Here we go again…

It now seems like this time every year we’re going to be revisiting and questioning the whole Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s Presidential elections process – so here’s the 2015 contribution.

Over the last few years we’ve been promised “change”, “modernisation”, “new Rotary”; “refreshed Rotary” and some have even spoken of “radical Rotary”; but as suspected these turn out be exactly what we all know them to be…nothing more than words!

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…and so the discussions surrounding the election of President at Rotary in Britain and Ireland commence for 2015

Yesterday (Friday) saw the announcement of the four candidates who have decided to put themselves forward to be considered by the 50,000 Regular Rots in these islands as President of the organisation in July 2018.

Those who have met the criteria are – in alphabetical order: David Ellis (Salford and Swinton); Debbie Hodge (Ware); Graham Jackson (Irlam) and Mukesh Malhotra (Hounslow) all vying to be the top banana, the grande-fromage, king (or queen) of the hill and head up the organisation that is Rotary in the British Isles in July 2018.

Now all may seem to be well up to this point…but this is Rotary remember – nothing can ever be simple. So despite the fact we should be congratulating the team at Alcester for having listened and allowing the four candidates to each record a three-minute piece to camera outlining their ‘Presidential Vision’ – once again this is all sadly going to be overshadowed by yet more governance issues surrounding the process.

Wasn’t this meant to have moved on after last year’s Annual Business Meeting in Belfast…?

It seems not, as what many readers may not know is there were actually another two potential nominees Nick Corke (Framlingham) and Mike Jackson (Fordingbridge) who had the novel idea to run for President of RotaryGBI on a joint ticket, in a job-share role so-to-speak – but were disallowed purely as a result of the “rules”.

A statement from the joint running-mates makes it clear they were informed that applying on a joint ticket was not “valid” accordingly to Tom Griffin, Chair of the RotaryGBI Constitutions Committee due to the fact that the constitution “implied” that the job should be done by only one person.

Now some Regular Rots may think the ‘joint-ticket’ is the most modern idea to hit Rotary Leadership since email was installed in Alcester. Others on the other hand might think this is the craziest, most half-cooked idea since the membership voted not to disband the Selection Advisor Committee (wonder if that one will now be revisited again after this?)

Regardless, if nothing else the Corke/Jackson or ‘Corkeson’ ticket was an overt challenge to the modernising agenda at Alcester that was made for all the right reasons by two very experienced and committed Regular Rots. But it seems it was just a step too far on this occasion. Too modern? Too radical? Too much in line with current equal opportunities agendas? Too anti-establishment? Too out-of-the-box? Seems so…

Should the powers-that-be should have taken a decision to allow the joint ticket to go through and left to rest the membership? That’s almost a moot point now.

RotaryBlogger (and many others) have known about the ‘Corkeson‘ proposal since summer earlier this year. In fact Corkeson haven’t been hiding their intentions at all and even proactively checked to see if they would be able to run on the joint-ticket in terms of the constitution and were told,

“It doesn’t say you can but it doesn’t say you cannot”.

RotaryBlogger has been informed by Corkeson that despite a ruling by the General Council in November which stated that in future years the President will share Club and District visits with the Presidency as a whole – they were informed only last week by the Chair of the Constitutions Committee – some five months after they originally asked – that they couldn’t actually share the role of President with each other. Does this mean the Chair of the Constitutions Committee is therefore in conflict with the thinking of General Council’s views?

It is understood that despite a short interview with the joint candidates, the Selection Advisory Committee could find no reason to overturn the decision of the Constitutions Chair – and Corkeson were duly sent packing. But surely if the constitution didn’t clearly state they couldn’t run on a joint-ticket the increasingly precarious SAC could have been brave (on the back of their ‘win’ in Belfast) and thrown the dice on this one; gone against Griffin and Co. and taken a gauge from the Regular Rots…no?

The matter of the joint application is certainly not over – as it is understood that Corke and Jackson are regrouping and reforming to consider their options in terms of where next. There could be a PR lifeline to RotaryGBI as Corkeson are good Rotarians who do not want to cause unnecessary angst or bad publicity within the organisation – so much will depend on feedback and external advice over the next few weeks. But there is no doubt that they are both very upset and disappointed in the way they have been treated and how backward facing they believe the decision was to reject their application.

