[bc-gnso] Elections

Liz Williams 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  
its operations.

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  
were applied.



Liz Williams
+44 1963 364 380
+44 7824 877757

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