ECF Silver members.

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Michael Farthing
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ECF Silver members.

Post by Michael Farthing » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:27 am

As a silver member representative I'm always keen to hear the views of silver members.

I shall be at the Blackpool congress this weekend and will be pleased to talk to anyone with views or concerns (you don't have to be silver: I will talk to others too, but I shall ask which you are).

If you have the misfortune to play me, or to be near me, you may find yourself cold canvassed. If you don't like it just say something rude to me and I'll go away :-)
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John Upham
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Re: ECF Silver members.

Post by John Upham » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:32 am

Michael,

Who within the ECF do you report to and what items of feedback have you submitted in your time in post? Do you know if these feedback items have been acted upon?
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Michael Farthing
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Re: ECF Silver members.

Post by Michael Farthing » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:06 am

John

I do not report to anyone within the ECF as I am not appointed by the ECF and have no role within the organisation. I am simply a Council member and I am answerable to the silver membership in so far as they can kick me out (though unlike ECF officials I cannot be defeated by 'Not the above candidate' so it does depend on someone else volunteering for the job). I have the post because, after a period of three years or so in which there were no silver level silver representatives I put my name forward and found myself in post by default. Perhaps next year I might have to face an election: that's fine by me.

I have been in post since November and so have not yet attended a Council meeting. I canvas views with a view to how I should use my vote in Council and whether particular issues need to be raised. Two specific issues have been raised, though one was just a comment on this forum which I have simply noted. The other has been directly raised with the relevant Board member by the person raising the question and he has received a reply, though not the one he wanted. My fellow representative, John Reyes, has offered to raise it at Council and that is where the matter stands at present.

I do wonder why you posed this question?
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Re: ECF Silver members.

Post by John Upham » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:15 am

I am curious as to the efficacy of the various representatives. Do they have any clout? Can they achieve anything useful?
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NickFaulks
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Re: ECF Silver members.

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:26 am

If Michael stood up at a Council meeting and said "the general opinion of Silver members seems to be... ", I hope that would carry some weight.

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Re: ECF Silver members.

Post by Gerry_Jepps » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:51 pm

NickFaulks wrote:If Michael stood up at a Council meeting and said "the general opinion of Silver members seems to be... ", I hope that would carry some weight.
How would he know? The only way to establish 'the general opinion of Silver members' is to give them (and other paying members of the ECF) a direct vote.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: ECF Silver members.

Post by Michael Farthing » Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:56 pm

I've spent quite a time thinking about these issues and the more I have thought about them the less have I been able to see a clear way forward to an arrangement that would genuinely improve direct member involvement. I am not wedded to current arrangements - with which there is a lot that is wrong as I suspect most of the forum members here would agree. Nor am I concerned to protect my own position, which I have genuinely taken on as no one else was doing it. However, at present I cannot see an obvious way to an improved arrangement. I had originally thought of gathering suppport for a motion to Council, but at present I felt this would simply muddy waters when the Board are bringing forward a response to the Governance report - and, as stated above, I couldn't come up with a mechanism that I thought would be either fair or effective.

Perhaps Gerry you might like to set out how you perceive the ECF should be operated. How will the membership exercise these votes: must they personally attend Council meetings? What happens to Council votes coming from exisiting organisations? Will they be abolished? Or will Council be replaced by another mechanism? If so, what do you propose?
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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: ECF Silver members.

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:03 pm

NickFaulks wrote:If Michael stood up at a Council meeting and said "the general opinion of Silver members seems to be... ", I hope that would carry some weight.
If I did the math right it would have exactly a weight of 1 out of 324 at every council vote:
http://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-conte ... -final.pdf

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Michael Farthing
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Re: ECF Silver members.

Post by Michael Farthing » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:28 pm

In some senses yes. However, as well as a vote at Council one also has a voice. And a voice carries weight, to some extent, based on the reasoning it produces and this might be more or less than 1/324.

[I make no comment on the quality of my own voice: that is a matter for others to decide and I get the impression that, as in most ECF matters, opinion is divided on the question].
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Mick Norris
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Re: ECF Silver members.

Post by Mick Norris » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:33 pm

Michael Farthing wrote:In some senses yes. However, as well as a vote at Council one also has a voice. And a voice carries weight, to some extent, based on the reasoning it produces and this might be more or less than 1/324
If you actually go to Council, then you are 1 voice out of the 30/40/50 present, and many votes are a show of hands, so you have more influence than 1/324 - if you can (legitimately) claim to have consulted silver members, then your voice should carry more weight
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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: ECF Silver members.

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:38 pm

Another way to look at the question is to count how many motions were presented to council in the last few years by silver member representatives; or for how many motions the speech of a silver member representative clearly determined the outcome of the decision. I was not there and I might be completely wrong, but I would not be surprised if the answer to those questions is "none".

Mick Norris
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Re: ECF Silver members.

Post by Mick Norris » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:40 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote:Another way to look at the question is to count how many motions were presented to council in the last few years by silver member representatives; or for how many motions the speech of a silver member representative clearly determined the outcome of the decision. I was not there and I might be completely wrong, but I would not be surprised if the answer to those questions is "none".
If before Michael there weren't any silver members reps, then the answer is bound to be none, and not relevant now
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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: ECF Silver members.

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:42 pm

Mick Norris wrote:
Paolo Casaschi wrote:Another way to look at the question is to count how many motions were presented to council in the last few years by silver member representatives; or for how many motions the speech of a silver member representative clearly determined the outcome of the decision. I was not there and I might be completely wrong, but I would not be surprised if the answer to those questions is "none".
If before Michael there weren't any silver members reps, then the answer is bound to be none, and not relevant now
If the statistical sample is not large enough, then you could extend the count to include bronze/gold representatives.

Mick Norris
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Re: ECF Silver members.

Post by Mick Norris » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:53 pm

Paolo, I get your point, but there have been motions put forward by the reps (albeit not good ones!)

I'd like to think Michael can have an effect, and commend him for stepping forward to try

We all want Council changed, just don't agree exactly what to, and the tactics to achieve it
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Re: ECF Silver members.

Post by Gerry_Jepps » Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:06 pm

[quote="
Perhaps Gerry you might like to set out how you perceive the ECF should be operated. How will the membership exercise these votes: must they personally attend Council meetings? What happens to Council votes coming from exisiting organisations? Will they be abolished? Or will Council be replaced by another mechanism? If so, what do you propose?[/quote]

Michael, I don't think allowing any member to attend Council meetings (and vote) is a good idea. Inevitably there would be a regional bias in those attending and such an arrangement would be open to abuse, e.g. 'flash mobs' attending to vote on a particular proposal. Two alternatives spring to mind. a) email voting forms to all members prior to a Council meeting so that they can vote on the motions and elections to be decided. Some investment in IT would be required to collate the responses electronically. b) Reform Council (which is still firmly rooted in the 19th century). Council delegates are typically chosen by a handful of members attending a League or County AGM who are probably more interested in the latest proposed change to League rules than in the ECF. Although there are some very good Council delegates chosen in this way (including my own local delegate), often the job goes to the least unwilling or to someone who has no real interest in ECF matters. The result is poor quality decision-making, often determined by bundles of proxy votes that have been hoovered up by the more assiduous delegates. Why not enable all members within a given geographical or League area to vote on-line for their local area representative. Candidates need not then be restricted to those attending a County or League AGM. Any local member with an interest in ECF matters could stand. And ban undirected proxy votes at Council meetings so that all votes carry the same weight.

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