Therefore instead of the ‘new’ Presidential campaign complete with online video representations taking the headlines – one has to feel sorry for the four candidates as what should be an exciting process potentially becomes tainted and overshadowed by what many would say was an entirely reasonable and bona-fide ‘two-as-one’ application and the way it has been handled.

But wait…that’s not it, it’s not over…

Let’s revisit the four candidates left.

But before getting into the second part of this blog post – it should be made clear that this is not in any way canvassing for or against an individual. The blog post is looking at the processes not the individuals.

So despite a very tight challenge to their very survival at the Annual Business Meeting in Belfast the Selection Advisory Committee have once again opted to select only one preferred candidate from the grouping of applicants. However the new terminology for 2015 seems to be to have changed in a way many will feel leaves them needing to adjust their balaclava from their eyes!

If you become very observant and pull out your microscope, you will note there is no preferred candidate – what the SAC has said is:

The Committee recommends that of the candidates listed below Rotarian Debbie Hodge of the Rotary Club of Ware D1260 has fully met the criteria as defined in the job description and person specification agreed by General Council for the role of President 2018/2019 (and Vice President 2017/2018).”

So being what some may say slightly pedantic, Debbie Hodge is not the preferred candidate of the SAC. The Committee isn’t even suggesting you may wish to vote for her. However, it’s perhaps what they are not saying which is more telling as apparently Ms Hodge meets the “criteria as defined” but there is no mention of Messrs: Ellis, Jackson or Malhotra doing the same or even coming close.

2361164281_fb678ff92c_oAre we therefore to read into the statement that the Selection Advisory Committee are saying the three gentlemen in the Presidential race do not meet the said criteria? Surely this can’t be the case otherwise they wouldn’t have got through the initial selection process?

So what does this “recommend” statement actually mean? Perhaps Ms Hodge meets the criteria better than the others. Perhaps she’s the best candidate or perhaps she’s the one the SAC would prefer to follow in the footsteps of the great and good but just haven’t said it. Perhaps the Regular Rots need clarification on this particular statement…

In this, the first year where the selection committee had the chance to pick more than one preferred candidate – they could have scored a winner with the Regular Rots and those who voted for their cessation by selecting all four candidates (i.e. not selecting any) and leaving the rest to the Clubs. Now that would have been a bold step to take…

Last year was poorly handled in terms of PR administration and selection – where readers of the blog will recall the six candidates could not speak to RotaryBlogger for fear of disqualification. Which in itself ruffled some feathers, particularly on social media. (There will be more on canvassing in a future blog – so make sure you subscribe on the right hand banner so you won’t miss it – as it will be pretty mind-blowing!)

For some, there will be no doubt that this year’s rejection of the joint application and the selection of yet another single preferred candidate could be viewed as saluting using two-fingers to the democratic processes within this “modernising” and “changing” organisation. A thistle waiting to be grabbed but actually where instead a very wide-berth is taken around it.

Could this be the first year where democracy says, “enough is enough” and the single “recommended”, “preferred” or “candidate with most criteria checks” actually isn’t appointed? Something is indicating this could be a very closely run race.

But in closing, and as a timely analogy for this time of the year, remember what happened not that long ago when the public decided X-Factor wasn’t going to get away with yet another win in getting the Christmas Number One in the UK – starting a nation-wide social media campaign to make sure the ‘establishment’ didn’t win…!

 

Images by Edward Balch and Torley by CC

64 thoughts on “Here we go again…

    1. I’m glad you’ve also picked that up too Martin. Surely if the other three didn’t meet the criteria then they should not have been put forward. The statement reads that the recommendation is that Ms Hodge has FULLY met the criteria – so perhaps they others only partially met it. Would be interesting to get absolute clarity on the what this means…

    1. You most certainly can – Adrian, but remember it’s not a one-member-one-vote situation. ‘Your’ vote is via your Club – therefore Club Council’s require to be influenced. Could it be worth circulating this blog to your Club members to view and gain an understanding of what has happened? There will be a follow up blog coming out regarding canvassing – which I can promise will be very interesting!

    2. Definitely Adrian … There is also nothing to say we cannot state that we do not support a particular candidate as this is not canvassing

      We cannot canvass for any of them though as this would cause disqualification

  1. Mark Stewart-Clarke says:

    Beginning to think you had gone into hibernation RB. There is already a Resolution in for Bournemouth to change SAC’s remit. Corkeson have been badly treated and something has to be done.

    1. Kate Keter says:

      I thought that was what we ended up with after last year. A change to the SAC’s remit. Not a change of words.

