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Tony from Subiaco has asked this question.

The answer confuses some people but it is in fact very simple.

Once a motion has been moved and accepted by the chair, the motion is the property of the meeting. It no longer “belongs” to the person who moved it.

And so, if a mover of a motion wants to withdraw the motion after it has been accepted, they have no right to do so as it is no longer their “property” – it belongs to the meeting as a whole.

This sometimes happens when a person moves a motion and as it is debated it becomes clear to the mover that it is not going the way they want or hoped and so their solution is to withdraw the motion – the cannot do that.


Please Note: The author accepts no responsibility for anything which occurs directly or indirectly as a result of using any of the suggestions or procedures detailed in this blog. All suggestions and procedures are provided in good faith as general guidelines only and should be used in conjunction with relevant legislation, constitutions, rules, laws, by-laws, and with reasonable judgement.

David Julian Price

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Phone: 041 8888 018



2 thoughts on “Who can withdraw a motion that has been moved?

  1. Ruurd from Karrinyup has emailed me this comment:
    I was under the impression that if the mover wished to withdraw a motion,
    it could be done if the 2nder agreed and a simple majority of the members
    agreed. A bit long winded perhaps but maybe quicker then going through the
    whole procedure and it being lost during the final vote.

    Ruurd is correct in terms of the process which could be used and some organisations (like Rostrum) do use that process. But the decision to withdraw is still ultimately made by the meeting when they vote, as you say by simple majority.
    The mover of the motion cannot just decide to withdraw a motion and cease its progress.

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