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STOP GPotUS National Committee Proposal 220

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  • les evenchick
    Forwarded on behalf of Owen Broadhurst, green from Massachusetts Les Evenchick New Orleans ... Hello, folks, PLEASE FORWARD AMONG GREENS FAR & WIDE Please
    Message 1 of 1 , May 9, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      Forwarded on behalf of Owen Broadhurst, green from
      Massachusetts
      Les Evenchick
      New Orleans

      --- Owen Broadhurst <owen.broadhurst@...> wrote:



      Hello, folks,

      PLEASE FORWARD AMONG GREENS FAR & WIDE

      Please assist in my campaign against the GPotUS
      National Committee's adoption of Proposal 220
      regarding internal GPotUS elections. This proposal, as
      is, in no way resolves the many questions posed
      regarding the past election of Steering Committee
      members at the Tulsa meeting - but on the contrary
      removes nearly all traces of accountability for such
      elections, allows for conflicts of interests regarding
      the preservation of election records, shifts the quota
      system from one of a Droop theshold to one of a
      Hagenbach-Bischoff threshold without amending our
      bylaws, and imposes rules upon committees and caucuses
      without regard for what is actually stated in GPotUS
      bylaws.

      It allows those contesting election results a mere
      72 hours to fully document all problems and concerns,
      and prescribe remedies - a time span within which many
      National Committee members attending face to face
      meetings might not yet even have had opportunity to
      make their way to their very own homes. This is a
      window designed to make challenges all but impossible,
      and compel hasty preparation of such without a proper
      time period allowed for research into procedural
      questions and all and any documents involved.

      It compels for the National Committee SECRET BALLOTS
      on elections for Steering Committee members, forcing
      all National Committee delegate constituents to depend
      on only their National Committee delegates for
      SELF-REPORTING of votes at only their very own whim,
      discretion and leisure.


      It forces for such elections adoption of methodology
      and software that is inadequate to the task of
      arriving at any accurate National Committee vote
      results.

      It DOES NOT require copies of election records to be
      retained for review by National Committee members; and
      it allows for the destruction of original records in
      too short a time-span.

      It allows for the Steering Committee to destroy
      records relevant to the Steering Committee's own
      election.

      It allows for the ratification of election results
      even while challenges to those election results are
      pending.

      It prohibits most National Committee members from
      having any standing to challenge most election
      results.

      http://green.gpus.org/cgi-bin/vote/propdetail?pid=220


      The full minority report is here:
      *

      http://gp.org/committees/brpp/proposals/2006/PolicyonInternalElections_MinRpt.shtml


      *

      BRPP members Roger Snyder, Kristen Olson, Fred Bays
      and I signed onto this minority report in the hopes
      that this proposal may be committed again to the BRPP.
      Primary concerns regarding which I feel compelled to
      further detail my very own views now follow. Please
      know that in specifically now taking note of only
      certain portions of the minority report, I by no means
      disavow my subscription to the whole of the minority
      report:

      Against P.220

      7.A.1 SCOPE



      "Each election for internal Party office held by the
      National Committee of the Party shall be conducted
      pursuant to this policy. Each chartered Committee,
      including the Steering Committee, and Working Group
      and Caucus of the Party, while free to develop for the
      ratification of the National Committee their own rules
      to govern internal elections, are urged to adopt rules
      governing such elections based on the following Model
      Election Rules for Internal Election of the Green
      Party of the United States. In the event that any
      Committee, Working Group or Caucus of the Party fails
      to adopt its own rules to govern such internal
      elections by one year after the effective date of
      these Model Election Rules, this Article shall govern
      subsequent internal elections unless and except as
      amended by the National Committee or the Committee,
      Working Group or Caucus in question. Elections to name
      a Party nominee for public office shall be conducted
      according to rules prescribed by the Rules and
      Regulations of the Quadrennial Presidential Nominating
      Convention."

      =======

      AGAIN, this policy would impose upon even newly
      created committees, caucuses and working groups unable
      to formulate their own rules by the deadline. As the
      minority report noted, a committee, caucus or working
      group created just a day before the deadline would be
      denied the time those created prior have for creating
      their very own rules.

      AGAIN, this above imposition violates the spirit of
      the BRPP SCOC report.

