This is the first post on this blog since February 2015, sadly the current committee do not publish any news/ views or member suggestions.
Next week is the 2016 AGM and a lot of things are going to be changed, primarily the Constitution.
We have been informed that a rise in subscription fees, from $15 to $2o, will be implemented, and we have already been denied a dollar subsidy on our lunches, something that has been in place since Lance Drummond left the group some money for their enjoyment.
Seems strange that it is deemed appropriate to spend money on legal fees to change the Constitution, but not give members a subsidy on a luncheon. To the majority of members a dollar off a meal was the only benefit they got from the money left to them, but now even that is denied.
If elected I will make it my duty to stop the unnecessary financial burdens being forced upon you, especially when there are ample funds left in the account, which is supposed to be for your enjoyment. Subscriptions will stay at $15 and the $1 dollar subsidy reinstated on the luncheons.
Some of the proposals in the new constitution are aimed at stopping free speech, something that all democratically elected nations hold as paramount.
Voting will also be different, when I was President the committee introduced a Secret Ballot for the election of Officers and Committee, this is another essential ingredient in a free and democratic society.
Using the voice system, where the ones who shout the loudest win, or the intimidation method of the show of hands, where you feel you need to support a friend, when you don’t really agree with their viewpoint, these methods are out of date. The Secret Ballot option is the only fair way to get a proper result, having impartial adjudicators checking and counting the voting papers.
The new rules for Proxy votes gives the President the power to say he has verbally received proxy votes. So he could just stand up and say he has received 20 proxy votes for himself. This situation should not and can not be allowed, giving power to one person to control who gets elected. Proxy votes need to signed and dated by the person making the vote, and should be checked for validity by two impartial scrutineers before being put in the voting box.
Look forward to meeting you all at the AGM, and lets hope it will be a fair and proper election process, with all relevant amendments contained in the proposed Constitution being debated and voted on individually. These new rules can not implemented wrapped up in one package, using just one vote to accept or reject the proposal in its entirety.
You will note that the Secret Ballot method of voting is NOT an option in the proposed revised Constitution. No matter the result of this Constitutional vote, the current version will still be in force for this election, and we can exercise our right to request a Secret Ballot;
Rule 23 C states ‘On a request by three or more members present, the vote shall be taken by secret ballot.’