Nominations For Party Leader

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Nominations For Party Leader

Postby AndrewTindall » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:54 pm

Having been our leader since founding the party, Andrew Robinson will now be stepping down. I'm sure we are all thankful for the hard work he has done for the party, and look forward to seeing where our next leader takes us.

As a result of Andy stepping down, nominations are now open for Party Leader.

Anyone wishing to stand should declare themselves here, and state their case. Any candidates must be seconded by two members who are not themselves running.
Potential candidates should read 'What does a party leader do?', written by Andy.

Nominations will close on 3rd September. A period of debate will then occur. Voting via AV will begin on 11th September lasting until the 26th. An independently appointed election monitor will oversee this process.

Declared Candidates:
Peter Brett
Loz Kaye
Eric Priezkalns has withdrawn his candidacy.
Graeme Lambert has withdrawn his candidacy.
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby Gavman » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:35 pm

Nominations close on 3rd September?

So there are only two weeks for people to weigh up if they feel they should run for Leader of the party? And then voting starts immediately after this?

So someone in the party has deemed that we must have a fully fledged new leader in power within 4 weeks?

Now I appreciate that we will want to find a suitable replacement for Andy who has done a considerably good job for someone with no experience at running a Political Party before and it is a shame to see that he is stepping down, however I just feel that rushing through finding a replacement is not going to help the Party in any way.

Has Andy said he is standing down with immediate effect or will he provide a grace period for a handover to a new Leader?

I would strongly urge that first of all more information is drawn up on what the post will entail, what obligations will be required, very similar to the job roles that were drawn up for other positions within the Party.

I would also prefer to see more time for nominations (Or postponing the time when nominations will open) and time between nominations and voting to ensure that anyone wanting to step forward is provided with realistic expectations, given enough time to decide if they feel they can fulfill the role and most importantly give members a chance to get to know the prospective new leaders better, or rather what the prospective leaders can offer the party.

Sorry for the apparent negative post here, I just don't want to see the Party rush something as important as this.

The above is just my personal view and maybe no one else agrees but I just felt that I needed to say this.

Finally I hope Andy feels he is able to remain active within the Party and I wish to thank him for all his hard work over the past year.
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby Andy_R » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:46 pm

Gavman wrote:Has Andy said he is standing down with immediate effect or will he provide a grace period for a handover to a new Leader?


I'm still leading the party from now until the vote ends. As for the handover, that's something for the new leader to decide, I'm happy to offer as much or as little advice and assistance as my successor wants.

Gavman wrote:I would strongly urge that first of all more information is drawn up on what the post will entail, what obligations will be required, very similar to the job roles that were drawn up for other positions within the Party.


I'm already working on it. In an ideal world, I'd have had it ready in advance, but I decided to time the announcement so that I could tell the NEC, but not have it leak out through the NEC minutes ahead of my blog post.
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby Henry » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:49 pm

I think we need more time to organize everything as well, 2 weeks for people to announce themselves as candidates seems a bit rushed. I think at least a month for candidates seems more reasonable, give them more time to decide whether they want to stand or not and time to prepare their own leadership campaign.

I'd also like to thank you Andy for all you've done for the party. I'm sorry to see you step down but I wish you the best of luck.
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby epriezka » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:51 pm

Gavman wrote:The above is just my personal view and maybe no one else agrees but I just felt that I needed to say this.


I agree with you. Given how long it takes parties like Labour to cross-examine and determine who makes a suitable leader, I'm perplexed that we feel the need to do this so quickly. Even if Andrew is desperate to leave, it's not much to ask that an outgoing leader announce his attentions with plenty of lead time to enable a proper internal debate about the successor.

I get the feeling that this leadership contest could result in the same superficial examination as we've seen in other internal elections, with a few listless questions and the job given to someone who is vaguely better known than his rivals.

This could have been a chance to boost party membership and test potential leaders. How about a three-month contest where we see which of the candidates actually succeeds in delivering real results and attracting some new blood to the party during that time? That would also give a chance to an unknown who has been frozen out of the party hierarchy before. If we can't use the leadership contest as a way of seeing who has what it takes to lead from the front over an extended period, we're taking a mighty gamble assuming they will be an effective leader afterwards.
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby samgower » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:54 pm

PeterBrett wrote:First. :P

Just to be clear -- is this a nomination?
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby PeterBrett » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:55 pm

samgower wrote:
PeterBrett wrote:First. :P

Just to be clear -- is this a nomination?

It is now.
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby AndrewTindall » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:58 pm

Personally, whilst I wouldn't mind a longer nominations period, do you honestly expect more than one or two people to nominate themselves? We can still play up publicity with the method as it is.


Also, I shall second Peter's candidacy.
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby Henry » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:04 pm

Are there any specific rules about seconding candidates, or is all it takes just having to be a paid member for your seconding to count? Just something I want to make clear.
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby PeterBrett » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:04 pm

Henry wrote:Are there any specific rules about seconding candidates, or is all it takes just having to be a paid member for your seconding to count? Just something I want to make clear.

