ECF: One member, One Vote

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Laurie Roberts
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ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Laurie Roberts » Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:46 am

I'm trying to get my head around why the ECF does not operate a one member, one vote policy. The only argument I have seen is that the individual members aren't well enough informed about the issues so the leagues and clubs vote on their behalf. My thinking would be that you just inform the membership better; and also encourage clubs to get club members to become ECF members, then that problem would go away and we could have a proper democractic system in place. (I realise this isn't straight forward to do; but nor is it an insumountable obstacle)

I wonder whether someone well informed (e.g. David Robertson or Peter Sowray) could write a short paper which sets out the current voting policy, and sets out possible alternatives, which could be submited to the ECF board as a blue-sky-thinking piece for consideration. The paper could be e-mailed to every club and league for which an e-mail address could be found (along with any British titled player whose e-mail could be obtained) and ask them to let the board know whether they favour the status quo or one of the alternatives.

However, I suspect that something like this has been tried before and failed? If Peter or David do not fancy doing this, I could have a go with input from others

Mick Norris
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Mick Norris » Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:40 am

This has been discussed before - Peter Sowray had a website with a petition which lots of us signed, but appears not to be there any more

You might want to look at these, but there are probably others

http://forum.bcfservices.org.uk/viewtop ... f=25&t=267

http://www.atticuschess.org.uk/forum/ph ... .php?t=382
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Peter Sowray
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Peter Sowray » Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:08 pm

Laurie,

I wish you every success, but I don't wish to be directly involved.

Kind regards,

Peter

David Robertson
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by David Robertson » Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:30 pm

Peter Sowray's masterly deconstruction of ECF Council voting arrangements, and hence the case for OMOV, cannot be bettered. If his blog on the matter has been taken down, Peter would do us all a great service, even if it were his last intervention in the matter, by reposting it here for the record.

For my part, I signed Peter's OMOV petition early on, supporting OMOV in principle but with serious professional misgivings about its practical application and the unintended consequences. I've written extensively on the matter, principally on the Atticus forum both before and since the Sowray petition, and not exclusively on the thread cited above. I can't immediately find my key posts on the subject, but am disinclined to plough through dozens of threads looking for them now.

It would be no great chore, although involve non-trivial effort notwithstanding, to restate my arguments if there were the prospect of progress. Alas I see no sign of that. Any move in the direction of comprehensive or partial OMOV would require extensive changes to ECF's governance and management. That would in practice require ECF Council to vote for its own abolition. Since Council as currently structured is an effective means of propping up those in positions of power who benefit from the present restricted franchise, I see no obvious political means of altering that state-of-affairs. Any paper from me, erudite or otherwise, would simple bounce off the carapace of vested interests. And any attempt to marshall the political resources necessary to drive change through would take a dedication and protracted single-mindedness of purpose that is beyond most of us with lives to lead. I've said half-joking on another occasion that the Grim Reaper will be our most effective agent of change. Unless events take a different course, that remains my view. I suspect it might be Peter's too.

David
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Peter Sowray
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Peter Sowray » Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:31 pm

David,

Thank you for your kind words.

I share your views.

Best regards,

Peter

Stewart Reuben
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Stewart Reuben » Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:01 am

It really is quite simple. The ECF is the English Chess federation. There, that was not too hard was it? Thus OMOV cannot work with the current organisation. David Robertson touches on this, stating quite correctly that the whole body would have to be changed constitutionally. The same applies to our current parliamentary 'system'. Each of the 60 million people does not have a vote. We vote for a representative who then supposedly acts on our behalf.

Why bother with such an upheaval and all the work involved? In the end the English Chess Association would still only be as good as the officers it manages to get. Meanwhile huge time and energy would have been spent. We have never had more than 4 really good Board members at one time. Get 9 together and they could work wonders, even though hopefully they would often disagree on what should be done. That is the problem, not constitutional niceties.

Much of the best work for English Chess has been done outside the formal federation, which organisation has just provided an umbrella under which people can work independently. Personally I applaud that.

I greatly believe the ECF should be a membership organisation and have done for over 40 years. I couldn't care less about the voting constitution.

