Author Topic: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM  (Read 17358 times)

Offline Des Lewis

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #90 on: January 11, 2014, 08:03:09 AM »
I am easily blinded with science. But thanks. As I said here before, all that must have gone over my head in the past. :|
But aren't all these things straightened out if binding online membership voting goes into the constitution for each change or at least enabled from time to time by a common-sense executive decision. At least the membership will be satisfied their wishes on sensitive or controversial issues are followed, professional and non-professional members alike.  It is only now with pretty universal internet coverage that this is possible and arguably desirable.
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Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #91 on: January 11, 2014, 08:59:48 AM »
Propose whatever changes you think are best. You wouldn't get my vote, though, without a proposal that answered the crucial questions in my first post in this thread about how it would actually work.

Offline Des Lewis

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #92 on: January 11, 2014, 10:40:10 AM »
I suggest utilising the current executive decision power of the chair (rather than 'trammel' it, as suggested) to allow one-off membership votes that might help with this:

Speaking (rather writing) personally rather than as a committee member: I do think that a way could be found so that proposals are discussed online -- on these very forums!!! -- and the members then polled, their decision then being validated at the AGM. I don't know how; I haven't the technical expertise. But it might engage more than a handful of members and non-members hogging the discussion (and before anyone takes umbrage, I am *not* getting at anyone).

If anyone wants to put a proposal to the next AGM, I feel the wording of it needs thrashing out here so that the exact nature of that proposal is optimised. And, by the way, following information below, were any minutes kept and do we yet know the exact number present:

Yes, to be honest the AGM went quickly and smoothly because the small audience was in agreement with each other and only a few people insisted on asking questions. In the past, long AGMs have been the result of controversial proposals, when so many people rightly want a say.

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Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #93 on: January 11, 2014, 01:41:35 PM »
To arrange a membership vote on an issue without changing the constitution, persuade the part of the BFS that currently makes the decision to put it to a membership vote. Examples and further explanation in post #25.

Happy to answer questions about the 2013 AGM in the thread already begun on that topic (here). I have oodles of thoughts on the matter, but they'd be off-topic in this thread and no point repeating here what I've already said there.

Offline Des Lewis

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #94 on: January 11, 2014, 02:03:11 PM »
To arrange a membership vote on an issue without changing the constitution, persuade the part of the BFS that currently makes the decision to put it to a membership vote. Examples and further explanation in post #25.

I have re-read post 25 but my simple-minded hope was that all we have to do is persuade the chair to call a vote if we would like a defining or guiding vote prior to hopeful AGM ratification of any issue, bearing in mind what you said yesterday about the chair's constitutional powers.
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Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #95 on: January 11, 2014, 02:44:41 PM »
Chairs can invite a membership vote on things they have the power to decide.

The AGM can invite a membership vote on things it has the power to decide.

Chairs can poll members on anything they want, but they can't give away powers that aren't theirs.

Yes, as I have said, BFS chairs have an astonishing amount of latitude, but as I have also said, they have to work within the constitution. Acceptance of the rules of the constitution is a condition of BFS membership, and BFS membership is a condition of joining the committee.

So for example a new chair could decide that from now on the BFS would focus on building a rocket to the moon. But they would still have to stand for election at the AGM. They could appoint Shia LeBoeuf to the committee without asking anyone's permission, but not unless he was a BFS member, and not if that meant there were more than two committee members resident outside the UK.

Offline Des Lewis

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #96 on: January 11, 2014, 02:55:28 PM »
Thanks, Stephen.
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Offline Peter Coleborn

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #97 on: January 12, 2014, 11:00:32 AM »
There are bound to be times when the committee has to make a quick decision (eg, on the Small Press Award -- I understand we can't officially rename this until the AGM this September) and waiting up to a year to get a resolution passed at the AGM is a long time. Perhaps on these occasions the BFS committee should be allowed to act with executive powers. There should be limits -- at least 75% of the committee must be in favour, that decision must be ratify at the next AGM. Just a thought...

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #98 on: January 12, 2014, 04:57:18 PM »
Des has previously said something similar. So far as the awards go, we previously had that power, and the membership voted to remove it. Not sure how I'd vote if a member proposed that it be given back to us. There's a bit more detail about it all in post #89.

Offline Des Lewis

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Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #100 on: September 08, 2014, 09:41:31 AM »
Rules allowing proxy voting at the BFS annual general meeting (with certain restrictions to preserve the integrity of the AGM) were added to the BFS constitution at the 2014 AGM, following a proposal developed in response to the discussion in this thread.

A maximum of five proxies can be held per person, and proxies must be registered with the BFS secretary seven days (168 hours) before the start time of the AGM. No one on the BFS committee can hold proxies, to prevent a committee streamrolling the AGM. And all proxies held by a person have to be voted in the same direction, or not at all, to stop people being sent to the AGM with a predetermined shopping list of votes: the person holding the proxies has to listen to what is being said and vote according to their conscience.

The full rules on proxy voting can be seen at 5.4 of the updated constitution.