      AGAIN, this policy also permits the Steering Committee
      to excuse itself from this policy by creating its own
      rules regarding elections before the deadline.

      I PREVIOUSLY WROTE, "A proposal intended to propose
      rules for the Steering Committee's election ought not
      contain language making those rules optional, as
      Proposal 220 does above." I PREVIOUSLY WROTE, "I have
      expounded upon the rationale [for the minority
      report]in my post "P.220 Minority Report| A
      Signatory's Explication". Clearly, one rationale is
      that noted above: that a proposal intended to govern
      the Steering Committee's elections ought not be but a
      mere suggestion. I previously noted that imposition of
      rules upon the working committees ignores the
      recommendations and sage advice of the BRPP SCOC
      report, despite their never having been stated by the
      BRPP any basis for reversing course."

      From my prior post "P.220 Minority Report| A
      Signatory's Explication":


      The minority report observed:

      "This seems to be inappropriate rulemaking. Committees
      and caucuses should be assisted in developing the
      rules most appropriate for them, as is a mandate for
      the BRPP, and not either urged to adopt or assigned
      default rules. This also contains unequal treatment of
      caucuses and committees as current ones have a year to
      work on their rules before they are assigned, while
      ones that form in 11 months from resolution passage
      have only a month. It is unclear just how committees
      that form after one year are effected."

      I yet again refer the National Committee to the BRPP
      SCOC report:
      *

      http://gp.org/committees/brpp/overview.shtml
      *

      "The bylaw quoted above also does not reflect all
      types of current committee make-up, as there are
      committees with a different membership than described
      here. As The BRPP SCOC was preparing the first draft
      of this report, we saw posted on the BRPP list serve a
      provision for the CC to designate special election
      rules for specific committees. This was inserted in
      2000 so that the Transition Committee could be
      revived. It's also been used for the CCC. At last
      check, that rule change was not posted on the website
      with a reconciliation of the bylaws to note that there
      are exceptions to the general rule. Be that as it may,
      there has obviously been some evolution in our
      thinking: the Green Party has figured out that one
      size does not fit all; and, that form ought to follow
      function. The Green Party has therefore given itself
      the opportunity to use alternative forms when that is
      more appropriate to the mission of the committee being
      created."

      Why the BRPP majority has now reversed a position that
      the National Committee certainly found sage at the
      time eludes me. The BRPP SCOC report reflected
      intensive research into the very cultures of
      committees then in existence and adopted a philosophy
      far more reflective of our Decentralization key value
      than this new BRPP recommendation. Let us preserve
      that value:

      "The committees are all different. They each have a
      style that reflects what they are constituted to do.
      The International Committee has a great deal on
      protocol in its documents, as one would expect from a
      committee focused on smoothing communication among
      various Green Parties. The Media Committee does not
      have time for diplomacy; they have very tight
      deadlines and are designed for very frequent decisions
      about the message of the Green Party on important
      issues and how to put a public face on it. The Media
      committee rules are about the steps in getting out a
      press release. Accreditation has to ask really tough
      questions and maintain the high standards that Green
      Parties must adhere to if we are to be successful at
      Green politics.

      "After reading over the various submissions, it is
      quite clear that there is a great deal of variability
      in the rules the committees submitted, as well as a
      great deal of commonality."

      Should that not be how things remain?

      =======

      7.B. Ballot Specifications and Directions to Voters

      Paragraph 1

      "Ballots shall be simple and easy to understand. A
      sample ballot illustrating voting procedures shall be
      available as a part of each Party election
      administered under these rules. Except as provided by
      Article VI., of the Bylaws of the Green Party of the
      United States for the election of Steering Committee
      members, each election of persons to serve leadership
      roles within the Party shall be conducted so as to
      provide for the secrecy of each ballot, under
      procedures provided by this Policy. On each ballot, in
      addition to the nominated candidates, "No other
      Candidate" and a blank line to allow for a write-in
      candidate shall also appear as an option for each
      office. Directions provided to voters shall conform
      substantially to the following specifications:"

      AGAIN, this policy would dictate to committees,
      caucuses and working groups in violation of the spirit
      of the BRPP SCOC report.

      AGAIN, this policy would reverse the National
      Committee regarding open ballots for Steering
      Committee elections, and mandate secret balloting for
      such.