      The SAC should be abolished. No messing, no fudging with “changed remit”. Get rid of it.

      1. Mark Stewart-Clarke says:

        Unfortunately Kate we cannot try and remove SAC for another 2 years so changing the wording is our only option at the moment and that is in hand.

        1. Kate Keter says:

          Why do we have to wait for another 2 years?

          We were promised changes to the remit for the better last year – that’s how the proposal to get rid of the SAC was defeated and yet now we’ve got the opposite. So what’s going to be different this time around?

          This, in my opinion, continues to be a frankly scandalous situation where a small group of people (NOT democratically elected – despite what RIBI says further on) are selecting who the next RIBI President and RI Director will be.

          1. Kate Keter says:

            Sorry – RIBI says that 5 out of the 7 members of the SAC are “nominated by the Districts” not elected. Doesn’t matter. My comments still stand.

            Maybe if our Districts Just Said NO, they won’t nominate someone to the SAC then we wouldn’t have one. But I suspect Constitutions would have something to say about that!

    2. Call my hibernation the calm before the storm! Looking forward to reading the resolution for Bournemouth regarding the SAC. Something tells me that after this current situation they may just have gathered you some additional votes already.

  2. Kate Keter says:

    How disappointing. The members of the SAC should be ashamed of themselves.

    It was clear to me at the ABM last year that, despite winning the vote to keep the SAC, there was pretty strong feeling that the idea of a “preferred candidate” was what annoyed people the most. Just changing the words does not change the fact that they’ve indicated their preference.

    The new wording is shocking. It implies (even though I suspect it wasn’t meant to) that the three other candidates do not meet the criteria. In which case, they shouldn’t be on the list. I thought the SAC’s role/remit was to confirm that all the candidates met the criteria and leave it at that. Sadly, it seems that was much to ask of them.

    Yes. Clubs can vote for whichever candidate they want – but will they? They haven’t in the past so I doubt they will change this year.

    1. Great comments Kate – and I am sure there will be many equally disappointed with the way in which this process has been handled (again). I am sure the other candidates must have met the criteria – but as we’ve both picked up – it could be interpreted otherwise. The key issue is now raising this matter with Clubs and Districts in order that they are aware of what is being undertaken on ‘their behalf’.

  3. Do I detect another ‘Night of the dark suits and the long knives?’……’is revolution in the air?’

    We’ve only just got over electing a female (Nan) then another (Eve). Be a couple of years before we split the presidency for sure, then possibly do away with it altogether, as in completely….

    Joint Presidents Nick and Mike riding around the country promoting Rotary Ride for Testicular Cancer would certainly have raised a few eyebrows….and hackles it seems!!!

    1. Martin says:

      Maybe to revolution Adrian, just evolution. Not a bad idea doing away with RIBI President, though. How many Rotarians would even notice?

    2. Thanks Adrian – not so sure about revolution – but certainly we need some level of evolution. The joint-presidency idea was novel, but it seemed to be doomed from the start. It will be interested to understand as to whether there will ever be an opportunity for it to be resurrected.

  4. herbert chatters says:

    There is a solution to this debacle, if the last four standing will grasp the nettle. They should collectively pull out on the basis that who ever gets the job will be tarnished and President by default. That move would in effect sack SAC indicating that those destined to manage the ship have no faith in their judgement and lack of ethical expertise.
    Another interesting point of discussion is who picks the pickers? When I looked down the list of those sitting in judgement I expected to see the name of Charles Dickens pop up. If this was to be a dream team to impliment the much needed change then the manual for change must have been cribbed from him.

    1. You must have sight of my next blog on canvassing and the next stage in this process. Part of which will be picking up on the fact that there is now no doubt that this process is tainted and flawed – and were I to be one of the final four…would I want to be elected to the office of RotaryGBI President in these circumstances…most certainly not! But that’s enough for now…you’ll have to check out the next update.

    2. What about the disgraceful way the Corke / Jackson job share nomination was handled … Notifying invalid at the eleventh hour then ignoring the appeal notification against the ruling BEFORE the choice was declared … So why did SAC just ignire the appeal … sheer arrogance!

      Time this was exposed for what it is … protecting the “stay as we are” camp of croneyism.

    1. herbert chatters says:

      …..and here am I Liz Yardley thinking that we are on the same wavelength.
      Charles Dickens must be the analogy as the author of Great Expectations and don’t rule out A Tale of Two Cities….