Stewart Reuben

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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:30 am

I didn't sign Peter's petition, though I thought about it. In the end I was equally persuaded by the arguments both for and against. Perhaps if somebody had produced a counter-petition I could have signed both of them.
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Alan Ruffle
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Alan Ruffle » Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:07 am

Dear All

Will somebody please tell me if I’ve got this right?

Even after the resignations of the gang of three plus Robert Richmond and the kerfuffle over the OMOV blog, which is now defunct, Council is in a position to re-elect the current management board using a discredited and clearly unfair voting system.

Cynthia Guerney is to take on the roles of office manager. Chess moves editor and finance manager.

We continue with the ‘British’ even though there is a clear need for an ‘English’ Championship

The splendid high profile ‘Liverpool’ series of international tournaments is to end without a peep.

The 2012 Olympic, Paralympics and other sports are shouting now from the rooftops about their respective plans, not a word from us.

This ECF Forum and Chess Moves Editorial has been tampered with………….a greater sin than even the Atticus forum which allows anonymity

The NCCU is waiting for the details of this meeting before it decides whether or not to join the ECF

Alan Ruffle

John Upham
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by John Upham » Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:01 am

Alan Ruffle wrote:Dear All

Cynthia Guerney is to take on the roles of ...... and finance manager.
We have a Director of Finance, a Chairman of Finance, A Finance committee AND a Finance Manager.... :lol:

Does this mean the ECF finances are very safe? I assume that is does.

How do all these financial managers interact? Perhaps they will put the banking sector to shame?

Perhaps someone can outline their roles and responsibilities for all of our benefit?
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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:22 am

Alan Ruffle wrote:Dear All
Even after the resignations of the gang of three plus Robert Richmond and the kerfuffle over the OMOV blog, which is now defunct, Council is in a position to re-elect the current management board using a discredited and clearly unfair voting system.
Nobody's standing against the current board, except Peter Wilson for the post of International Director. What voting system would you like for a one-candidate election?
We continue with the ‘British’ even though there is a clear need for an ‘English’ Championship
There is an English Championship. The title is awarded to the highest-scoring English player in the British Championship. The British is the ECF's flagship event and is very popular; let's not muck around too much with that.
The splendid high profile ‘Liverpool’ series of international tournaments is to end without a peep.
That's because they were built on Capital Of Culture sponsorship, which won't continue past 2008. This is a common theme with international tournaments: they either have to find a way to work without sponsors, or find long-term sponsors who will support them. If they don't, they won't last very long.

Chris Majer
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Chris Majer » Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:37 pm

John asks
We have a Director of Finance, a Chairman of Finance, A Finance committee AND a Finance Manager....

Does this mean the ECF finances are very safe? I assume that is does.

How do all these financial managers interact? Perhaps they will put the banking sector to shame?

Perhaps someone can outline their roles and responsibilities for all of our benefit?
The roles and responsibilities of the Director of Finance, a Chairman of Finance and Finance Committee can of course be found on the ECF website. Really John I would have expected you to know that.

The Manager of Finance & Management Services is a paid employee, which is why her R&Rs are not put in the public domain.

Finally, I'd glad to see that John is now recognising the benefits of the institutions of the ECF in promoting sound financial dealings as opposed to having an unfettered Board. :lol:
Chris Majer
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John Upham
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by John Upham » Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:30 pm

Chris Majer wrote:John asks

can of course be found on the ECF website. Really John I would have expected you to know that.
I'd guessed it was on there somewhere but it is easier to ask than to try and navigate the site.

There is so much old and outdated material combined with broken links that it is never clear that what one is reading is current and accurate.

The search facility does not appear to help much.

Anyway, lets not go over old ground in case someone gets upset.
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by John Philpott » Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:42 pm

John

I had already responded to a query of yours as to the distinction between the Director of Finance and the Chairman of the Finance Committee on a thread with that very title. The current text of the responsibilities document can be found at http://www.englishchess.org.uk/organisa ... lities.htm

[For reasons unknown to me, the full address does not show up on the post, but the hyperlink seems to work]

"Manager of Finance and Management Services" happens to be Cynthia's current job title. In the past she has been referred to as the "Office Manager".

