A Grad Student Organization of around 3,000 members is in the process of electing their Executive Committee. They’ve been operating w 4 Execs for sometime now, who — it goes without saying — get the position by way of competitive elections.
This time around, the option is brought up re the possibility of forfeiting taken-for-granted contestation & voting for all 6 running Candidates separately, in the format for Uncontested Positions, i.e., by a vote of confidence (Yes/No/Abstain).
This would boil down to leaving it up to the general membership to choose, by “direct democracy”, to elect:
- exactly 4
- all 6 or 5
- and, even less than 4
Isn’t this a way of consciously decolonizing the Spirit of Student Governance?!
What if, moreover, the Elections Committee’s members and the Appeals Committee’s members have withdrawn, for any number of valid reasons? Calling a Council meeting is cumbersome and unsuitable during elections, and Any Legislative-related Committee, such as the Constitution Review Committee would — constitutionally — need Council vote for any recommendations made?
Wouldn’t, then, “direct democracy”
— recruiting the legislative power of the general membership —
— potentially much more comprehensively than any Annual General Meeting —
be the properly democratic way to go?
Well, really, the Committees are there to “help” regulate interpersonal tensions, in addition to managing process. So, if All Candidates are potentially allowed to be elected, by the vote of confidence mechanism, the necessity for the Committee’s supervisory function seems to fall away.
Given the “6 candidates for 4 positions” CHALLENGE, the composite names in the proposed Constitution edition,
- Academics & Funding
- Communication & Management
- Finance & Resources
- Governance & Equity
might come in handy in re-organizing the Executive Committee. How about:
- Academics & Sustainability
- Funding & Resources
- Finance & Banking
- Communication & Records
- Equity & Internationalization
- Governance & Access — THIS would be “me”, on the broad interpretation of “access” encompassing in addition to (dis)ability, also employability, resources and funding, etc.
HOW MUCH HUGER IS THE DISTANCE BETWEEN FELLOW HUMANS, MEETING FACE2FACE JUST ABOUT EVERY DAY?!
It just struck me that i’m creating this website envisioning a creative, robustly democratic approach to Grad Student Governance in general and Elections in particular on the Day a Human Ventured into Outer Space — April 12, 1969
YouTube Credit: uploaded by TheSpaceHistory on July 1, 2010
Apollo 11 Mission Highlights: Neil Armstrong Landing On The Moon – NASA Space Documentary
YouTube Credit: uploaded by wdtvlive42 on Jan 19, 2012
And, while I’m at it, the first Canadian in space, Chris Hadfield, singing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station:
YouTube Credit: published under “Chris Hadfield” on May 12, 2013 – titled “Space Oddity“