Re: Questions for Keith - straight to the point I hope
Apr 21, 2009 10:45 AM
Does this two year rule affect a Sections eligibility to vote? Earlier you wrote:
The status of the Colombian Section was that it did not qualify for voting rights under Rule 36(d) at the time of the election, as it only had 52 members
The status of the South African Section was that it qualified for voting rights at the time of the election as it had 5 lodges and 259 members.
The status of the Greek Section was that it qualified for voting rights at the time of the election as it had 6 lodges and 108 members.
Since none of the members of the Greek and Colombian Sections that made up the required minimums for voting eligibility had been members for two consecutive years, and that the required lodge had not been existent for two consecutive years prior to International Election and voting for the new Vice President, wouldn't this fact alone disqualify those two sections or any new lodge in India? I see nothing in the International Rules to dispute my claim. Two years is two years, there is no executive privilege here.
In my interpertation of the International Rules, the Greek Seciton and the Colombian Sections are not entitled to vote until the two year rule has been met by either its lodges or its newly joined members.
Other sections whose membership has individual voting rights enforce the two year rule.
--- In email@example.com, "keith_fisher@..." <exsecy@...> wrote:
> Dear CM
> As you can see from the rules which you posted, Members must be
> in two years good standing before they can vote on any TS matter,
> including Presidential elections or any other matter at International,
> National, or Lodge level, and as a Fellow at Large.
> To be in `two years good standing' means that the Member must
> have paid dues for the two years immediately prior to the date of the
> election, or closing date for voting on any other item of business.
> This rule does not affect the election of the Vice President of the
> Theosophical Society in which ordinary members do not have a vote.
> The Vice President is elected by members of the General Council only.
> The voting rights of the General Secretaries on the General Council
> are governed by Rule 36(d)
> Rule 36(d) Minimum number of members for National Society:
> If at any time the number of members in good standing of a National
> Society falls below seventy or the number of Lodges (Branches) falls
> below five the President may, at his discretion withdraw its Charter.
> In the event of the Charter not being withdrawn, the General Secretary
> of the Section concerned shall cease to have voting rights as a member
> of the General Council until the necessary numerical strength is recovered.
> Please Note:
> This rule only requires that members are in good standing, or have
> paid their dues, it does not require members to have been two years
> in good standing, to be counted as members of the Section concerned.
> Best wishes
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "amusedwiththis" <amusedwiththis@> wrote:
> > Dear Keith and Et al,
> > I am wondering how the two year voting rule impacts the voting for president and vice president.
> > The following International Rules are here in stated verbatum:
> > Article 29
> > 29. Admission to membership
> > (a) Admission to membership may be obtained through the President of a Lodge (Branch), the General Secretary of a National Society, Regional Secretary, Organizing Secretary or Presidential Representative or through the Secretary; and a Diploma (Certificate) of membership shall be issued to the Fellow, bearing the signature of the President, and countersigned by the General Secretary, Regional Secretary, Organizing Secretary or Presidential Representative, where the applicant resides within the territory of a National Society, Regional Association or Presidential Agency, or counter¬signed by the Secretary, if admission to membership, has been obtained through the Secretary.
> > (b) Admission to membership shall be at the discretion of the National Society or the International Secretary, as the case may be.
> > Membership Date
> > (c) The date of membership will begin:
> > When admission has been made through the General Secretary, Regional Secretary, Organizing Secretary, or Presidential Representat¬ive from the date of acceptance by the General Secretary, Regional Secretary, Organizing Secretary or Presidential Representative as entered by him and duly reported to the Secretary at Adyar.
> > When admission has been made through the Secretary, from the date of acceptance of the application by him, and so recorded in his office.
> > (d) Members may not be full members of more than one Lodge (Branch) at a time, but may be accepted as Affiliated or Honorary Members of Lodges (Branches) other than the one in which they are full members. Affiliated or Honorary Members may possess such rights and privileges as are accorded to them by the Lodge (Branch) in which they hold such membership, but they shall not be founder members of new Lodges (Branches), but if a member becomes a founder member of a new Lodge (Branch), he must become a full member of such Lodge (Branch) and shall relinquish full membership in any other Lodge (Branch). Affiliated or Honorary Members are not to be counted in the international records or vote in international elections other than through the Lodges (Branches) in which they hold full membership.
