Jan 14, 2010

One Member, One Vote: Again

Joe Lux has stated in the USCF's Issues Forum that he will present a motion  this summer calling for the USCF's Executive Board to be elected by the delegates.  He has made his arguments for this motion in the Forum.  He has also issued a challenge that if 30% of the USCF membership turns out in the June election, he will withdraw his motion.  I've responded as follows in the Forum:

This is where Joe and I agree: Get the membership vote out...at least to the point of the membership exercising their vote and selecting the EB in an informed way.

I'm not looking to turn all of the members into politicians. Nor am I wanting to distract them from playing chess. But I got involved because a Chess Life arrived at my house with Candidates' Statements in it, and because I received a ballot. I took a little time--too little as it turned out--to google some names and make some selections. Later I became incensed when I learned of additional information and of how legal events unfolded. And then I got further involved.

Let there be no mistake about it. I got involved because of OMOV. Because of OMOV, I can air my views out and attempt to persuade others my way. Everyone's views hold sway, and let the best ideas win. Everyone gets exactly one vote. The odds are strongly in favor that a more involved membership will lead to a stronger Foundation. You can hypothesize otherwise, but the more members who get involved in the governance of the USCF, and even begin to understand the issues, the better the organization will be.

You can also worry about some distortion in the system of one type or another. Such distortions will always be present in different ways, such as from a real or perceived large influence of this or that person or organization (and you can question whether all that seeming influence is deserved), or perhaps it's in the power of name recognition had by certain candidates. These types of problems will always be present. If you want to overcome these problems, you have to communicate and persuade.

I'm going to avoid for the present explaining my view of the alternative system, and how I might try to impact a small, select group of decision makers, many of whom have some portion or all of their livelihood tied to the game. Suffice it to say under such a system, there's an overwhelming chance that I would never become engaged.

As for Joe's challenge of helping to turn out 30%, I commend it, and I plan to do my part. As for rolling over and conceding should less than 30% turnout, of course I decline. I have to do what I think is right for the Federation. Even if 10% turn out, it'll be several thousand members exercising their voice in the governance of the Federation.

Finally, I have the utmost respect for Joe Lux. I've told him so. We respectfully disagree on this point and there's nothing wrong with that. Hopefully, he'll come around.

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