OMOV or an elected Council?

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Adam Raoof
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Re: OMOV or an elected Council?

Post by Adam Raoof » Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:19 pm

I assume it's just like running a company with shareholders, though without pension fund managers. Under a membership scheme, we really need OMOV, but not D-OMOV, which would be a recipe for endless debate. Elect representatives for a year and Directors for three years and let them get on with it. Give them a sensible budget. Scrap all except postal proxies.
Paul Cooksey wrote:We are talking about OMOV in other threads. I’ve never really quite understood how it would work.

I’m certainly not in favour of the ECF status quo. I think the members of the ECF should control it, so I support some sort of One Member One Vote arrangement. But I think when people say OMOV they generally mean Direct OMOV by the members on policies, rather than the election of representatives.

I’ll assume that it is possible to set up a secure and cost efficient method of casting vote, and somehow persuade the ECF Council to accept the change. But still, I’ve never been convinced D-OMOV is entirely practical.

Certainly it is possible to elect officials; but how to formulate policy? The members need questions to vote on – who writes them? Even a simple yes no question, like Scottish Devolution, generates all sorts of political controversy and learned debate. The operation of the ECF Governance Committee suggests that upon seeing a hair, the average chess player will immediately try to split it.

Maybe it would be just about possible to ask yes/ no policy questions, although I expect it would be slow and time consuming. But the strategy document raises thousands of questions. Are the members to vote on them all? Or just give the board a vague approval for everything, and see what they get? It doesn’t seem satisfactory to me.

Debate between informed representatives, who are elected by the membership in some way, seems better to me. A system of executive/ legislature/ judiciary is good enough for most countries; I think the ECF should be trying to do the something similar with a Board/ Council/ Governance (/appeals) structure.
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Sean Hewitt
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Re: OMOV or an elected Council?

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:27 pm

Adam Raoof wrote:Scrap all except postal proxies.
You can't do that because of the Companies Act.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: OMOV or an elected Council?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:57 pm

Adam Raoof wrote:I assume it's just like running a company with shareholders
A company has shareholders, employees and customers.

The relationship between the ECF and individual players is really one of business and customers.

It's not unknown for customers to also be offered a say in the business management. You've got the Co-operative movement and Building Societies, Friendly Societies and mutual insurance companies in the financial sector.

A national intellectual games body is a natural monopoly in its own field, therefore should directors be given unlimited powers without an effective wider body to review them?

It's all very well giving directors a budget, that of itself does not raise any money. Customers are going to want to know what price the national body is demanding for its services.

Company law recognises at least two types of Company, companies limited by share capital and companies limited by guarantee. Companies limited by guarantee are required to have a method of defining voting rights, but these are as defined by the Company itself, subject to requirements of the Companies Act.

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Re: OMOV or an elected Council?

Post by David Pardoe » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:18 pm

No, not quite.....
Surely its nearer to a Co-operative body, or a Mutual.
The relationship is not Company to customer..its company to member.
The company doesnt really provide services to the Membership, but it relays totally on the Membership to actually run the `business`, via a network of bodies and volunteers from the membership to actually run things. This is completely different from the usual corporate body.
The company provides services to the Membership, for which a fee is charged towards the funding of operations. Also, no normal company has any concept of `amateur` & professional as there key membership. Also, the ECF is more of an umbrella body than a company group.
BRING BACK THE BCF

Roger de Coverly
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Re: OMOV or an elected Council?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:19 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote: But I think when people say OMOV they generally mean Direct OMOV by the members on policies, rather than the election of representatives.
I suspect you need to maintain a wider body that meets more than once a year at an AGM. So as suggested, individuals elect directors directly, or at the least have a say in their election, and elect or appoint a Council to be consulted by the Directors more frequently than annually. If there are big ticket issues to be voted on, these also go with AGM voting.

For a national body in a monopoly and governance position, structures and thinking in the ECF have to be different from a local chess club, or league/county association.

As no more than fifty, or at most sixty individuals ever attend Council meetings, that's probably about the size of the elected representative Council needed. It would be simplest to give every Council member the same voting power, but that doesn't square well with weighting votes by size of organisation represented or voting popularity. You could elect Council for a three year term and have twenty seats re-elected every year. The likely outcome would be twenty candidates for twenty posts.