      AGAIN, the "No Other Candidate" device is employed
      where write-ins and choice voting eliminate any
      necessity for such.

      AGAIN, this paragraph's language contradicts the prior
      section of this proposal. Where the prior section
      notes that committees, caucuses and working groups can
      choose their own rules within a certain time span,
      THIS paragraph contradicts that and imposes the policy
      REGARDLESS of what committees, caucuses and working
      groups adopt within ANY time period.

      I PREVIOUSLY WROTE, "I chose my language specifically
      that this proposal not dictate to committees in
      violation of the spirit of the BRPP SCOC
      report...Rationale for use of open ballots is
      expounded upon in the minority report, and I
      previously did expound upon how this section would -
      without amendment - contradict language in section
      6.A.1. [now 7.A.1 ] of Proposal
      220." I PREVIOUSLY WROTE, regarding "No Other
      Candidate", that "Write-ins and threshold requirements
      address any need for this. Please refer to the
      minority report."


      The minority report observes:

      "The National Committee voted overwhelmingly
      (56-19-9) that "in the interest of transparency and
      accountability" it preferred open ballots in the
      election of Steering Committee members. The idea of
      open ballots seems to be a clearly accepted value of
      National Committee Greens when applied to
      representational delegates. This idea needs to be
      removed from all the places it occurs in this
      document.

      "Also, the phrase "persons to serve leadership roles
      within the Party" does not clearly define a group of
      people subject to GP-US elections, and could easily
      lead to further debates.

      "Furthermore, the above statement seems to eliminate
      open ballots for "persons to serve leadership roles
      within the Party" superseding section 1, and would
      replace the rules for committee and caucus elections
      for all person meeting that criteria."

      Where Section 7 A 1 suggests that committees and
      caucuses are "free to develop for the ratification of
      the National Committee their own rules to govern
      internal elections" providing that all such do so
      within only one year from the date this proposal, if
      approved, is adopted else Model Election Rules become
      imposed on them, this section is incongruent with that
      assurance and therefore contradicts Section 7 A 1 by
      compelling ALL elections for committee, caucus and
      working group officers to be conducted in accordance
      with Model Election Rules.

      Regarding secret ballots for Steering Committee member
      elections, the National Committee has already voiced
      its clear preference. It is inappropriate for this
      resolution, being as it is a quite involved and
      lengthy policy, to reverse the National Committee
      clear policy preference regarding open ballots for
      Steering Committee member elections. If the BRPP seeks
      reversal of the National Committee vote on such, then
      it should propose a stand alone resolution explicitly
      devoted only to that and then see whether the National
      Committee would indeed approve of it.

      As was noted during debate for that open ballot
      Steering Committee member election, we - the National
      Committee representatives - remain state party
      representatives, accountable to the state parties
      regarding every vote we cast. We're representatives -
      elected representatives - and are no less accountable
      to constituents than state legislators electing
      Presidents or Speakers, or City Council members
      electing City Council presidents. We discussed this,
      and we decided!

      =======

      7.C. Tabulation of Votes

      The first paragraph reads:

      "The Committee conducting an election shall name an
      Election Tabulation Committee of two or more Committee
      members, who are not standing for election, nor
      represent a state represented by a candidate who is
      standing for election. In accordance with the
      principles expressed above, ballots shall be counted
      by the Election Tabulation Committee according to the
      following rules:"

      AGAIN, this sections notes not how this Election
      Tabulation Committee shall be "named" nor how the
      make-up is to be determined.

      AGAIN, this section prescribes this of ALL committees
      conducting elections, regardless of what rules such
      may have adopted in any time frame, and therefore
      directly contradicts the language of 7.A.1 as noted.

      I PREVIOUSLY WROTE, "Kristen's amendment addresses
      minority report concerns regarding who shall actually
      conduct elections, renames the Tabulation Committee to
      reflect the need for some committee to conduct
      elections and do so impartially, and renames this
      section in order to reflect these needs and a renaming
      of Section 6.D." Unfortunately, Kristen's amendment
      was rejected for reasons that elude me.


      The minority report observes:

      "This has in the past caused concerns as the majority
      of the Steering committee gets to choose who counts
      the votes in its own election. It also is unclear in
      this case just who is actually conducting the
      election."

