infobox book "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised", misleading as it currently applies to the entire article, can be moved into this "Comprehensive" section. I am deferring the question of whether "Newly Revised" twelfth can get an Infobox without giving Infobox-s to various other editions.

Section 3 "Versions not authorized by the family trust" should be renamed "Concise editions". The contents of section 2.1 "In Brief" can be relocated here. For the moment, I would including The Infobox book "In Brief" as part of 2.1 contents to be relocated. Ultimately, we must consider which "Robert's Rules" publications get an Infobox. If "In Brief" is to keep its Infobox, "The Modern Edition" should get one too. I am deferring that question.

Section 4 "Purpose" would be moved to the "Comprehensive editions" section. A further refinement, which I defer for now, would divide the "Purpose" section into a general "Purpose" section relating to parliamentary procedure generally, and a "Purpose" section relating specifically to the "Newly Revised" editions. In that deferred refinement, the more general purpose text would be merged into the "Parliamentary Procedure" article, making this article shorter.

Sections 5, 6, 7, and 8, "Contents of current (12th) edition", "Additional information related to current edition", "Changes between editions", and "Rule explanations" would all be moved to the "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised" section. Reducing the level of detail in these sections might be a further improvement, I defer for now.

The first paragraph of section 9 "Application to specific organizations" is a statement that specific rules of an organization take precedence over any parliamentary guide it adopts. This fact is generic to any parliamentary guide, and the contents of this paragraph would be moved to a new short section, to immediately follow the "History" section, that new section titled "Special rules". This will include a citation of the 1893 edition, preface, page 16 in the Bantam Books printing ISBN 0-553-22598-7.

The remainder of section 9 "Application to specific organizations", after its first paragraph has been moved as suggested above, would be be moved to the "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised" section. Again, further refinement might reduce the length of this content, but I defer.

The contents of the first paragraph of section 10 "Alternative rules for organizations" would be merged into the new "Special rules" section proposed above to immediately follow the "History" section.

The listing of "The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure", in Subsection 10.1 "Other parliamentary authorities", will be moved to the "Concise editions" section. I justify this with a citation of the "To the Reader" note, by Edwin Bliss, page xx of the third edition of that book -- "This book has been described as 'Robert's Rules of Order without the deadwood.' It's an apt description." So, "The Standard Code" is a version of "Robert's Rules" even though it does not have the word "Robert's" in the title.

The sentence of 10.1 "Henry M. Robert III responded to the simplification by saying the following: ...", including the lengthy quote, will be moved to the "Newly Revised section." The last sentence of 10.1 "Also in response to the simplification was the publication of a supplemental guide to the official book (see In Brief)" will be removed as redundant with the inclusion of "In Brief" among the concise editions.

The entirety of section 10.2 "Consensus decision-making" will be moved to the "Parliamentary Procedure" article, as this is an alternative to Parliamentary Procedure generally, nothing specific to Robert's Rules. Natefin (talk) 04:13, 29 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

discussing paragraph added via 19:32, 8 August 2022‎ edit: "... the title became ..." edit

"Starting with the seventh edition in 1970, the title became Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, often abbreviated RONR."

The title of what became "RONR"? The titles of prior editions, still in print, remain what they were.

The lead already mentions "... any of the more recent editions ...", and RONR is covered in excruciating detail in the section "4 Comprehensive editions."

What prompted this edit? What the editors of RONR write about their own publication should not be taken as gospel. They claim that their latest edition takes the place of all prior editions. That is their claim, not an objective truth fit for Wikipedia.

There is much Talk history, going back multiple years, on claims of RONR being "official", of RONR being the only current thing "Robert's Rules" can refer to, and so on. I ask that editors study those Talks before making edits that give RONR special status.

I am inclined to remove the new paragraph. I am first giving Noleander, and any other interested Wikipedians, a chance to discuss. Natefin (talk) 01:53, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You sound like a real pedantic asshole. Go ahead and do whatever you want. I don’t care. Noleander (talk) 06:23, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Reason for undo of 8/27/2022 edit edit

I welcome Mormegil's participation in the Robert's page. Yet, I believe their recent edit to be a mistake. To point to just one small example of the whole matter:

″... it is designed to answer, as nearly as possible, any question of parliamentary procedure that may arise.″

This applies to the "... Newly Revised" editions. Other editions are more limited to principles and basic rules, trusting groups to make reasonable detailed decisions based on those principles and basic rules. Persons are free to decide which approach they prefer.

The sheer volume of details in the article re. "... Newly Revised" creates confusion. Yes, a huge portion of the article, organized into numerous sub-sections, is devoted to just the "... Newly Revised" editions. Someone with more time than I to devote to this might edit down the "... Newly Revised" section. Natefin (talk) 14:03, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]