Election Reform

Discuss how IOMICA and IOM NCAs operate

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Bruce Andersen
USA NCA Officer
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Post by Bruce Andersen » 20 Nov 2009, 16:49

Hi Des

sorry if my post was unclear: I'm not in favor of removing from the NCA's the task of keeping track of who their members are - I am in favor of replacing the present "electoral college" style of voting with a "one owner = one vote" system.

Who is eligible to vote in either system falls within the duties of the NCA's
Bruce Andersen - USA 16

RoyL
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Post by RoyL » 20 Nov 2009, 21:48

Given some of the recent issues we have been confronted with regarding voting, I would think that "fixing" how we vote should be a very high priority.

To begin with, I believe many of our current voting procedures come from a draft document that was never even finalized let alone voted on by our members. I also think that voting rules, regulations and procedures need to be uniform across all of the NCAs and a whole lot of ambiguous language needs to be cleaned up. And, we should have a uniform date every year for the annual general meeting.

On top of just getting the basics right, there are a whole lot of principles that need to be looked at. I still don't really get why we have "certificated" and "registered" owners and why they should have different rights. I think that we need a uniform method to determine the number of voters in each NCA, whether it is a required annual re-registration or dues payment or filling out a form or whatever. I think we need to think about what kinds of things should be passed by a simple majority or a two thirds vote.

And finally, yes, we should at least discuss the need for an electoral college system vs direct elections and voting. To me there is nothing more democratic than one person/one vote and I can't see any benefit to the system currently in place. I think there is something wrong about a system where a small number of voters from a big NCA can "count" more than a large number of voters from a small NCA. However, I'm sure there are other valid thoughts on this important issue.

Most important, the process of fixing this situation should start. Hopefully, the Executive will come up with a process and proposed revisions, clarifications and updates to the class.

Barry Fox CAN262
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Post by Barry Fox CAN262 » 20 Nov 2009, 23:12

I continue to be amazed to hear that there are issues with our recent votes. The only issue that I can see is that we have exactly used the written direction that are easily found in the documents that guide the organization. There has been no interpretation, no fudging, no "let's make it be this way", just following the written rules as they have been for sometime.

I equally find it odd that none of this was a "top priority" item during the time in office of those that are pushing hardest. I fail to see what has changed functionally. Perhaps actually using the rules and regulations has had an unpopular effect for some people.

Except for a couple of instances (and thanks for those) for the most part we are hearing a lot of noise from a very few who don't even necessarily represent the common view of their own NCA.

I would think that the current Exec will do nothing about voting reform until they get some direction or request from an actual NCA to do so.

I recall as short a time as a year ago that one or another of the then Vice Chairmen made quite a point out of not doing anything until they received some kind of official input. Apparently, that process no longer has any validity.

What a waste of electrons and time.
Barry Fox
CAN 46
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

RoyL
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Post by RoyL » 21 Nov 2009, 04:11

I assume Barry you are talking about me, so let me respond. First, to suggest that there haven't been problems with our recent votes is to have a very short memory. Just as an example, in our last election for officers of this organization, two different people were declared the winner.

I get a sense that you believe that you are somehow being unjustly attacked. To the extent you think that is my intent or goal here, I apologize.

However, I would also like to respectfully but strongly disagree with you when you state there are no issues with our class voting regulations. I have spend over 30 years practicing law at a reasonably high level and I can tell you that the IOMICA voting regulations and procedures are at best confused and ambiguous and deserve to be re-written and clarified.

As to why we didn't focus on the issue of voting procedures when I was on the Executive, all I can say is that we didn't experience the problems that occurred in the recent officer election. Maybe we should have. I do know that even with my reluctance to act, given recent events in our class, even I would argue for Executive action and proposals in the area of voting reform.

And finally, as a former member of the Executive who came under regular and frequent criticism from among others the current Chairman and two Vice Chairmen of this organization, to dismiss those that disagree with you as "a very few who don't even necessarily represent the common view of their own NCA" is to fail to recognize that disagreement and discussion is often the path to growth and positive change. And as Harry Truman often said after being repeatedly attacked by the press "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen." (lol)

And, now, perhaps back to the discussion....

Barry Fox CAN262
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Post by Barry Fox CAN262 » 21 Nov 2009, 06:39

I guess that I am not of the opinion that the voting process is without flaw. But it really is pretty clear if you navigate through all of the various documents that, in the end, determine the entire process. That they are spread through a number of documents can certainly be confusing if you don't know that they are all in effect, or even exist.

Specifically, our last general election, pass number one, did not use the completely defined process (I fully believe it occurred with no intent to control the outcome) and that unfortunately, lead to a change in one of the primary positions. I'm in no position to say whether the "right" person won or lost but, in the end, the result is the correct one by following all of the rules.

So, an exercise to gather all of that together in one place and say "this is how we vote", for everything is perhaps a justifiable exercise. One of the downsides of embarking on that path is that there are a lot of other combinations of documents that are needed for many other business processes and some of them are complete dead-ends with no conclusion.

During the most recent vote, we actually had some discussion among the WC members about how to report owner counts and verify current membership of those owners. At a time that was way to close to when the vote would happen there was talk of coming up with a standard form for reporting owner counts and reporting the in-country vote count. Some of us agreed to disagree on having that in place for this round of voting and most didn't offer an opinion. But we will have that in place prior to our next vote. It will take a little work as some of the NCA have some fairly detailed systems they use and others don't so something common is going to end up being different for everybody but it should make seeing the results, and that the correct people voted easier.

That process will be interactive with the people who do that work.

As an aside, it is likely that the countries that have the most work to do and are the ones that more are suspicious about carrying non-active owners, actually have the most complex systems in place to verify that their current list includes only current paid up members. The conspiracy theory doesn't hold up on this one.

You are right that there will always be some amount of fire and criticism. That in itself doesn't even begin to phase me. Actually, none of it keeps me awake at nights. It is the generally single thread of thought that gets attached to every issue that is annoying and amazing.

So far, from what I have seen posted, the only NCA reps who have commented have stated fairly clearly that they don't see a process change as having a high priority. That seems to be the indicator to me.
Barry Fox
CAN 46
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Barry Fox CAN262
Posts:354
Joined:21 Apr 2007, 17:54
Sail number:CAN 46
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Post by Barry Fox CAN262 » 21 Nov 2009, 06:43

Sorry, I correct my count. There was a posting from an NCA rep in support of the one owner, one vote concept. so that is 2 to 1 at this point.

I should add that I think there may be some merit to that style of representation but it is not without its flaws. maybe not so much for the way the result is determined but fromthe degree of complication it inserts into what is really not that large of an organization.

I apologize for missing that one rep. It was very early in teh thread so it kindof fell off the radar.
Barry Fox
CAN 46
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

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