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AGM Election Results
If I could just chip in with my experience of how things are handled in the political party to which I belong.

Proxy votes - an absolute no-no.

Motions and amendments - voted solely on by those present at the branch AGM/national Conference.

Elections - branch office bearers - voted solely on by those present at the branch AGM.

Elections - national office bearers or election candidates (for MP or MSP) .
This is the relevant case for CS office bearer elections.

Here, the norm is to have a 'hustings' meeting, followed by a vote.
You can either cast your vote at the hustings, or by post.
The key thing is that the postal ballot papers are not sent out until after the hustings.
This is to avoid the situation that the election has already been decided on name recognition of the candidate and then we find the candidate cannot string two coherent sentences together, or make a meaningful response to an off-the-cuff question.
The candidates are usually allowed a one-page A4 "manifesto" which is sent out along with the postal ballot papers. A begging letter for donations to the party usually accompanies these.

Experience has also come up with the additional rules:
The "manifesto" must not include endorsements from other people.
No other communication must be sent to the members voting.
Phone and in-person canvassing is allowed and candidates are given equal access to the relevant membership list to keep this fair.
(I was once phone canvassed by a candidate's father, which I thought was sweet, but didn't impress me)

I should add that in the case of an uncontested election, e.g. to be the party candidate for a "no-hope" seat, members still have the yes/no accept/reject option.

No system is perfect, of course. I know people who can give the most entertaining, witty and erudite speech without the aid of notes, yet are chronically incapable of arriving at a pre-agreed place on time.

I offer this as a template for CS, without re-inventing the wheel.
Since this is the 21st century, perhaps we should include e-voting as an alternative to postal voting given above.

Kind regards,
I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine
Some really good ideas here. Please keep them coming
"How sad to see, what used to be, a model of decorum and tranquility become like any other sport, a battleground for rival ideologies to slug it out with glee"
I like idea of abolishing proxies. To be perfectly honest when I saw 146 proxies I was a bit shocked and pretty much came to conclusion that turning up was pointless as matters were already decided.

Online voting also works. However I will add that unless before the AGM the members are actually well informed it will inevitably end up reverting to status quo where marketing campaigns dominate as asking someone to vote for a specific candidate/motion online is just as easy as asking for a proxy. Voting is completely meaningless unless the electorate can firstly make an informed choice that means knowing what their vote stands for and what consequences of it will be. Secondly they need to be presented with options that are sufficiently different that they can be distinguished rather than both sides reaching for middle ground as you see in national politics.

As far as proxies goes my initial thoughts were that a proxy was for someone who genuinely intended to go but couldn't make it this year. My solution to that was to say that a member of chess scotland can give their proxy to another member attending AGM provided they attended one of the previous two AGMs. This would indicate that person has a track record of having an interest in chess and normally goes to AGM.

I'm unsure how AGMs are run by chess scotland although I assumed there was following format. Firstly the elected official gives a brief report detailing how their respective role has been carried out this year. They may not go into detail but at least give a brief overview so attendees are informed on subject. They then explain how they intend to run it next year and can either advocate status quo or alternatively give suggestions while being willing to accept suggestions from the floor. I personally find this method a lot easier since it gives a clear sense of direction and means that regardless of result office bearer carries a mandate that means all the responsibility isn't heaped onto one person's shoulders but is shared between everyone in organisation.
Suggested Solution to the Proxy Vote Issue.

Divide the CS membership into equally populated geographical based constituencies. Each constituency will elect a representative to attend CS Council and AGM meetings on their behalf. Once the Council/ AGM agenda is posted (in good time to allow the collection of constituency opinion) the representative will hold a local meeting or email correspondence to discuss the agenda and note their collective viewpoint of all agenda items. The representative then attends the CS meetings and votes according to the wishes of their constituency. If amendments are made during the course of the Council/AGM meeting then the representative will vote as they believe their constituents would wish. Details of how each representative exercised their votes will be published in the minutes of each meeting. If any constituency are unhappy about any votes cast on their behalf then they may change their representatives vote if they can muster a majority petition among their entire constituency population and submit that challenge within a predetermined period of time. Once sufficient time has passed to absorb all constituency challenges the minutes will be set.
The voting power of each constituency should be calibrated so that they do not dominate the AGM. i.e if we had nine constituencies then each representative would hold 10% of the vote with the AGM attendees also holding 10%. e.g. if those attending the AGM who are not a representative, vote on the floor for a particular election or motion then their vote would count as 10% of the overall vote.
Most chess clubs hold annual meetings to appoint office bearers and carry out general admin. It should be relatively simple to incorporate this alternative to the proxy vote by adding CS agenda items to the discussion and appointing a constituency representative.
If a constituency is unable to appoint a representative to attend a CS meeting then a proxy vote may still be submitted. This would still differ from the present proxy method as the proxy would be for one defined constituency.
As you can probably tell I have plagiarised the voting framework from the renowned democratic leaders in this field- China, North Korea and the Eurovision song contest.
Well done to all those elected, looks like a dynamic team for driving things forward.
Really can't face the reams of words in this thread. Just want to say proxy votes seem fine to me. Each paid up member is entitled to do what they like with their vote. Period.
nicely said George Big Grin
George Neave Wrote:Really can't face the reams of words in this thread. Just want to say proxy votes seem fine to me. Each paid up member is entitled to do what they like with their vote. Period.

problem with that is that the votes are cast beforehand then there's no point in discussion. Maybe instead on having an AGM we should have an online blog since debate at an AGM is becoming undermined by proxies

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