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Re: OMOV or an elected Council?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:26 pm

David Pardoe wrote: The company provides services to the Membership, for which a fee is charged towards the funding of operations.
The voting membership of the ECF are the organisations that run chess events. Customers are those who play in these events. The ECF hasn't implemented a compulsory membership member, all it has done is extend an existing exemption of charges to member organisations for those individuals paying it an annual fee, whilst doubling or tripling the price to customers who don't pay the annual fee.

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: OMOV or an elected Council?

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:27 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:We are talking about OMOV in other threads. I’ve never really quite understood how it would work.
Sometimes helps to look at what others are doing. In few other countries, such as in Italy, the national chess federation is... actually a "federation", in the sense that chess clubs are members of the federation and individual join the national chess federation through a club. Each individual can be registered with the federation only though a single club (no double counting).
Then the OMOV rule is applied providing each club with a number of votes proportional to the members. The club president or a delegate/proxy has the right to participate to the official meetings and cast the votes.

What is important in this scheme is that every individual member is represented only once through a well defined individual; in Italy that representative (the club president) is also an elected individual: in order to become member of the federation individual clubs must adhere to few basic principle as democratic election of the club leadership.

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Re: OMOV or an elected Council?

Post by David Robertson » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:48 pm

Sorry, Paolo. That's far too sensible. We're talking ECF here

Roger de Coverly
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Re: OMOV or an elected Council?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:58 pm

David Robertson wrote:Sorry, Paolo. That's far too sensible. We're talking ECF here
Would you really want to see a system where you are allowed to be a member of only one club and on the face of it, if you only want to play abroad or in Congresses, totally banned unless you can find a friendly club to treat you as a dummy member? Part of the complexity of the English system is the plurality of the opportunities to play, helped by the BCF and ECF not being top down organisations. So anyone can set up a chess club, it doesn't need, as in Italy, permission from the national body.

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Re: OMOV or an elected Council?

Post by David Robertson » Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:07 am

Don't be silly, Roger. Read what Paolo has said. It's exactly what I was saying in posts a year back. The club is your 'address'; it's where the Federation locates you as its member. You can play for as many clubs in different leagues as you like. But you choose - that is: you choose - your one point of contact with the Federation

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Re: OMOV or an elected Council?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:17 am

David Robertson wrote: You can play for as many clubs in different leagues as you like.
I would not be so sure about that. Both the single club and no club no play rules are part of the chess culture in many European countries, so be careful what you wish for. For that matter there's the top down vetting of a chess club before it's allowed to exist.

(edit) Their FAQ is here http://www.federscacchi.it/str_faq.php which seems to confirm the points mentioned if the Google translate is reliable.

Unless the ECF is prepared to adopt continental principles and demand that every English resident chess player be a member of an ECF approved club, basing voting rights on clubs is only ever a partial solution. (/edit)

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Re: OMOV or an elected Council?

Post by David Robertson » Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:37 am

I've no idea how everywhere works. But a tiny bit of commonsense tells me that it's all about registration and voter identity. You set up a club; register it with the national body. Players join, and the club becomes their address. Players may have several addresses, but they can register to vote on national matters only at one address.

Tell me: does this process sound familiar in any way?

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Re: OMOV or an elected Council?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:41 am

David Robertson wrote: Players may have several addresses,
That's not what it says in the Italian FAQ. It would be for sporting eligibility reasons as well, since in many countries, all the leagues are one unified whole.

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Re: OMOV or an elected Council?

Post by David Robertson » Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:55 am

I don't give a monkey's what it says on some Italian FAQ. Please apply a little intelligent agility. Tell me what is wrong with the member-club-national body model I've described for England

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Re: OMOV or an elected Council?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:07 am

David Robertson wrote: Tell me what is wrong with the member-club-national body model I've described for England
It doesn't provide the whole solution, because it gives no representation to players only playing in Congresses. For that matter 4NCL teams are borderline as to whether they really exist as "clubs". Does it also suppose, as in the Italian model, that the ECF impose conditions on which clubs it admits as members? The ECF has existing powers of veto in that it currently has to formally admit a new league, Congress or other organisation.

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