Author Topic: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM  (Read 17359 times)

Offline allybird

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2013, 10:38:27 PM »
Thank you for all that Stephen...I'd have been greatly disappointed too if I'd put the effort you do into this society and  the travelling you had to do that day.......but again How many members turned up to the last AGM?

What is the current size of the membership?

These questions are important to show just how many made the changes last time to show perhaps that electronic online and postal voting can/should be the way forwards and incorporate more members.  I'm aware that in certain years the AGM/EGM is much larger when certain topics are on the agenda.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 10:41:10 PM by allybird »

Offline allybird

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2013, 11:00:59 PM »
'We don't have that power, so we can't delegate that power to you. We could still call a vote, but once the vote was done, the committee wouldn't have the authority to amend the awards constitution in accordance with the result. The rules would be unchanged. The proposal would still have to pass at the AGM.'

So can that be done? The vote? By post and online .....in asking if the members would like Best Collection to be named after Joel? Publish the result on here and take it to the AGM.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 11:44:46 PM by allybird »

Offline jim mcleod

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #32 on: December 09, 2013, 07:52:36 AM »
Des, yes the Society should remain open.  However it shouldn't allow non members a voice in policy changes.  It can remain open by having an area that publishes all AGM EGM, and results of any votes on policy change.  But the policy change should remain a member only affair, if you eant to change it join it.  Otherwise do away with the journals, the discounted price for FCon and have no membership fees

Offline allybird

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #33 on: December 09, 2013, 08:23:51 AM »
Des, yes the Society should remain open.  However it shouldn't allow non members a voice in policy changes.  It can remain open by having an area that publishes all AGM EGM, and results of any votes on policy change.  But the policy change should remain a member only affair, if you eant to change it join it.  Otherwise do away with the journals, the discounted price for FCon and have no membership fees

Jim. If I was going to spend 60 for an overseas membership I want to know what I'm joining. I'd at least want a postal/online vote (for anything that is proposed and at what point would I know?) I cannot attend an AGM as I live in NZ. How could my vote or that of a disabled member who could not attend be incorporated into a vote? There was no accessibility for the disabled to the room where the AGM was held either (stairs only). And if only 10 or so people turn up to an AGM (this last one was a handful of people) how can that be a fair system? Online/postal is the only way forward perhaps with discussions at the AGM and on the forum ....and online/postal voting a week or so later.

You want people not to make suggestions? Then watch the society dwindle.

I'm actually having a calm and productive discussion on it also with two Chairs at the moment. And actually I've only seen you raise objections to my discussions on 'policy changes' I'm interested in how to give the disabled and overseas members a vote. And without online voting/postal one day the society will die. And it will without a welcoming attitude to discussion.

Don't forget I would have to pay twice the normal membership cost you do..for what ...........no vote on anything and very few journals each year ..that is what we are
discussing.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 08:32:59 AM by allybird »

Offline allybird

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #34 on: December 09, 2013, 08:34:15 AM »
I was a member when in the U.K. 35.

Offline allybird

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2013, 09:10:29 AM »
And Jim. Wherever you are based. Do you want go to Brighton each year to vote?

Offline David A. Riley

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2013, 09:14:15 AM »
I do tend to agree with Jim McLeod regarding the discussion of changes to the BFS Constitution being confined to paid up members of the society. To open it up to all non-members would seem wrong. No other society I know of would do this. In essence, it is no interest of non-members to participate in such discussions.

Regarding disabled and overseas members in particular, I do think there definitely should be proxy votes available, with the proviso that no individual within the society should be allowed to hold more than perhaps 5 of these. As someone pointed out, not to impose a limit could conceivably result in one person holding 50 or more proxy votes and thus make the votes of all other attending members at an AGM irrelevant.

The higher price for overseas members is, of course, due to the cost of mailing the Journal and other publications to them. I can't see how this can be avoided or changed unless we go the road of allowing members to have e-Journals, etc as an alternative. But that is another issue and a thorny one, as past discussions have shown.

