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AGM Candidates
If memory serves, when John Dempsey was Executive Director a few years back, it was a rule that candidates for election had to post a ‘manifesto’ on the Board in advance of the AGM. Very few candidates complied. Instead, the practice was adopted whereby an electoral address was made to the AGM. This meant , of course, that CS members who could not attend missed out - or were lucky, depending on the quality of the address.

So, yes. In an ideal world we would have pen portraits and manifestoes. But, till that day, our practice is not very dissimilar to what happens in national and local elections. These are organised so that otherwise absentees may cast their vote and influence the outcome. The ‘magic’ device is the postal vote. But, this facility is so organised that campaigners cannot manipulate votes. That would be electoral fraud - a criminal offence.

To an extent, our proxy vote mirrors the postal vote. The difference lies in how it is organised. Instead of trusting Harry, Dick or Tom to do one’s bidding, the CS member who wishes to cast a proxy vote should be required to send in his vote to the Executive Director - or other appointed CS official - by a cut-off date. This would prevent the creation and manipulation of bloc voting, which is a pernicious practice that allows sectionalism to outweigh the general interest. It is a practice that is undemocratic and unethical. It is one that is too often adopted within Chess Scotland - not only in elections - but also, for example, most recently in deciding the viability of the Standards Committee.

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