  5. A concerned Rotarian says:

    Has Rotary Blogger contacted the SAC to understand why they reached their conclusion about Corkeson? I’d like to know it they applied completely on a job share ticket, or a double ticket if you see the difference. If the former then I’d be sad to see the application thrown out as job shares really help people take on roles when they are unable to find the time to do it by themselves, but if on a dual ticket then I don’t think it’d be manageable to have general councils run by two ‘egos’ or fair to people applying in future years as they’d never be able to live up to expectations of the previous year (commitment wise) if dual presidents are putting in twice the amount of hours…discuss!

    Coming back to the eligible/met all criteria aspect – I think a HR professional should’ve got involved on that one! Completely absurd to think 3 of the 4 candidates didn’t meet the criteria fully. I’d be very interested for the SAC to provide a report around which areas they didn’t meet on the criteria. If they are going to be so bold to make they hat claim, then it needs backing up. Or just get rid of them would be my ‘preferred’ choice!

    1. Concerned Rotarian – I’ve not had discussion with SAC on the basis previous discussions with others clearly outline the committee is under no obligation to discuss their decisions (and frankly I’m not sure they would anyway). Corkeson stood on a joint-ticket and as two friends had already ‘sorted’ all the potential ego issues – for example Mike Jackson would have chaired GC. They would have shared the workload – been more focussed on promoting the organisation and less about what has gone before etc. Interestingly, I have a list of their proposals and it makes for some very positive reading.

      On your second point, I have previous blogged about the fact the process should be undertaken by the General Secretary assisted by a professional [external] recruitment agency to actually identify the absolutely preferred candidate. Perhaps we can await some level of statement from the SAC in terms of the “fully meeting the criteria” comment.

  6. Peter Walters says:

    Difficult though it might be, an explanation of the distinction surrounding ‘fully meeting criteria’ as opposed to ‘not doing so’ should remove the dissatisfaction obvious in previous blogs above over the apparent covert recommendation of a single candidate.
    Deeper (and transparent) consideration of the idea of ‘job-sharing’ Presidents should begin quickly so that, if approved of as an idea, any necessary rule changes can be formulated in time for a democratic vote on the issue.

    1. Very valid points Peter – as I’ve said above, perhaps a statement from the SAC explaining the definition of “fully meeting” as opposed to the default position it leaves for the others would be useful. In terms of the ‘job-sharing’ position – I genuinely believe that Corkeson will have prompted a full rethink in terms of whether this is viable or not – and as a result of the way this has been handled by both the Constitutions Committee and the SAC, will seek valid reasons as to why a dual-presidency would not be feasible.

  7. Rodney Howell says:

    I can’t make up my mind whether it is the SAC cocking a snook at the views expressed at the Belfast ABM or whether they were genuinely floundering in the wake of that discussion but what we have wound up with is a position that is much worse than before.
    In the past, the use of the word “preference” indicated that one candidate was “first among equals” whereas the new wording definitely suggests that only one candidate is worth your vote. That may indeed be the case but we are left with the situation where the members of the SAC are allowed to actively canvass on behalf of one candidate and the rest of us are not allowed to make any comment.
    It is the task of the General Secretary to weed out any candidates that do not comply and to disallow their candidacy before they get to the SAC. Did she get it wrong in 75% of the cases interviewed? That seems unbelievable.
    I have been both a member of an SAC and (as a member of the GC) been part of the “election” process to decide on the composition of that body. It is quite possible to “front load” the composition of the SAC and it would be much fairer if the names of the nominees for the SAC were simply drawn from a hat because, at best, the GC is voting for names about which they know little or nothing and no information is supplied.

    1. You have worded so well what many have communicated with me over the last 24 hours since the blog was posted. You have also hit the nail on the head so-to-speak in terms of the SAC effectively being ‘allowed’ to canvas for one candidate when the remaining 50,000 Regular Rots are prevented from uttering a word in support of any of the four candidates.

      As previously stated, I am working on a follow up blog on this very topic of canvassing and support of a candidate – and where it fits in with the modern world. It is such a sad state of affairs, particularly on the back of the Belfast ruling – and it would seem they have no-one else to blame but themselves.

      The question is…can they recover the position?

