Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
David Shepherd wrote: under company law it wouldn't be possible to require a proxy notice to specify how the proxy was to vote
I believe that's allowed, it's disbarring non-attendees from voting that isn't.
The Chairman of the Governance Committee commented a while back on this forum that there were formats where you could have one person one vote without the voters becoming guarantor members of the Company. I think the ECF has drifted into a legal limbo whereby it isn't distinguishing between those who historically signed the white form guaranteeing the ECF £ 1 in the event of its demise and those who are no longer required to do this. You may recall the ECF claiming it as a FIDE requirement to play international chess and retain a rating that it was necessary to sign the form.
It's important then to have a clear idea of what is and isn't legally possible and not get side-tracked by cloud cuckoo land interpretations.
David Shepherd wrote:I do think the voting system needs looking at and either the number of votes increased such that it becomes 1 member 1 vote or reduced such that those present at the meetings only have a few votes each at most. I really don't like the system where individuals can cast large numbers of votes as they see fit. Alternatively the current structure could be maintained but with the rule that if the vote holders can't be present at the meetings they should be forced to cast their votes in advance in writing or lose them.
I'd like to clarify the earlier responses on this. I too am no expert, but I did attend a seminar which covered the issue when I was the ECF's representative on the S+RA.
Under the terms of the Companies Act 2006, it is not possible to restrict a member with voting rights from appointing a proxy, nor to restrict who may hold that proxy. Nor can there be any restriction on the number of proxy votes which an individual may hold.
When Surrey CCA adopted corporate status in 2007, the articles provided that a Representative (voting) Member could only hold one proxy and hence could exercise no more than two votes. That provision became void when the Act came into force.
If the ECF were to introduce OMOV, then I'm not aware that there would any way of preventing an individual obtaining and casting hundreds or even thousands of proxy votes.
David Sedgwick wrote:If the ECF were to introduce OMOV, then I'm not aware that there would any way of preventing an individual obtaining and casting hundreds or even thousands of proxy votes.
I used to think that OMOV would be a good way to go, but primarily for the above reason I now don't. Nothing is safe from hedge funds nowadays, and it is not fanciful that one of them might think it could make a lot of money out of English chess and gain control at relatively little cost. Typically this would require some support from inside the Board.
NickFaulks wrote: and it is not fanciful that one of them might think it could make a lot of money out of English chess and gain control at relatively little cost.
Does OMOV make this any more likely than the current system? You would "only" have to capture a couple of hundred individuals instead of several thousand.
I'm not sure what assets the ECF has that are worth stripping. There's the inherited funds and perhaps the political influence within FIDE and the ECU. Arguably the past ten years have seen failed attempts to capture both. Neither were hedge funds as far as anyone is aware.
Roger de Coverly wrote:I'm not sure what assets the ECF has that are worth stripping.
They have the power to levy a tax on people who wish to play chess. Some might say that is abused now, but it could be abused a great deal more.
If OMOV were adopted, you could prevent one individual gathering lots of proxy votes by use of a voting trust structure, where the member of the ECF for Companies Act purposes would be a trustee who would hold a special share entitling him to, say, 10,0000 votes which could only be voted as directed by the relevant Direct Members. However, this appears to be a point of academic interest only...
Robert Stern wrote:If OMOV were adopted, you could prevent one individual gathering lots of proxy votes by use of a voting trust structure, where the member of the ECF for Companies Act purposes would be a trustee who would hold a special share entitling him to, say, 10,0000 votes which could only be voted as directed by the relevant Direct Members.
Thank you. Now that you have reminded me, I recall that you mentioned this possibility previously.
Robert Stern wrote:However, this appears to be a point of academic interest only...
Not necessarily. The possibility which you mention removes one of the principal objections to OMOV.
Could something similar be done with the existing composition of Council, so that a Trustee (and only the Trustee) would cast the votes of the current members of Council as directed by them?
It is rather a pity that David Sedgwick and Robert Stern spoiled the otherwise traditional ECForum fact free but opinion laden stramash, which was mightily amusing the lurkers.
Going back to the question of whether something similar could be done with the existing composition of Council to restrict proxy voting, I think it might be possible but it would require quite a bit of thought as you would end up with a corporate entity without any members who have a normal set of rights. It may well be a case of the tail wagging the dog.
Roger Lancaster wrote:I suppose I'm just old-fashioned but I have no objection whatever to being presented with facts rather than opinions.
It was an apparently failed attempt at sarcasm; a negative evaluation of various other posts.
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