William Metcalfe
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by William Metcalfe » Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:11 pm

So with all the people involved with ECF finance and i assume they are there to make the numbers all add up why is the ECF going to run at a loss for the 2nd year running.AM i right in saying the ecf is going to make a 10k loss this year
I am speaking here for myself and not the NCCU which i am now president of

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Ben Purton
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Ben Purton » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:17 am

1) Chess here has been compared to parliment...... as a reasoning for not having a vote. What is a refferendom? Is this not by definition everyone in England having a vote.

2) I follow British chess abroad, keep up to date with results etc, I have not the faintist idea who my representative is for the ECF, I quite easily know Redwood is my MP. John Redwood asks my views by chain letters and emails. My ECF representative , whoever he may be, Ive never seen at any Berkshire club matches, London Club matches etc, any documents about him/her.

3) Chess is a smaller community, but im interested, What is the average age of the board? Why is this relevant? Because most MP's retire or get chucked in Lords when they become for want of a better wording, a bit uncapable of accepting the change of times.

4) The dutch system makes ours looking like a total farce, the amount of coaches they have, coaching days for there top kids etc, makes our "bigger" nation look like amateurs. Im sure other countries have coaching schemes better than ours, I mean no disrespect to our coaching system. In fact we had a pre-worlds coaching weekend which was a positive "change". I think however some coaches should be brought in on ECF Dollar to help the gifted "future olympiad" players, I know I have personal interest in my "better" half, however players like Ankush, Yang-Fan, Feliks, these are all people who pay for coaches I believe, they should be given larger grants.

In My age group when growing up, it had Ste Gordon & Gawaino, both going to be 2600 players soon I hope, and strings of other very strong titled players , from a 2-3 year old age range.

However if we dont keep getting 2 GM's every 5 years or so, we will suffer. I think the top 5 in each sector (2 school/comp years) should be given sessions with each other, and yes the 5 can change in order to allow people to fairly compete.

5) Why are tournaments where they are in England? The most accessable places in England are: Birmingham, Where I live Reading, London, Manchester & Bristol, they make up the like core Train routes aswell as M25-M4-M40-M6 Core of the roads. Can anyone name a very strong open which is held every year in these places? Reading No, Manchester No,Bristol No(im talking FIDE, all have some form of tournaments) and most of all London NO. The capital. The biggest tournament in my view in London are the ones run at Scott Freemans club in Coulsden, such as his FIDE events and especially Jessies tournament.

Our core tournaments: Isle of Man which is now gone very very very sadly, it was a model event to others.
Liverpool, which is condensed in to the summer holidays...the junior particaption is limited, alot of people struggle to get British+ this off work in such a short space of time, its a great tournament Ive heard, but again its not in the core travel routes.
4NCL- By far our best event and within some restrictions , within the core areas.
Staunton- Closed.
British- You have to play in random places to get to it, and when is it ever in a core venue, its always at some seaside resort, which is fine, but why the hell havent we gone back to Brighton and Hove???! I remember playing when i was about 5ft tall there and its probaly the best party town which is "on the sea" which is requirement.

Now now, I know your going to say "Partying is not a key variable" when deciding upon venues/areas. But it has all the other criteria. Places like Brighton are a) Commutable from London for anyone wanting to do that and b) As I said, its a party town, it will attract some 4NCL teams, mine included.


5 Now Im going to be accused of all sorts of crap, but whats happened to womens chess in England? , Now Im all for advancing the game by bringing people in to strengthen teams, every nation does it, Tviakov in Holland to name one off the top of my head. Im pretty proud of the English mens team you have selected this year. But who is Dagne? and Ingrid lives in Germany now? Isnt it time to maybe invite some youngest in the vain hope we might actually get near the top 15 one year in our respective lifetimes... thats just my view, were a G8 country, some still view us as a superpower. It would be nice to have Harriet Jovanka Susan and 2 2250+ English women.

Ill get abuse for this im sure, but didnt alot of England fans boo Owen Hargreaves when he played for England...It took ages to accept him and hes Canadian/English.

We dont do enough for womens chess, theres still this massive divide. Its a joke, alot of players in England dont help by well acting strange towards women at chess tournaments, What Claire and British Chess do is admirable, but well, some of you have read my forum, it says volumes when the team started to promote English Womens Chess, has one women whos english in, and shes already our established number 1, so thats more maintenence than experience.

Sorry if Ive caused any offence, but its my view on the situation.


Ben

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