Re: #01: Election of board members by SPI membership

From: David Graham <cdlu(at)pkl(dot)net>
To: John Goerzen <jgoerzen(at)complete(dot)org>
Cc: spi-bylaws(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: #01: Election of board members by SPI membership
Date: 2003-03-12 05:28:19
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On Tue, 11 Mar 2003, John Goerzen wrote:
> > Logically, it would start that the three new board members we have now
> > stay on and the seven older members would be subject to election, if we
> > were to use a staggered approach. From there it would flow normally,
> > albeit it might take a while for it to reach half the board at a time.
> I'm not sure that the three vs. 7 thing really lends itself to balance. We
> will need to have some sort of enforced balance by procedure if we do this.
> We could just declare certain seats to expire certain times to begin with.
> There is still the bootstrapping problem. I would prefer to abstain from
> final wording on that one due to a potential conflict of interest.

I think it is best to avoid separating the election altogether. One
election for the whole board is certainly, in my opinion, the best option.

> > Another downside to a staggered approach is if the status quo isn't
> > working, it will take several elections to replace the whole board with
> > fresh blood. Impeachments/recalls should be fairly difficult and used in
> > the most extreme of circumstances, so should not be considered an
> > alternative to thorough elections.
> I think running two board campaigns per year is too much. Currently, board
> members have a term of three years. I think one compromise may be to make
> the terms two years, and half of the board is up for re-election each year.
> If the terms remain at three years, a third of the board could be up for
> re-election each year.

I think separating it in two is not a very good idea, but separating it in
three can stunt any renewal efforts if we ever get into a situation like
the one we had in December of last year. I favour very strongly one
election for everyone per year, with no limit on the number of times a
board member can be re-elected.

> However, I'm not sure your officer selection proposal can co-exist with this
> sort of method. It seems to require everyone be voted on at once.

See the message I just sent to the list for an alternative to the officer
selection process.

> > If board members are selected using the condorcet system in the manner
> > they were last month, it could be fairly simple to work out officers -
> >
> > outright winner - president
> > second place - vice president
> > third place - treasurer
> > 4th-(8th-12th) - rest of the board
> I don't like this option very well. It may well be that the person in third
> place is not well qualified to be the treasurer and does not seek that
> position. If I want to see a particular person as the treasurer, it is very
> difficult to express my wish in this way. Same goes for president and VP.

A system of appointments would allow a treasurer (for example) to be
appointed even if no candidates came forward for the role.

> > The secretary can rotate through the board or be selected by the board,
> > and officers can resign and be replaced between elections. The secretary
> > is a procedural rather than political role and doesn't really need to be
> > elected by the membership in my opinion.
> Agreed wrt the secretary.
> > I also think hierarchal ranking reduces or eliminates the chance for
> > parties, but I would not be adverse to explicitly banning parties in the
> > by-laws.
> I don't think we can do that. There's nothing we can do to prevent people
> from aligning themselves with one another off-list. Nor should we be prying
> into that.

Certainly people can align themselves, but a party system where people
vote for the parties rather than for the candidates could be outright
banned, forcing SPI never to formalise any such alignments.

David "cdlu" Graham cdlu(at)pkl(dot)net
Guelph, Ontario SMS: +1 519 760 1409

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