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

From: John Goerzen <jgoerzen(at)complete(dot)org>
To: David Graham <cdlu(at)pkl(dot)net>
Cc: Bdale Garbee <bdale(at)gag(dot)com>, spi-bylaws(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: #01: Election of board members by SPI membership
Date: 2003-03-12 01:14:55
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On Tue, Mar 11, 2003 at 03:55:10PM -0500, David Graham wrote:
> However the option of splitting the election in two does work. It can be
> done fairly simply - in January half the board is elected, and in July the


> I am not personally very fond of staggered elections.

I think that either way is going to lead to a lot of confusion, and we will
have a particularly difficult bootstrapping problem (who gets voted on

I think we could do one of these options:
a. Elections are held once a year (or once every two years), at which
point all board members and officers are up for re-election.

b. Each member's term expires n years from the date they became part
of the Board.

Option A would be the easiest to implement -- we'd have a single election
season, everyone's hat goes into the ring, and we can pick the top n choices
for board members.

Option B would provide a staggered approach, but I see its downside being a
continual campaign season. Not all that good.

Also, we need to consider officers. The existing bylaws provide mechanics
of taking a vote of the membership for officers, but not much guidance on
how or when that is to be done.

I think one solution is:
Hold elections once every n years. All officers and board members
are up for election at that time, using a single ballot. The top m
selections are determined to be the new board members. The board selects
from their number the four officers at that point.

This resembles a parliamentary system.

Another solution is:
Hold elections once every n years. People may run for one of three
officer positions and/or a board member position. The top n board member
candidates are appointed, as well as the winners of the officer races.
In the event that a single person runs both as an officer candidate and
a board candidate and wins as an officer, the election for board
candidates will ignore that candidate, and select the next highest
candidate for the position. The board selects the secretary from their

This resembles a presidential system.

The first option is the easier one to implement and understand. The second
gives the members more direct control, but at the cost of being more
difficult to run. I'm not sure it's clear that cost is worth it.

The disadvantage of the first option is that it encourages politicing
amongst the board at the very beginning, and may well lead to political
parties within SPI. I'm not sure this is a good thing at all.

-- John


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