      In the case of a National Committee vote regarding
      Steering Committee composition, precisely how the
      National Committee shall name an Election Tabulation
      Committee has been in no way, shape or form explained
      by this proposal. Shall the National Committee hold
      elections regarding Election Tabulation Committee
      composition? How would an Election Tabulation
      Committee for that Election Tabulation Committee be
      chosen? I think we have a problem here.

      ========

      7.C.1 Determination of Victory Threshold

      "(a) For any given election, the number of votes
      necessary for a candidate to guarantee an elected
      position shall be termed the "threshold" or "winning
      threshold".

      "(b) The threshold is used to determine transferable
      surpluses as defined below. The threshold shall be the
      fewest number of votes that can be obtained only by
      the winning number of candidates. This threshold is
      determined by dividing
      (the number of valid votes cast) by (the number of
      seats +
      1). In an election to name a single individual to fill
      an office, the winning threshold shall be a simple
      majority of the non-exhausted ballots cast and these
      rules may be referred to as instant run-off voting."

      AGAIN, this subsection determines "victory threshold"
      by using a Hagenbach-Bischoff quota. The BRPP has
      adopted this without explanation and in violation of
      the bylaws, without even offering an amendment to the
      bylaws in this proposal.

      I PREVIOUSLY WROTE, "Language referring to the
      commital of task to BRPP may be contained in a
      seperate section of this proposal addressing bylaw
      changes as I discussed above. Indeed, Section
      6.C.1[now
      7.C.1] could specifically refer to bylaw changes we
      must adopt in order to see Steering Committee victory
      threshold determined in any case since it is the
      bylaws in fact that govern this."

      =======

      7.C.2(a)

      "(a) Votes acquired by a candidate in excess of the
      threshold for that election shall be termed their
      "surplus". A candidate's surplus votes shall be
      transferred according to the following rule: transfer
      a portion of each vote determined by dividing the
      surplus of the candidate by the total number of votes
      for that candidate, rounded to the third decimal
      place, to each voter's next choice. Votes cast for
      candidates who are eliminated (as described below)
      shall be transferred at their full current value to
      those voter's next choice(s)."

      AGAIN, rounding to the third decimal place offers not
      an actual portrait of what the voters will, but an
      approximation that in several instances could fail to
      accurately determine what the voters in fact have
      decided.

      I PREVIOUSLY WROTE, "As we have seen in tightly
      contested contests, the smallest smidgen in terms of
      vote transferral can affect contest disposition and
      trajectory. Do not ignore these numbers."

      ========

      7.C.2 (b)

      "(b) Votes may not be transferred to candidates who
      have already surpassed the threshold, nor may votes be
      transferred to candidates who have been eliminated.
      When a voter's next choice is not eligible for receipt
      of transferred votes, that vote (or portion of a vote)
      shall be transferred to the voter's next indicated
      choice until all choices on that ballot have been
      exhausted."

      AGAIN, this vote transferral method is not at all
      likely to yield a portrait of the genuine sentiments
      of the body concerned.

      I PREVIOUSLY WROTE, "Section (a) prescribes already
      how votes assigned to candidates eliminated are
      handled. This section unneccesarily prohibits
      consideration of the most accurate methods available,
      and would therefore leave results in question as an
      inaccurate reflection of the genuine sentiment of the
      body. "

      ======

      7.C.3.(a)

      "(a) Any candidate who's total votes at any stage of
      the tabulation exceeds the winning threshold shall be
      declared to have won a seat."

      AGAIN, the new quota proposed by this proposal allows
      for more candidates than available seats to exceed the
      winning threshold.

      I PREVIOUSLY WROTE, "Section 6.C.1 [now 7.C.1] to be
      should be that which specifies conditions necessary
      for seating."



      ======

      7.C.5 Determinations in case of tie.

      "For ties between candidates occurring at any stage in
      the tabulation, determinations shall be made based on
      whomever was credited with the most votes at the
      previous successive stages of tabulation.
      Specifically, if in any round of tabulation, two or
      more candidates have an equal number of votes, the
      candidate with the most first choices shall prevail.
      If two or more candidates have an equal number of
      first choices, than the candidate with a greater
      number of second choices shall prevail, and so on. If
      this information fails to resolve the tie, the
      Election Tabulation Committee shall consider the
      approval expressed by the ballots determined by the
      ranks assigned by all the ballots which ranked each
      tied candidate in question and whether any ballots
      cast ranked no-other-candidate at a higher preference
      than a candidate in question."



