I hope you will find things among my random thoughts that resonate with you and yours. I'd love to read your reactions in the Comments, and I'll be sure to visit you in return. Best regards, Mary

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Parliamentary Procedure or Prior Authorization - Your Choice


Did you know that many decisions about our public lives are made with the help of this complex set of rules? That's because most governing bodies have something called "bylaws" - from the US Congress to giant corporations, from state and city governments to school boards, charitable organizations and even volunteer groups. If fact, they couldn't get anything done without them because they set out the procedures or "rules of order" by which they run all their meetings.

Those "rules of order" are known as "parliamentary procedure". They describe in exhaustive detail how to discuss issues and take action, and as we all know "the devil is in the details"- hundreds and hundred of details in this case. The few people who know many of them and how to quickly look up the rest are called parliamentarians. They serve as consultants at many meetings and conferences, and at very important gatherings they are paid well.

Why did I choose this topic? Because I belong to an organization that studies parliamentary rules and how to use them. It also prepares members to become Registered Parliamentarians or even Professional Registered Parliamentarians, the highest level of certification.

The next question is "Why did I join"? To learn how to be a better contributor when I serve on a committee or a board. I am often in those situations and always realize I don't know enough about the procedure to do a good job. I have even refused leadership roles where I might have done some good because I felt so inadequate.

So when I moved to the Detroit area I reconnected with an old friend who belongs and she suggested I might like it. I took her advice, and after two years I have learned a lot but cannot say I have improved much. The body of knowledge is incredible, and I still feel like "a stranger in a strange land". I contribute to the group in support positions: I managed the purchase and sales of educational materials and maintain our webpage and Facebook page. I even set up a Twitter account. All that may be useful but it's just what I already know how to do. Plus, I enjoy these things and improve at them and I'm appreciated because few people want to take them on.

The surprising result: Although I have made little progress with parliamentary procedure I have made peace with who I am. I have learned to be content as one who "leads by supporting". Meanwhile I continue to work on becoming a parliamentarian. Perhaps I'll even find a new way to lead.


Here's an opportunity for some advocacy and/or activitism involvement. Remember my first post? Take a look if you are new here or need a refresher:  A is for Activisim and Advocacy

Now check out my lonely blog on Prior Authorization:  PA Issues  Notice the start date: August 2013. That was many months ago, and the only response is so suspect that I may delete it. The lack of interest is probably because I'm a novice blogger, which tells me I should upgrade my blogging skills if I want to make a difference as an advocate or activist. (That's why I joined AtoZ Challenge. )

Here's my suggestion for you:
  • If you have ever had to fight a Prior Authorization to get a prescription filled I'd love to have you share your experience on my blog.  
  • And if you would like to join me in trying to fight that system, let me know. 



Oligarchy: Government by a small group of people, 
usually wealthy. 

Now that is a broadly descriptive term!

By itself it is neither positive nor negative. It is simply a statement of fact - or is it? Start defining the words. Then compare them to our US Constitution and Bill of Rights, and you may start to wonder: Who has the real power? Is that good and lawful? Does it improve our lives?

Does the word just restate an old adage "Money talks."? It appears to buy public office, as in "Whoever can afford the most TV ads usually wins the election." That makes it a handy epithet in a political dog-fight. Or maybe it's more than that. Perhaps it describes a situation that needs to be changed.

Cartoonists have loved the word in the past, and the current political situation in the US seems to offer an opportunity to revive it.


Think about the word and the coming mid-term elections. Is there any relationship? And don't forget, the presidential race is just two years away with the incumbent ineligible for re-election.