I would like to see more discussions take place via this forum about proposed constitutional changes - in fact, any changes at all, especially any that may be controversial. It would help to make this forum more relevant and maybe even popular. To do so, though, it would need, as I keep saying, a greater participation by members of the committee. This would have the benefit of making the committee look less isolated from the membership and get more members involved.

I don't think that this is the sole thing to worry about with regard the BFS nor its biggest problem. The biggest problem over the past couple of years has been the society's poor performance in getting its publications out regularly and on time. This was something that was remedied in the two years prior to this, during a time in which membership rose impressively. I doubt that this level of membership has been maintained and I would be interested in seeing comparative figures over the past few years.

With regard Joel Lane I would like to state now that I am in favour of an award in his name and, if it would help matters over the stated imbalance of awards in the names of male writers, why not consider renaming the August Derleth Award. I have previously suggested this and given my reasons why, though no one has so far responded.

Offline Peter Coleborn

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2013, 10:40:21 AM »
Sorry, I'm returning to the forum so quickly  ;)

I find it hard to believe that the decision on whether to renew or not rests on one issue, the renaming of a BFS award --  because that is the way it appears to be. Surely being a member of an organisation like ours means taking it as a whole. There have been things I've disagreed with in the past -- that's the nature of the beast.

David is right in that the well-being of the BFS depends on the regularity and quality of its publications. If people think they are getting their money's worth then they tend to be happy. Open nights, conventions, story competitions, awards, they all play secondary to the Journal and other publications. Getting the publications done on time must be our priority.

I don't think e-Journals are a real problem, other than having the time and personnel needed to create them. My experience of producing e-books for The Alchemy Press is that things are never as straightforward as they are supposed to be, especially if graphics are involved (maybe a non-graphic version of the Journal for e-readers?). Deciding on the level of the e-membership fee remains a thorny issue -- the BFS still requires an income to produce books like the two latest anthologies.

I haven't read the BFS constitution recently, but if Stephen says such-and-such is in it, etc, then I trust him. We have to abide by the rules (oh for those long off days when we had a 'soft' constitution  ;) ). I am in favour of making the society more representative of its members (online voting, proxy votes) but we have to get these changes done properly otherwise other folk will probably think we're up to no good. I know that Joel had many friends and that they want to commemorate his name but please slow down and don't try to rush things.

And I too think that detailed discussions/arguments about changes to the BFS constitution should be kept inhouse as far as possible, even though I want many suggestions thrown into the pot -- because a diversity of ideas is important. For example, an interesting idea of yours, David, about renaming the ADFA.    

[edited for spelling]






« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 11:52:54 AM by Peter Coleborn »

Offline allybird

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #38 on: December 09, 2013, 11:28:04 AM »
The Bird House today.
Me. Al I need to go to York next year. I need thousands of pounds of your hard earned money to be there to vote for something.
Al. Get it online.
Me. No. Not an option...
Him. Fxxx off then. No he would not say that he would not but I would not blame him...he'd just say no. I cannot get the money for the flight to vote. And why should I?

Offline David A. Riley

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2013, 11:46:00 AM »
I cannot believe that the issue of naming or renaming an award rests on a single vote of someone having to travel from the other side of the world. If the resolution, if put before the AGM next year, has the kind of support that I would expect it to have, I do not think extreme actions such as this will be needed. On the other hand I do agree we should have some form of proxy voting in force.


Offline Des Lewis

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #40 on: December 09, 2013, 12:19:42 PM »
if Stephen says such-and-such is in it, etc, then I trust him.