> > (e) Without prejudice to the provisions of Rule 10, no member in good standing for less than twenty-four consecutive months immediately prior to the date of voting shall have the right to vote in elections and other matters pertaining to Lodges, Federations, Regional Associations, National Societies or other duly constituted bodies of the Theosophical Society. In the case of newly, formed Lodges (Branches), or where the civil code or corporate law prohibits restrictions on voting rights, the General Secretary, or National Council or Committee, or the International Secretary, as the case may be, shall have the power to waive the requirements of this rule. Where such waiver becomes necessary, alternative safeguards shall be provided to ensure that the character of the Society is preserved in all its duly constituted bodies, and properties safeguarded.
> > and
> > Appendix B
> > B. Voting Procedure for a Presidential Election
> > Note: Where the term `General Secretary' is used, it refers also to Regional Secretary, Organizing Secretary, and Presidential Representative. Where the term `Section' is used, it refers also to National Society, Regional Association and Presidential Agency.
> > (a) The Section shall print the voting papers and biographical data as soon as the names of the nominees are announced.
> > ? Where practicable, in the view of the General Secretary, all the papers should be in the languages) of the area.
> > ? It shall be the responsibility of the General Secretary to ensure that the voting papers together with the biographical data in full are sent to each member.
> > ? Other material concerning the candidates shall not be circulated.
> > (b) The voting papers shall consist of two parts: the voting slip, and the letter form which the member signs and addresses to the General Secretary.
> > Each member shall be given two envelopes, a small one in which he will place only the voting slip and seal it, and a larger one addressed to the General Secretary, in which he will enclose the small sealed envelope and the letter form signed by him.
> > (c) As the papers are received, the General Secretary, with the scrutineers appointed by the Executive Committee of the Section (preferably not members of that committee), shall open the larger envelopes addressed to him to ensure the validity of the votes by checking the eligibility of the voter who has signed the letter form.
> > ? Íå shall then put the small sealed envelopes containing the voting slips into a sealed box.
> > ? This box shall be opened on the appointed day by the scrutineers. Voting papers received after this day shall be treated as invalid and shall be destroyed unopened.
> > ? The scrutineers shall open the small envelopes and count the votes given to each candidate (or the number of `For' or `Against' votes if there is but one candidate).
> > (d) The General Secretary shall record the result of the count on Form C which will be supplied from the Secretary's Office at the same time as the list to be voted upon.
> > ? He shall place Form C in the small envelope labeled `Voting Result Section , seal the envelope and enclose it in the larger envelope addressed to the Secretary.
> > ? This must be sent by airmail, or other expeditious means to reach the Secretary within fifteen weeks from the date of issue of the voting list by him.
> > ? Provided further that Form C, duly signed by the General Secretary, may be sent by fax, within the time limit mentioned above.
> > ? The small envelope containing the voting results of the Section shall be kept unopened in a sealed box by the Secretary until the close of voting.
> > ? It shall then be opened by the Election Committee.
> > ? The larger envelope shall be kept separately and shall not be destroyed until after the voting results are announced, and under the authority of the Executive Committee.
> > (f) If the voting returns have not been received by the Secretary within twelve weeks of the date of issue of the voting list by him, he shall cable the General Secretary concerned, informing him of this fact.
> > ? The General Secretary shall immediately send to the Secretary by airmail or other expeditious means a second (duplicate) voting return in a sealed enveloped marked `Duplicate'.
> > ? Cabled results will not be accepted.
> > Voting results received after the closing date will be destroyed unopened by the Secretary in the presence of three members of the Executive Committee, nominated by the said Committee, and the particulars of the Section from which the voting results were received and the date on which they were received, shall be recorded in writing, and the Secretary and the three members of the Executive Committee shall affix their signatures thereto.
> > Please comment.
> > CM
> > --- In email@example.com, "Anton Rozman" <anton_rozman@> wrote:
> > >
> > > Dear Keith,
> > >
> > > It seems that we have come to the end of designed discussion and therefore I would like to thank you very much for your answers, in the name of all who have sent me a message of appreciation for the effort we made to clarify a little past events and in my personal name. There is now available a lot of material for thought and analysis and I will need some time to prepare an overview of what have been presented here.