  8. Why can’t we make our own mind up on any candidates the feel they can inspire the rank and file Rotarian without interference from a self serving body like SAC,

    We as Rotarians can decide to let our Club Council know we that we do not like the way this is done by not voting for the preferred candidate … I certainly will not be pushing our club to vote for the “recommended” candidate.

    1. Thanks for your comments Martin – you have made some very valid comments in what you have said, some of which will be picked up in my follow up blog. It will be interesting to see if some of the Clubs follow your lead in terms of voting.

  9. Lindsay Pearson says:

    I should first declare an interest in this – I’m the President of Framlingham Rotary Club and was delighted to put Nick Corke forward as one half of the Joint RIBI Presidency.

    I am appalled at the way Nick and Mike were treated. Five months since they put forward their candidacy, five months for the “power that be” to notice, yet they waited until “out of hours” on the Friday before the selection interview to notify Nick and Mike that there was a problem. No formal indication was made that the interview they attended was actually an appeal against the Constitution Committee’s “ruling”.

    “Four Way Test” ? I think not.

    Nick and Mike would have given RIBI the kick up the rear that it desperately needs. No reflection on the other candidates, but I have known Nick for many years and he is exactly the sort of Rotarian to drag RIBI into the 21st century.

    And a minor personal point. As the Club President proposing one of the candidates, it would have been polite to let me know of the Constitution Committee’s decision.

    1. Well said Lindsay agree with it all … and as President of a nominating club courtesy at least should have prevailed to let you know.

      The concern now is that many clubs will simply take the easy route and vote for the recommended candidate … Unless we press for a review of what the hell is going on!

      1. Thanks for commenting Lindsay, especially since you are one of the individuals indirectly affected by the decision of the Constitutions Committee and the SAC. It seems your views are shared by many in terms of how this year’s campaign has been handled.

        As outlined in the blog, it is understood that Corkeson have gone off to lick their wounds and to take time to consider what their next approach may be in terms of the processes. The blog will certainly be looking to follow the next steps with interest – as I know (judging by readership figures in the last 24 hours) many of the blog viewers will too.

  10. An interested observer says:

    Are you sure of your information? I know for a fact that at least one of the four you mentioned had a phone call telling them that they did not not meet the criteria and their name would not be going forward!!! Looks like someone may well be due an apology and an explanation. Either that or their details need to be removed from the list! If SAC can’t even get their own decisions straight then it really doesn’t bode well for anything else they do. Can Rotary Blogger find out who exactly has been put forward and who has not. [Edited by RB to remove names and gender neutralise but context and content remain intact]

    1. Thanks ‘Interested Observer’ – as RB understands the position, the SAC has recommended Ms Debbie Hodge fully meets the criteria but has not mentioned that the others do not. Readers can only assume, as outlined in the blog this to be the case. However, it is clear that Clubs are able to vote for any of the four candidates listed in the blog Ellis, Hodge, Jackson or Malhotra.

      Voting, canvassing and other options open to Clubs and Regular Rots will feature in the follow-up to this blog post which will be released prior to the Christmas break.

  11. says:

    It may help if we clarify a few relevant points here.

    • Some of your correspondents are critical of the membership of the SAC but it is fair to say that a majority (5 out of 7) are nominated by Districts and therefore elected to the panel.
    • The SAC has identified that one candidate fully meets the essential elements of the person specification and competencies, they have also said that the other three are eligible for election.
    • Clubs can read the C.V.s and view the presentations of ALL candidates before deciding their vote.
    • Each candidate was provided with the Job Description, Person Specification and Competencies ahead of their interview and indeed all members had the opportunity to review this as full details were posted to the Members Area of the RIBI Website: (login required)
    • In relation to the Job-Share being discussed, application for this concept was formally received on 10th November 2015. Informal conversation had been had prior to this and informal feedback had been given.
    • The Constitutions Committee initially considered that the Constitution and By-laws did not explicitly state the role of RIBI President could be a ‘job-share’ nor did it state it could not, but on revisiting the precise wording it ruled the applications invalid. The job-share applicants, themselves having decided they would still attend at their originally allotted interview time, were given the opportunity to put their case to the SAC who in turn upheld the Constitutions Committee’s ruling that the applications were invalid.
    • The applicants were told that a joint application may have merit but the constitutional documents would need amendment for that to happen.

    1. Kate Keter says:

      “The SAC has identified that one candidate fully meets the essential elements of the person specification and competencies, they have also said that the other three are eligible for election.”

