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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)

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Comparison with Robert's Rules of Order

Democratic Rules of Order Robert's Rules of Order
27 pages of rules plus 37 pages of answers to questions, examples, etc. Up to 700 pages of rules and protocol (depending on which edition)
All motions have similar properties so there are no complicated classifications to learn There are many kinds of motions: main, subsidiary, incidental, privileged, and they all have special properties which must be learned or found in tables.
  • Some are debateable, some aren't.
  • Some can be amended, some can't.
  • Some require a majority to pass, some more.
  • Some need seconding, some don't, etc.
Uses plain language so no need to learn a specialized vocabulary. Contains some special phrases which must be learned e.g.: "the previous question", "orders of the day", "lay on the table", "question of privilege", "suppress debate", etc.
Allows informal decision-making but automatically requires more formality when necessary. Rather formal when it's rules are consistently followed.
Members with a greater knowledge of the rules have no special advantage. Members with a greater knowledge of the rules can use it for personal advantage.
Originally written in 1994 as rules of order for meetings of any size. Originally written in 1876 based on rules of order for the United States Congress.
Contains rules for every likely situation. Contains rules for every likely situation.
Likely to be read and understood by the Chair and many members. Likely to be partially read and understood by the Chair and a few members.