kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
I note that when the Vice President had to use his casting vote in the US Senate today to confirm a Secretary of Education who I don't think in her heart believes in the concept of universal public education, there was someone standing there with a cue card for him. My guess is that the VP knows so little about this "presiding officer" stuff that the Senate Parliamentarian had to write it all out for him to read off a card.

As WSFS Chair, I don't have a "casting vote" (that is, can only vote to break a tie), but the more subtle "can vote whenever it could affect the result," because I'm a member of the organization, not just its presiding officer. (The US VP is the nominal presiding officer of the Senate, but is not actually a member of it.) This means that I can vote to break or make ties. (Ties lose.) I could also vote if it would affect various sorts of super-majorities like 2/3 or 3/4.

In the years that I've presided over WSFS meetings, I'm trying to remember if I have ever been in a position to use my vote. I think it may have happened once, and in the particular case, I think I elected to not vote and to allow the vote to stand as it was. I have a feeling that if I ever vote to make a tie (and thus defeat a motion), there will be a lot of confused people who think the Chair only votes to break ties because that's what "sandlot parliamentary procedure" says.

Date: 2017-02-08 01:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] figmo.livejournal.com
Before the election, you said you believed that if Trump won, he would be severely limited as to the amount of damage he could do by the structure of the US Government. So far that isn't proving to be the case.

Date: 2017-02-08 03:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kevin-standlee.livejournal.com
The courts are standing up to him. The question is how long they'll be able to stand up to him if the legislature continues to act as toadies.

Date: 2017-02-08 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kalimac.livejournal.com
Vice-Presidents, especially those who haven't served in Congress themselves (Pence was in the House) are legendarily bad as presiding officers, which is why they rarely do it any more except for ceremonial occasions or when needed to break a tie.

The worst case was an incident that happened to Charles G. Dawes in the 1920s. Not expecting a vote, he'd gone home to take a nap, and couldn't be fetched back in time to prevent an appointment losing on a tie vote. That pretty much left his name mud in the White House.

Date: 2017-02-08 09:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scott-sanford.livejournal.com
It is sad that elected officials going home and taking naps would improve government performance.

Date: 2017-02-08 04:35 am (UTC)
howeird: (localhost)
From: [personal profile] howeird
I'd say it was pretty smart of him to use the resources available.

Date: 2017-02-08 03:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kevin-standlee.livejournal.com
Oh, I don't deny it. It's just sad that he has no understanding of his job. Not that VPs preside that much anymore.

Date: 2017-02-09 04:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lindadee.livejournal.com
Trump doesn't understand his job. Why should Pence be any better? I find it hard to look at newspapers any more, let alone TV news shows. *sigh*

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