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Lay on the Table

14/6/19 Lay on the Table

Also “to table”; a term of parliamentary law and procedure which refers to a motion in regards to another motion being actively debated, but intended to defer a final disposition of the pending motion.
The effect of this motion is to adjourn a pending motion and with no set time limit. It must carry a majority vote to effectively shelf a pending motion.
Because this motion is generally not debatable, it is often used as a delay or “dilatory” tactic for a variety of reasons. For example, good political reasons may emerge from the debate to suggest that either the organization is not yet in a position – or ought not in any event – to issue a resolution on the sensitive motion being so tabled. The group may wish to await the attendance of a knowledgeable member, or assess the motion in light of a forthcoming event or simply prefer a “wait and see” policy.
In this way, a voting on a motion can be deferred indefinitely.

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