The Computer and the Parliamentarian

In just a few days, the American Institute of Parliamentarians is having a workshop in Ontario, California related to the business of being a parliamentarian. At that workshop, I will give an hour on making use of the computer for the professional parliamentarian.

The focus of my workshop will be on the needs of the members in the audience. I have nine different areas that I can easily go to, but where the workshop goes will depend on the answers of the participants to some basic questions. The first question will be, “Who has a homepage?” If a good number do not have home pages, my first topic is going to be creating simple homepages and getting them published.

Other possible areas include databases, Skype, PDF files and their uses, and software I have developed. I won’t publish the list here — you need to come to the workshop to see that.

It is important to remember that the computer is a tool for the parliamentarian and is controlled by the parliamentarian; it is not the other way around as so many people seem to think. The computer only works if it is a help; once it controls, it has lost that qualification and is without merit.

So what is the largest value of the computer for the parliamentarian? I really think that it is speed coupled with organization. Things move so quickly at modern meetings that the slow parliamentarian will be left far behind. I find that in the work I do here in Japan and on the lists that I am on. People want answers long before they have time to formulate the question. The parliamentarian who cannot keep up with that speed is lost.

If you want information about the workshop, go to and look at the upcoming events.