> > >
> > > But if you don't mind there is still one related question I would like to ask. Namely, there have been allegations made that membership records at Adyar are not reliable. Also, when I was analyzing voting results I found few minor discrepancies between the number of votes received and number of members eligible to vote. And finally, in your elaboration you mentioned how certain not updated records have to quite great extend provoked troubles and doubts regarding the regularity of election process. Therefore I would like to ask you the following: Can you give us your estimation of the condition of the Society's membership records and the capability of the Headquarters offices to keep them updated?
> > >
> > > And at the end I have one special request for you. Namely, there are probably many members who, like me, don't know all the activities which are going on at the Society's Headquarters, how many people take care for these activities, how they are engaged and paid and so on. Therefore, I kindly ask you if you can present us an overview in regard to these issues.
> > >
> > > Thank you very much in advance and warmest regards,
> > > Anton
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "keith_fisher@" <exsecy@> wrote:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Dear Anton
> > > >
> > > > There is nothing in the Rules and Regulations to invite observers
> > > > to the GC meeting and I am not aware of any standard that has
> > > > been set down elsewhere, but it is definitely by invitation only.
> > > > I was told unofficially that applications had to be in writing, in
> > > > the form of a letter to the President, who then makes a decision
> > > > on who will be invited to attend. Only three of the applications
> > > > passed through my hands, these were forwarded to the President's
> > > > office, I presume that the other applications were made directly to
> > > > the President. I don't know what criteria is applied to them.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > In the election of Additional Members the General Council had
> > > > voted in a postal ballot, each of them signing their name on a
> > > > voting paper indicating which way they wanted to vote, this was
> > > > the usual procedure established over many years. Members are
> > > > asked to send their votes in by 1 December, and the result is
> > > > announced and confirmed at the General Council meeting on
> > > > 25 December. Item 3(c) on the Agenda.
> > > >
> > > > While this Agenda item was in progress, and after the results had
> > > > been announced, Warwick Keys tried to move a motion to discard
> > > > the voting by all General Council members and take another vote
> > > > with only those present at the meeting plus the proxies they held.
> > > > He argued that the postal ballot did not conform to Rule 2(b).
> > > >
> > > > *****
> > > > 2. Members of the General Council
> > > > (b) The General Council shall include not fewer than 5 and not more
> > > > than 12 Additional Members, among whom all past Presidents while
> > > > in good standing shall automatically have place. Other members shall
> > > > on the nomination of the President be elected for a term of three years
> > > > by vote of the General Council at its Annual Meeting, their names
> > > > having been sent to the Members of the General Council at least three
> > > > months before the Annual Meeting.
> > > > *****
> > > >
> > > > After a long discussion on the legality of the postal ballot, Warick Keys
> > > > read out Rule 2(b) and said he would like to move "That that procedure
> > > > be followed". The Chairman ignored his motion on two occasions and
> > > > continued with the Agenda item, which was a motion to confirm the
> > > > voting in the election of the Additional Members.
> > > >
> > > > I never for one moment thought that this motion was on the floor and
> > > > reported it in the minutes accordingly. A chairman cannot accept
> > > > another motion when one is already on the floor, and a chairman is
> > > > not obliged to accept a motion that is obstructive. Furthermore, the
> > > > Chairman did not indicate acceptance of the motion by calling for a
> > > > seconder, or asking for clarification of the wording, which would have
> > > > been necessary to make the motion intelligible.
> > > >
> > > > However, Warwick Keys was under the impression that the motion was
> > > > on the floor, and he decided to withdraw it "in the interest of harmony".
> > > >
> > > > In considering the legality of voting by postal ballot, which has been
> > > > established and accepted for many years, we need to consider the
> > > > logistics of the year in question. The Agenda was sent out by email
> > > > and airmail on 25 September 2008, three months notice being given
> > > > in respect of voting for Additional Members. Although members were
> > > > asked to send in their votes by 1 December, the results were not declared
> > > > at that date and remained confidential until the General Council meeting.
> > > > The three months notice expired on 25 December 2008, the day of the
> > > > General Council meeting, when the votes were declared and confirmed.
> > > >
> > > > Best wishes
> > > > Keith
> > >
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