      If the other three don’t “meet the essential elements of the person specification and competencies” how can they be eligible for election?

    2. Interesting that this post dies not refer to the appeal notification that was sent to the General Secretary on the Monday following the constitions committee email on the Friday saying it was invalid as the bylaws IMPLIED that it should be a single nominated person.

      Also that there has been no official appeal hearing.

      I understand that the Kob share question was avtually answered in September with indication that they could go ahead because the bylaws / constitution does not state either way ….

      This appears to be a sanitased account from RIBI,

  12. Lindsay Pearson says:

    Perhaps “RIBI” could kindly explain why the Constitution Committee made their ruling at such a late stage in the proceedings?

    Could it be that “the great and the good” suddenly realised that “Corkeson” actually could be elected and had to find a last-minute excuse to debar them from election ? Leaving only a matter of a couple of days to rally their strategy and arguments doesn’t really seem to be giving Nick and Mike a fair opportunity (Four Way Test?)

    How fast can the documents by amended ? This month? this year? ten years? kicked into the long grass…

    And there is only one “recommended” candidate, the rest fall by the wayside of unspecified inadequacy. Is this the North Korean version of democracy?

    So let’s see the current four candidates, PLUS “Corkeson” put forward for election and let democracy at least be attempted.

  13. While at first sight I cannot see why we have an SAC – on second thoughts I can see it might be helpful in producing a short list of candidates who meet the criteria to assist time pressed Rotarians in their consideration of the field. However, that’s as far as I would expect SAC to go in a truly democratic process, where the Clubs in RIBI are fully capable of making up their minds on who to support. In other words applicants are either qualified to be considered, or not. Thereafter with the modern aids of electronic communication, including a 3 minute video statement by each of the applicants, surely there is sufficient for us to make a decision?
    As this process has turned out, for those of us informed by Rotary Blogger about what has gone on, it’s likely to produce a perverse result where the ‘recommended’ candidate will actually be the least appealing, certainly to fellow Rotarians with whom I’m acquainted, who don’t wish to feel bullied by the ‘so called’ leadership.

    1. Thanks for your comments David – there will be more information coming in the follow-up blog post today, along with some details relating to the use of the word “recommended”. But I think you are right – there seems to be a common thread in these comments that individuals think the SAC haven’t quite got it right on this occasion.

  14. Ray Dxon says:

    I think as a current District Governor (DG), we the General Council (GC) have to hold our hand up to this one. I thought we had got it right in giving guidelines to the Selection Advisory Committee (SAC) in respect of vetting prospective candidates in meeting a number of criteria. This was to be such that the membership would have a selection of candidates to vote on who were capable of carrying out the role, rather than identifying a preferred candidate. What we got wrong was stating that the majority of these criteria were essential. However, the SAC fully understood what the GCs objective were and therefore should be congratulated in interpreting GC’s guidelines and leaving in the candidates that met nearly all the criteria rather than leaving us with a choice of one. This has to be a giant step forward. I am sure we will revisit this at the next GC to try and get it right for next year I would add that we are neither “Great” nor “Good” just ordinary Rots who were elected by their fellow Rots to be their DG at GC and there you do have a choice; if you can get someone to put their name forward!

    1. Well done Ray for ‘coming out’ and being open about your involvement and intentions. Perhaps pointing out to the SAC that their role is merely assessing against criteria, and not going further such as interpreting potential discrimination issues (like job-share, gender, ethnicity, disability etc) would make their job simpler and ours in Clubs less open to what could be perceived as SAC lobbying?

    2. Thanks Ray for sticking your head above the parapet. I have also received communication from others in your situation – albeit that they have not posted publicly on the Blog – and they have confirmed the same as you. Again, this will be a point I will be picking up in today’s follow-up Blogpost. But you are correct, the fact that we have the new process means there will be an element of ‘bedding in’ for it to work properly.

  15. Jim Sleight says:

    Can we be given the evidence from SAC as to why one candidate has been identified that
    fully meets the essential elements of the person specification and competencies but that the other three are eligible for election, please? What does this mean in practise other than the SAC is promoting one of the candidates standing? Also, I have carefully read through the documents on the website & watched the videos and, based on that, I do not agree with the SAC’s assessment given.