You just need to be a full party member.
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby cabalamat » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:05 pm

epriezka wrote:
Gavman wrote:The above is just my personal view and maybe no one else agrees but I just felt that I needed to say this.


I agree with you. Given how long it takes parties like Labour to cross-examine and determine who makes a suitable leader, I'm perplexed that we feel the need to do this so quickly.


I agree with you two and Henry. We don't have to do this in a hurry, so why hurry?

epriezka wrote:This could have been a chance to boost party membership and test potential leaders. How about a three-month contest where we see which of the candidates actually succeeds in delivering real results and attracting some new blood to the party during that time? That would also give a chance to an unknown who has been frozen out of the party hierarchy before.


Makes sense.
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby Henry » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:06 pm

PeterBrett wrote:
Henry wrote:Are there any specific rules about seconding candidates, or is all it takes just having to be a paid member for your seconding to count? Just something I want to make clear.

You just need to be a full party member.

Thanks for clearing that up for me
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby epriezka » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:44 pm

AndrewTindall wrote:Any candidates must be seconded by two members who are not themselves running.

Nominations will close on 3rd September, with voting, via AV, starting the following day and concluding on the 18th September.


Forgive me for asking, but where are these election rules - dates, number of nominees, election method and so forth - coming from? They are not coming from the party constitution. Even the Conservative Party has a formal set of rules called the "Procedure for the Election of the Leader of the Conservative Party" and theirs is the mainstream party least inclined to document formal rules for governance matters (it seems to be quite a complicated story to explain how the Tory rules relate to the party constitution, but there is a connection).

The normal place for rules on an election would be a constitution. We have only a skeletal constitution. The party did, however, appoint a Board to consider matters relating to governance. We did so in the hope they would flesh out matters like these.

The reason I ask is that there is an obvious conflict of interest if the exec committee decided the rules for this and future exec elections. Separation of decision-making powers was a good reason to appoint a Board. The conflict of interest is exacerbated if the nominees will include people from the relatively small number of current execs. However, given the speed of the announcements, and the absence of any evident communication on behalf of the Board, it seems possible these decisions were made by the exec committee, and not by the Board.

I ask that the exec suspend performance of these elections until such time as the Board:

- Has had opportunity to review and advise what should be the rules for executive elections, including election of the party leader.
- To review who should have responsibility for managing and overseeing the election itself, to ensure that allows for no conflict of interest either.

If the Board has approved these election procedures, I will of course withdraw my request immediately. However, in the interests of transparency, the confirmation should come from the whole Board.
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby borgs8472 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:53 pm

peterbrett wrote:<snip>

Ah, I thought 'first!' to be somewhat of a weak self nomination. I support Peter for this important position.
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby LozKaye » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:04 pm

I would just like to add my voice to those thanking Andy for his work for the party. It was a very dignified statement, and a useful pointer to the task ahead. I think others of different political hues could learn something from it.
Talking of which one only has to look as far as the Labour party to see the virtue of moving ahead swiftly with a leadership change!
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby rancidpunk » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:25 pm

epriezka wrote:
AndrewTindall wrote:Any candidates must be seconded by two members who are not themselves running.

Nominations will close on 3rd September, with voting, via AV, starting the following day and concluding on the 18th September.


Forgive me for asking, but where are these election rules - dates, number of nominees, election method and so forth - coming from? They are not coming from the party constitution. Even the Conservative Party has a formal set of rules called the "Procedure for the Election of the Leader of the Conservative Party" and theirs is the mainstream party least inclined to document formal rules for governance matters (it seems to be quite a complicated story to explain how the Tory rules relate to the party constitution, but there is a connection).

The normal place for rules on an election would be a constitution. We have only a skeletal constitution. The party did, however, appoint a Board to consider matters relating to governance. We did so in the hope they would flesh out matters like these.

The reason I ask is that there is an obvious conflict of interest if the exec committee decided the rules for this and future exec elections. Separation of decision-making powers was a good reason to appoint a Board. The conflict of interest is exacerbated if the nominees will include people from the relatively small number of current execs. However, given the speed of the announcements, and the absence of any evident communication on behalf of the Board, it seems possible these decisions were made by the exec committee, and not by the Board.

I ask that the exec suspend performance of these elections until such time as the Board:

- Has had opportunity to review and advise what should be the rules for executive elections, including election of the party leader.
- To review who should have responsibility for managing and overseeing the election itself, to ensure that allows for no conflict of interest either.

If the Board has approved these election procedures, I will of course withdraw my request immediately. However, in the interests of transparency, the confirmation should come from the whole Board.


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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby azrael » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:37 pm

epriezka wrote:
AndrewTindall wrote:Any candidates must be seconded by two members who are not themselves running.

Nominations will close on 3rd September, with voting, via AV, starting the following day and concluding on the 18th September.