      AGAIN, minority report questions regarding
      implementation have not been answered.

      I PREVIOUSLY WROTE, "I recommend for this section
      treatment similar to that which I recommend for
      Section 6.C.1. [now 7.C.1]"

      ======

      7.D. Conduct of Elections

      The first paragraph in this section reads as follows:

      "Except as provided by Article VI., of the Bylaws of
      the Green Party of the United States for the election
      of Steering Committee members, each election of a
      Committee or Caucus of the Party subject to these
      rules, held to name a person to fill a leadership
      role, shall be conducted by secret ballot pursuant to
      procedures provided in this Policy."

      AGAIN, this prescribes secret ballots for Steering
      Committee elections despite a clear decision by the
      National Committee to the contrary. AGAIN, the BRPP
      should have offered a completely seperate proposal to
      do this, rather than insert it into this proposal for
      which pressure to pass is being exerted due to the
      Tucson meeting's close proximity.


      The minority report observes:

      "While this qualifies the committee or caucuses it
      applies to (which is left in doubt by earlier rules)
      it does specify the use of secret ballots which seems
      in stark contrast to the will of the National
      Committee."

      =====

      7.D1. Elections conducted face-to-face

      "For elections held during face-to-face meetings of a
      Party Committee or Caucus conducting such election,
      the election may be conducted using paper ballots
      which conform in design to the requirements of this
      Policy or by any process provided for in paragraph 2."


      AGAIN, this contradicts 7.A by making mandatory what
      7.A would prescribe only after a certain time span has
      elapsed. AGAIN, this implements a secret ballot for
      Steering Committee elections.


      =====

      7.D3. Elections not conducted by Paper Ballots

      "Each election, not using paper ballots, shall be
      conducted using the Voting Pages application,
      developed by Susan Dridi of the Green Party of
      Virginia, the version dated March 5th,
      2006, checksum dc4487de40677313681fc43663154790, or
      such future version, compliant with these rules, as
      may, by resolution of the National Committee, be
      certified for such use from time to time."

      AGAIN, the software recommendation is not one we
      should prescribe in our rules. Rather rules should
      dictate software choice rather than vice-versa.

      I PREVIOUSLY WROTE, "Let the National Committee
      prescribe its software recommendation. Recommended
      software should correspond to future BRPP
      recommendations regarding threshold and tie votes."

      ======

      7.D.4 (a)

      "(a) For any election conducted by paper ballots
      (whether face-to-face or by mail-in ballots), all
      original election materials, including ballots and
      tally sheets, with an original signed copy of the
      report of the Election Tabulation Committee shall be
      sealed under the signatures of each Committee member.
      Such sealed record shall be preserved for a period
      equal to the longest term for which the election in
      question elects a candidate. Copies of each such
      document may be preserved for review. No such sealed
      original record may be unsealed except by resolution
      of the National Committee or by Order of a Court of
      competent jurisdiction."

      AGAIN, this section quickly disposes of records that
      ought to be retained.

      AGAIN, this section in no way mandates preservation of
      copies for review.



      ======

      7.D.4 (b)

      "(b) For each election whether conducted using paper
      ballots or the voting application, an original signed
      report of the Elections Tabulation Committee,
      including the details of each ballot received
      sufficient to permit an independent tabulation, shall
      be preserved, published and made available at the
      principle office of the Party for inspection by any
      member of the Party or in the event of a Caucus
      election, by any member of the Caucus. An electronic
      form of the report shall be published, web-accessible,
      in the archives of the Party."

      AGAIN, this section does not permit Accreditation
      Committee document review for caucuses.

      =======

      7.D.4. (c)

      "(c) Party staff are directed to report annually on
      the inventory of such election records being preserved
      in the Party's offices. Staff may be authorized to
      destroy or dispose of such records by resolution of
      the Steering Committee, naming which elections'
      records may be disposed of pursuant to subparagraph
      (a) of this paragraph."

      AGAIN, this assigns to the Steering Committee the task
      of destroying documents that determine Steering
      Committee composition, an inherent conflict of
      interests.

