Motion debates - Women's Equality

Motion debates

Motion debates

What is a motion?

A motion is a proposal for discussion, with the view for this to be adopted as a party resolution. It might be helpful to read through resolutions from our 2016 conference for a clear idea of what types of motions were voted in. Any party member can write a motion in advance of conference. The deadline on proposing motions has now passed. 


What happens at a motion debate?

All motions will have been be proposed in advance. The Chair will invite the named proposer of a motion to the podium to introduce their motion to address conference. Proposers will have five minutes to speak, followed by all other speakers with three minutes each. The Chair will select speakers both for and against the motion or the amendment to allow for a balanced debate. The Chair will ensure that all debate stays reasoned, relevant and respectful. Once the debate is over, every member will be invited to cast their vote by raising their conference voting pass. Once counting has taken place, the Chair will announce the result. 


What is a named proposer?

All motions have been proposed by a branch or with the support of at least 20 members. For each motion, the members who submitted it will have to select one person to be the named proposer. The named proposer of a motion will be responsible for presenting the motion to conference.


I haven't proposed a motion, can I take part?

Absolutely! If you decide on the day - or even during the debate - that you would like to speak for or against a motion, all you need to do is fill in a speaker's card with your name and whether you are for or against. Speakers' cards will be available at all motion debates. You cannot propose a motion on the day, this must be done in advance. The deadline on proposing motions has now passed. 


I proposed a motion but am not the named proposer - can I take part in the debate?

Members who are jointly responsible for putting forward the motion, but who are not the named proposer, may still participate in the debate as a speaker by filling in a speaker's card. However, the Chair may limit their participation to ensure other delegates have the opportunity to speak to the motion. 


I am a named proposer, what do I need to do? 

  • Read thoroughly through the Standing Orders in advance. This is the best guidance available to help you understand what is expected of you as the named proposer. 
  • Have a Plan B. If for any reason you are unable to present the motion, the Chair shall allow your chosen substitute to speak on your behalf. 
  • Be ready! Check the agenda ahead of time so you know when you will be called. All speakers must be ready to make their way to the podium in good time when they are called, or risk missing their turn. 

How do I know when my motion will be debated? 

The order will be set out in the conference agenda. 


How are motions, amendments to motions and emergency motions adopted or rejected?

The Agenda Committee, a sub-committee of the Steering Committee, working with the Policy Committee, decides which motions will be debated at Conference in the time available. The programme of motions and amendments to be debated will be published for delegates ahead of the conference.

If you have proposed a motion, an amendment to a motion, or an emergency motion that gets debated at Conference, you will have five minutes to speak on stage to conference delegates and make the case for the motion or amendment. If you want to submit a motion but do not want to or are unable to present it, you can nominate a substitute delegate to speak on your behalf. Proposers of motions open the debate and sum up after all the other speakers.

As a delegate, you can register to speak on any debate by handing in a speaker’s card to the Chair at any point before the Chair announces a vote. Speaker’s cards will be provided at conference. If you are called by the chair to speak in a debate, you will have three minutes to make your point.

The Chair directs the order of debate and seeks a balanced conversation by selecting speakers both for and against the motion or amendments. Debate must be appropriate, reasoned, relevant, respectful and considerate and not defamatory, obstructive, personal or abusive.

Conference votes on any amendments to the motions first, in the order printed in the agenda, and then on the motion. Decisions are made by a simple majority of voting delegates.


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Published and promoted by Catherine Smith on behalf of the Women's Equality Party
at Women's Equality Party, 124 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX.

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