Telling is boring, doing is interesting. Jurassic Parliament provides interactive exercises that allow the imagination full play and show how the system works in practice. Many of the situations are drawn from real life, which is often funny even though books of rules are not.
Jurassic Parliament uses toy dinosaurs as props to demonstrate how motions work.
Ann was trying to envisage how to make clear to her fellow board members on a national professional association that a motion is not just words, it is a thing. Once you've made a motion, you have to dispose of it somehow. Her eye fell on some toy dinosaurs belonging to her nine-year-old son, and the rest is history.
Consensus can work for small groups that are made up of like-minded people, but often it takes a long time, and sometimes it is not a fair way of making decisions. Parliamentary procedure is central to our society and our democratic freedoms. It works very well when properly applied. Sometimes it is obligatory.
Parliamentary procedure should never be used in a bullying way. General Robert, who wrote the original Robert's Rules of Order, designed the system to be a tool, not a weapon. Unfortunately sometimes people claim to know parliamentary procedure but are mistaken about specific points, such as the "friendly amendment" or the proper way to "call the question." We clarify these matters in our training classes.
Parliamentary procedure has to be used to become a habit. By practicing, anyone can become comfortable using this method of running meetings. It is helpful to serve on a board or committee that uses parliamentary procedure. You can watch city council meetings on television and see how they observe—or fail to observe—the rules. The two national parliamentary associations and their local units and chapters provide educational opportunities. Finally, our training triad—Essence of Jurassic Parliament, Fundamentals of Jurassic Parliament, and the Complete Jurassic Parliament—gives ample opportunity to practice.