So do I. I don't think anyone said they were distrusting him. It's just a question of what to do with a situation where we have an unprecedented upsurge of feeling worldwide up and down the spectrum of luminaries and fans toward an active and popular member of our Society who is known in many circles as a significant fiction writer, poet, literary critic, activist, visionary and friend.
If I may be allowed one more suggestion. Have a timely vote in January and if members want an award named after Joel, then we shall call that award the Joel Lane award by some sort of 'common law' and then it is rubber-stamped at the next available AGM.
I still don't think we have had an answer to how many current members and how many at the last AGM? If necessary, please let me know privately.
Also, I don't think this should be a single issue debate. This is just one I'm addressing at the moment as an ordinary member.
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Offline allybird

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2013, 03:17:44 PM »
I cannot believe that the issue of naming or renaming an award rests on a single vote of someone having to travel from the other side of the world. If the resolution, if put before the AGM next year, has the kind of support that I would expect it to have, I do not think extreme actions such as this will be needed. On the other hand I do agree we should have some form of proxy voting in force.



Well of course. And yes I'd like a vote for my membership money if I do rejoin.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 03:30:19 PM by allybird »

Offline allybird

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2013, 03:19:22 PM »
if Stephen says such-and-such is in it, etc, then I trust him.

So do I. I don't think anyone said they were distrusting him. It's just a question of what to do with a situation where we have an unprecedented upsurge of feeling worldwide up and down the spectrum of luminaries and fans toward an active and popular member of our Society who is known in many circles as a significant fiction writer, poet, literary critic, activist, visionary and friend.
If I may be allowed one more suggestion. Have a timely vote in January and if members want an award named after Joel, then we shall call that award the Joel Lane award by some sort of 'common law' and then it is rubber-stamped at the next available AGM.
I still don't think we have had an answer to how many current members and how many at the last AGM? If necessary, please let me know privately.
Also, I don't think this should be a single issue debate. This is just one I'm addressing at the moment as an ordinary member.

Exactly, Des. And yes. ' If I may be allowed one more suggestion. Have a timely vote in January and if members want an award named after Joel, then we shall call that award the Joel Lane award by some sort of 'common law' and then it is rubber-stamped at the next available AGM.'

As Stephen said 'We don't have that power, so we can't delegate that power to you. We could still call a vote, but once the vote was done, the committee wouldn't have the authority to amend the awards constitution in accordance with the result. The rules would be unchanged. The proposal would still have to pass at the AGM..'

But months of online surveys/detailed discussions/online voting could be overturned at the AGM......in two mins. If say 10 - 40 odd people have said yes to something on an online vote and it goes to AGM there is no way a person should be able to walk into a room with 3 people (new proposal to replace it) say and overturn it.... the system is very flawed isn't it. Does anyone know, who is in another society, how it could be done?

Current membership I've asked that question too....  quite a few times now. But would like a public reply in the interests of transparency.

« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 05:14:22 PM by allybird »

Offline Des Lewis

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2013, 05:18:49 PM »
But months of online surveys/detailed discussions/online voting could be overturned at the AGM......in two mins. If say 10 - 40 odd people have said yes to something on an online vote and it goes to AGM there is no way a person should be able to walk into a room with 3 people (new proposal to replace it) say and overturn it.... the system is very flawed isn't it. Does anyone know, who is in another society, how it could be

I agree with you. I didn't really appreciate before now how the Society worked. My fault, really, too busy with creative writing etc.
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Offline allybird

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Re: Postal and electronic or proxy voting at the AGM
« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2013, 06:13:00 PM »
But months of online surveys/detailed discussions/online voting could be overturned at the AGM......in two mins. If say 10 - 40 odd people have said yes to something on an online vote and it goes to AGM there is no way a person should be able to walk into a room with 3 people (new proposal to replace it) say and overturn it.... the system is very flawed isn't it. Does anyone know, who is in another society, how it could be

I agree with you. I didn't really appreciate before now how the Society worked. My fault, really, too busy with creative writing etc.

Believe me Des it has taken me hours to get to this point. Even if I got a proxy vote the system is so flawed.

Al reminded me last night that when he was at Manchester Uni (over 20 years ago) The Muslim Society realized the student meeting was very small so they proposed they chuck The Jewish Society out of the union. A student ran out of the hall and shouted to everyone in the building to get their arses in, and stop it. They did just one minute before The Jewish Society was almost excluded, and stopped it.