    Although this is all about the candidates standing for the RIBI Presidency, exactly the same comments and observations can be made for the RI Director election. On this one, my own observation is that a different candidate meets the criteria set and stands head & shoulders above the one selected by the SAC as ” fully meeting the essential elements of the person specification and competencies”. This is a real mess & does not bode well for the future of our organisation’s progress into openness and accountability

    1. You make a number of great comments Jim all of which are justified in seeking answers. I will be following up on the blog with a further post picking up on some of the comments made in this thread and on social media following a number a number of conversations over the weekend (including a detailed conversation with Alcester). I am hoping the follow up may clarify some of the points that featured in the original post and in the subsequent comments.

  16. Jim Sleight says:

    On a completely different tack – I have just looked at the membership of the SAC for this cycle. On the face of it, it looks as we have almost 2 different committees sitting – they are not both made up of the same people and each was chaired by a different person. As I only have personal knowledge of a small number of the members of each “committee” I have no means of knowing if they were professionally competent to make these sort of judgements. For instance, do any of them have a professional HR background [or if not, professional training in “Fair Selection” and “Disability Awareness, etc.]? Also, was there an independent professional sitting in on the two sessions to ensure consistency and that no “personal interest & prejudicial views” were expressed? Finally, are there minutes taken that can be read by other Rotarians not involved?

    I know this is difficult as I am sure that each & every member of the SAC will have done their best – but, are they professionally qualified to make what are very important decisions in choosing our future leaders?

  17. Jim Sleight says:

    In real life, if there is a suspected “miscarriage of justice”, it is possible to have a Judicial Review” carried out.

    Do we have an internal opportunity to demand this through “petitioning”, or equivalent? Anyone know what are Constitutional Rules are on this one? We have covered virtually all other aspects of Rotary life, so this must be in the big Red Book somewhere…….

  18. Just one point that has me confused … with SAC usung the words “recommended candidate” this is surely canvassing which is against the rules … In this case the preferred candidate should be disqualified as would be the case if my club publicly said we recommended one of the candidates.

  19. A concerned Rotarian says:

    Surely the best way to operate in accordance with current HR best practice is to consult a CURRENT HR professional – was this done?

    Reminder of the resolution approved at the last ABM.
    “To ensure fairness and to minimize the risk of a legal challenge to the decision of an SAC, it is necessary that the SACs should operate in accordance with current HR best practice. To include these procedures in the By-Laws would add significantly to the length of the By-Laws, and would mean that any amendment to the procedures would have to be made through the cumbersome process of a Business Meeting resolution. Accordingly, the resolution provides that the SAC should be under an obligation to operate in accordance with procedures laid down by General Council. For the sake of simplicity, it is proposed that the confidentiality rules which the SAC shall be required to adhere to should be included in these procedures. Removing the confidentiality paragraphs from the By-Laws should in no way be seen as implying that the SAC should operate other than according to proper and reasonable principles of confidentiality.”

  20. For things to change and for regular Rots to be well informed we need to make as many clubs and roarias aware of this issue aas possible … there are many that do not use social media and internet so they need to be informed traditionally so they can make their own minds up rather than defaulting simply to take the easy option and vote for the “recommended candidate”

    Spread the word to as many people as possible about the shambles we call president election [and the director one for that matter] and canvass against the “recommended candidate” as a protest to the unfair situation

  21. Simon Sherwin says:

    We are now left with six days to make a decision on whom to vote for. The “fully meets the requirements etc” implies, rightly or not, that that candidate is preferred by the committee. The impression given is that “ordinary” Rotarians are not capable or trusted enough to make their own decisions. I assume the same reasoning is given to the decision that allows Past DG’s and Assistant Governors to have an extra vote on District matters. I would like a really good answer to that point without someone saying that they have the experience. As a Rotarian of over 30 years – 15 in total spent as Club Secretary – why should my opinion be considered less worthy than someone with less years “under their belt” just because they want to climb the greasy pole?

  22. Paul Bertenshaw says:

    I only became aware of the situation surrounding the choosing of a National President after at our meeting last night when our secretary informed us of the fact. After investigation (I must admit that I have been remiss on not looking into it properly before! Usual Rotarian apathy I suppose!) I was rather surprised to find that our supposed ‘elite’ think it right and proper to openly support one candidate above the others! Does this behaviour pass the four way test? Hopefully, the decision was made rationally, without undue influence from vested interests?
    Where can I find the criteria which our unbiased (hopefully) elite supposedly use (and the rules which guide them or restrict their decision making powers) when deciding on the candidate/s who qualify for the voting stage?
    District 1070

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