lizawilliams at mac.com
Thu Sep 3 07:34:47 UTC 2009
I am very disappointed with the conduct (not the results) of the
elections and have set out below my suggestions for a way forward.
The problems with the election illustrate again, despite months of
discussion about accountability, transparency, charter improvements
and policy development processes that we still haven't got things right.
I preface my remarks by saying how delighted I am that Mike Roberts
has been encouraged to join our efforts -- the test for him will be
whether he actually joins the constituency and takes an active role in
I am most concerned about the way in which the election process was run.
1. No nominee for the large business representative was received.
Three nominations were received for the small business
representative. There was no plan from the Councillors to address
that - either through an appointment process or whatever that was made
PUBLIC before the elections took place. I was asked for and I
submitted a note to the Councillors expressing my interest in
volunteering for the Large Business representative seat, should no
other nominees be received. I don't know whether Waudo was given that
2. We are now in a situation where two candidates have lost the
election who could have been selected for the position as runners-up.
There is nothing in the By-laws that would have prevented that
happening, except that the nominees may not have wanted to.
3. We now have a presumptive nominee (Rick Anderson) sending in his
nomination AFTER the fact with a statement as to why he should be
elected when there isn't even a nomination period open. He didn't
nominate in the first place and shouldn't be given preferential
treatment in any "second" round, especially where other candidates
have spent time and effort finding nominees, submitting statements of
suitability, going through an election where they have to seek support
for their candidature. Members will recall the fuss and bother last
year, over exactly this issue, when Rick protested about not having
his nomination in on time and he was excluded from running.
Waudo and I have been significantly disadvantaged in the choices open
to us -- as a representative of WITSA Waudo is qualified to represent
large business interests; having worked for large corporations I am
qualified to do the same. Indeed employment with a large organisation
is not a requirement of this post -- sensitivity to the various needs
of large businesses is much more important.
Having said that, I would support Rick's candidacy because he is able,
highly critical of the constituency and may have some influence on
making positive changes. My issue is that the process was not public
beforehand and candidates have not been treated equitably.
4. With respect to Mike Roberts' nomination, it was very unfair that
neither Waudo or I were given the chance to have a detailed statement
of support from our nominees, in exactly the way that Marilyn did for
Mike. This was a decision taken by the Secretariat which, for perhaps
uninformed and disinterested voters, was the information that they
needed to sway their vote. My argument is not that the statement
shouldn't have been distributed but that each candidate would have had
the same opportunity. We are now in exactly the same situation with
Rick Anderson receiving letters of support -- what other potential
candidate would be silly enough to stand in the face of a self-
nomination in a pseudo election by default?
If we are to be taken seriously as representatives of business
interests, we need to smarten up immediately -- not sometime in the
future, not when a notional charter is completed, not when we get
around to it but immediately in every action we take. I say this
across the board in our operations -- from working on the Credentials
Committee assessing new member applications & being involved in
disciplining members; in my work on developing the new charter and
encouraging a deliberate move to a new and broader mode of operation
and in our work on policy development process improvements. On the
latter, no BC representative has been present on the Working Group on
PDP improvements for many months.
I am also making an official request that the results of the election
are made public showing who voted for whom and how the weighted votes
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