      ======

      7.E.2 Receipt and right to challange [sic] election
      results

      "When a Committee or Caucus or its officers are in
      receipt of such a report from an Election Tabulation
      Committee appointed to tabulate one of its internal
      elections, or of a properly filed Challenge as
      described in paragraph 3., below, such report or
      Challenge shall be immediately transmitted to its
      members,and the question shall be put to the body, on
      the eighth day following the transmittal of the report
      of the Election Tabulation Committee, on certifying
      the results as so reported, and as a distinct
      question, on sustaining each Challenge as may have
      been timely filed. In presenting a question on
      sustaining a Challenge, it shall be made clear to the
      body considering such Challenge, that to sustain the
      Challenge is to act to adopt such amendments to the
      certification as may be proposed by the sustained
      Challenge. Such questions shall be resolved according
      to the will of a simple majority of a quorum voting
      and consistent with the Committee's or Caucus' usual
      process for the consideration of procedural motions."

      AGAIN, this allows for the ratification of an election
      report even while challenges are pending! BRPP
      retention of this despite the amendment I did offer
      for the tabling of election report ratification while
      challenges are pending suggests a cavalier disregard
      for the right to challenge - as is implied also by the
      unreasonably short window for challenge.



      7.E.3 (a)

      "(a) Any contest to the results proposed by the
      Election Tabulation Committee for certification by the
      body conducting the election shall be filed within
      seventy-two hours of the transmittal of the report to
      be challenged. It shall take the form of a Challenge
      to the Election Results, as Reported by the Election
      Tabulation Committee on (a date). It shall set out the
      facts supporting its contention that the election
      proposed to be certified were not conducted in
      accordance with the rules governing such elections,
      and that a proper application of the rules would have
      yielded a different result. Such Challenge shall also
      propose amendments to the certification report to
      permit the body to certify those portions of the
      report, supportable by the evidence, and proposing a
      course of action for the resolution of the remaining
      contested seats or questions."

      AGAIN, this section does not permit adequate time for
      preparation of a challenge of election results, but
      rather seems designed to discourage such and make such
      all but impossible. The time constraints assigned
      remain arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable. I
      PREVIOUSLY WROTE, "Seventy-two hours would, as the
      minority report noted, exclude from capacity to file
      such a challenge those delegates attending
      face-to-face meetings whose mode of transportation
      would prevent even their being home within that
      window. Challenges should indeed be timely filed, but
      the window for such should be one allowing reasonable
      time for both the collection of evidence and
      composition of the challenge."


      The minority report observes:

      "This too greatly limits the rights of the electorate.
      For an annual meeting, the delegates could still be
      traveling home while the challenge period expires. It
      requires the delegates to use specify language, gather
      and process certain information, and limits them to
      only certain actions, all to take place within a very
      short period of time. It is much more limiting to the
      electorate than the rules promulgated by Boards of
      Election.


      "While we should expect challenges to be both timely
      and meaningful, we should not so greatly limit the
      rights of those voting."

      The window noted quite clearly would prohibit or
      cripple nearly all possible challenges. If it was the
      BRPP's intent to make such in essence impossible, it
      should have banned such outright.



      7.E.3 (b)

      "(b) Such a Challenge may be filed by (i) any
      candidate who appeared on the ballot by virtue of
      having been nominated for consideration in such
      election, or (ii) any write-in candidate for whom the
      Election Tabulation Committee reports that they have
      received a number of votes within five percent of the
      winning threshold necessary to win a seat in the
      election or
      (iii) by any voter who presents evidence that their
      ballot was not appropriately recorded in the
      tabulation of the election." AGAIN, this section does
      not allow for concerned voters not aggrieved in the
      fashions so describe to file a challenge themselves.


      The minority report observes:

      "This again greatly limits the rights of the voter.
      The only item they are allowed to question an election
      on is the recording of their own vote - something with
      the withholding of information seems almost impossible
      to gather evidence on."

      Should there be process violations, National Committee
      members should retain rights to petition for the
      redress of such grievances.

      ======

      7.F. Filling a vacancy.

      See notes above regarding threshold requirements and
      tie determination.

      =====

      7.G. No other candidate.

      See notes above regarding NOC and choice voting.




      --
      Owen R. Broadhurst Candidate for State Representative
      Third Hampden District http://www.owenbroadhurst.org

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      Les Evenchick
      New Orleans
      piratefish@...
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