In 1971, Ray Keesey developed a guidebook that revolutionized parliamentary procedure. By eliminating misleading terminology and simplifying many of the complex and overly technical aspects of the traditional parliamentary process, Keesey's book offered clear rules of order for efficient democratic action in deliberative meetings.

Thanks to its accessibility and lack of jargon, the Keesey System has become widely used by large deliberative bodies and small associations alike, allowing readers to quickly comprehend and implement the rules without needing to be experts on parliamentary process.

Revised and updated with the expertise of the American Institute of Parliamentarians, this second edition includes rules that relate to technological innovations such as electronic voting and offsite attendees. Key features include a more logical classification of parliamentary motions, the elimination of superfluous motions, and key recommendations for preventing and managing disruptions.

This book is an essential reference for associations, clubs, student groups, and larger deliberative bodies seeking clear and effective procedural rules.

Table of Contents


Preface to the 1994 Edition


  1. The Basic Principles
  2. A Historical Sketch of Parliamentary Procedure
  3. Introduction to the Rules of Procedure
  4. Main and Ordinary Motions
  5. Special Motions
  6. Conducting the Meeting
  7. Participants in the Meeting
  8. Committees
  9. Voting
  10. Nominations and Elections
  11. Constitutions, Bylaws, and Rules
  • Appendix A: Table of Outdated Motions
  • Appendix B: Typical Contents of Governing Documents
  • Appendix C: Summary Chart of Motions