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Democratic Rules of Order cover

Fred Francis, Peg Francis
Ninth edition, 2010
80pp, soft cover
ISBN 978-0-9699260-6-1
Cool Heads Publishing

$8.95 (CDN and USD)

E-book introductory offer
$4.95 (CDN and USD)

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This button will direct you to the Cool Heads Publishing online store, where you can securely purchase the book.

Shipping cost for one copy is $4.00 in Canada and $6.00 to the US [delivery by Canada Post]; 5% GST is applied for Canadian purchasers. See the details in the store for volume discounts.

Easy-to-use rules for meetings of any size

Are you searching for simple meeting rules – easy for all members to understand and follow? Instead of spending time arguing the rules, you can focus on the decisions to be made together. Democratic Rules of Order is the parliamentary standard that fully protects every member's right to equal participation in orderly meetings. It does this with concise, common sense rules without jargon or unnecessary protocol. Based on the natural laws of democracy, the rules are equally effective in small groups using consensus or for large organizations with a formal Chair.

Some advantages are:

  • Easy for all members to understand
  • Can be read in an hour
  • Only 27 pages of rules, plus 37 pages of examples
  • Appropriate for any group size
  • Equally useful for formal or informal Chairs
  • No jargon or complicated classifications to learn
  • Based on the natural laws of democracy:
“• the right of each individual member to participate
equally and fully in orderly meetings that
are free from intimidation, filibustering, and
other disturbances and in which all members
follow the same easily-understood rules, and
the right to be equally and fully informed of all
events, whether the member is present or not;
the right of the majority of members to make
the decisions.” (Page 8)

When all members understand the rules, you remove a barrier to participation and thus have a more true democracy.

Democratic Rules of Order demonstrate that efficient, democratic decision-making is a simple and natural process. Meetings that are governed by straightforward rules enable the Chair and the participants to focus on issues without being preoccupied with the rules. Within the simple meeting structure prescribed by Democratic Rules of Order, members reach agreements more quickly and easily and ultimately, make better decisions. See the short summary of the rules.

This book can be adopted as the official rules of order for almost any organization. It is a reliable, universal standard. Through nine editions, it has been thoroughly revised to be sure that each point is crystal clear and that not a single necessary rule is missing. The rules of all editions are so similar, however, that earlier editions can be used along with the latest edition.

Ninth edition and e-book

The 9th edition, published August 2010, includes a simple flow chart illustrating the sequence of steps in group decision-making. The book is now 80 pages instead of 72 and includes several blank pages to record your notes. A brief preface puts the book in context. It is printed on forest-friendly paper.

Democratic Rules of Order is also available as an e-book. From the online store, the full book can be downloaded onto three digital devices. You can have an easy reference from your laptop and/or smart phone. Included is a printable summary of the rules and the flow chart.

Try it out! It can’t do any harm and it could make a dramatic improvement to your meetings!

Order Info Header

Order Information

Fred Francis, Peg Francis
Ninth edition, 2010
80pp, soft cover
ISBN 978-0-9699260-6-1
Cool Heads Publishing

Ebook $4.95 ( CDN and USD )
Softcover $8.95 ( CDN and USD )

Order Now

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Testimonial Header

“This book - now in the 9th Edition - helps many people move the democratic ideal toward reality by providing, in plain and simple English, workable guidelines that makes meetings work effectively. I've used it in Elder College classes where I teach "Core Canadian values" 
and as a reference when chairing meetings. Recording secretaries also appreciate such a good resource.
Dr. Betty Donaldson
Professor Emerita, University of Calgary. ”

— Dr. Betty Donaldson, Calgary AB,CA

Testimonial Header

“This short but thorough guidebook to the right ordering of meetings is recommended to all. Our library has multiple copies to satisfy patrons' requests. ”

— Arnold Ranneris, Assistant Head, Central Library, , Victoria BC,CA