Forgive me for asking, but where are these election rules - dates, number of nominees, election method and so forth - coming from? They are not coming from the party constitution. Even the Conservative Party has a formal set of rules called the "Procedure for the Election of the Leader of the Conservative Party" and theirs is the mainstream party least inclined to document formal rules for governance matters (it seems to be quite a complicated story to explain how the Tory rules relate to the party constitution, but there is a connection).

The normal place for rules on an election would be a constitution. We have only a skeletal constitution. The party did, however, appoint a Board to consider matters relating to governance. We did so in the hope they would flesh out matters like these.

The reason I ask is that there is an obvious conflict of interest if the exec committee decided the rules for this and future exec elections. Separation of decision-making powers was a good reason to appoint a Board. The conflict of interest is exacerbated if the nominees will include people from the relatively small number of current execs. However, given the speed of the announcements, and the absence of any evident communication on behalf of the Board, it seems possible these decisions were made by the exec committee, and not by the Board.

I ask that the exec suspend performance of these elections until such time as the Board:

- Has had opportunity to review and advise what should be the rules for executive elections, including election of the party leader.
- To review who should have responsibility for managing and overseeing the election itself, to ensure that allows for no conflict of interest either.

If the Board has approved these election procedures, I will of course withdraw my request immediately. However, in the interests of transparency, the confirmation should come from the whole Board.


Eric, I'm not sure if this will fully answer your questions. But let's have a go.

The Board does exist to tighten up the constitution to deal with all sorts of things, and as such I point you to a lot of proposals for amendments http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/wiki/Boar ... Amendments that's a public page so anyone can see the sorts of things we're up to.

As you can appreciate there is a heck of a lot there and I am sure it doesn't scratch the surface of what needs to be done. I'm also sure the current wording of most of those could be improved. They do however show that the Board is looking at constitutionalising such things as how votes and elections take place in excruciating detail. Formalising the rules of elections saves the pain of making it up as we go along. But getting all these changes into the constitution will take time - and I certainly can't see us doing it before the new leader is elected, unless the timeframe for that changes.

That said, making it up as we go along isn't expressly forbidden by the constitution (it's so short, very little is forbidden ;) ) as long as the made up rules don't breach the constitution.

The Board currently has no power to require the NEC to consult it before coming out with such things as election procedures. I'm not sure the Board should ever have such power (the rules should be in the constitution instead).
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby epriezka » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:27 am

azrael wrote:
epriezka wrote:
AndrewTindall wrote:Any candidates must be seconded by two members who are not themselves running.

Nominations will close on 3rd September, with voting, via AV, starting the following day and concluding on the 18th September.


Forgive me for asking, but where are these election rules - dates, number of nominees, election method and so forth - coming from?

The reason I ask is that there is an obvious conflict of interest if the exec committee decided the rules for this and future exec elections. Separation of decision-making powers was a good reason to appoint a Board. The conflict of interest is exacerbated if the nominees will include people from the relatively small number of current execs. However, given the speed of the announcements, and the absence of any evident communication on behalf of the Board, it seems possible these decisions were made by the exec committee, and not by the Board.

I ask that the exec suspend performance of these elections until such time as the Board:

- Has had opportunity to review and advise what should be the rules for executive elections, including election of the party leader.
- To review who should have responsibility for managing and overseeing the election itself, to ensure that allows for no conflict of interest either.

If the Board has approved these election procedures, I will of course withdraw my request immediately. However, in the interests of transparency, the confirmation should come from the whole Board.


Eric, I'm not sure if this will fully answer your questions. But let's have a go.

The Board does exist to tighten up the constitution to deal with all sorts of things, and as such I point you to a lot of proposals for amendments http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/wiki/Boar ... Amendments that's a public page so anyone can see the sorts of things we're up to.

As you can appreciate there is a heck of a lot there and I am sure it doesn't scratch the surface of what needs to be done. I'm also sure the current wording of most of those could be improved. They do however show that the Board is looking at constitutionalising such things as how votes and elections take place in excruciating detail. Formalising the rules of elections saves the pain of making it up as we go along. But getting all these changes into the constitution will take time - and I certainly can't see us doing it before the new leader is elected, unless the timeframe for that changes.

That said, making it up as we go along isn't expressly forbidden by the constitution (it's so short, very little is forbidden ;) ) as long as the made up rules don't breach the constitution.

The Board currently has no power to require the NEC to consult it before coming out with such things as election procedures. I'm not sure the Board should ever have such power (the rules should be in the constitution instead).


It's fair to observe that election procedures may not have been considered a priority for the Board unless the Board was aware that an election was coming up.

You make an interesting point about powers of the NEC versus those of the Board. In reality, we can recognize that a shift in power has taken place, but this has not been codified. When Charles I was executed by Parliament, he might well have questioned what authority they had to put him on trial. Nevertheless, a transition of authority had taken place. If Parliament was making up rules as it went along, it was because of the general lack of rules, and because the absence of rules is not a good reason to always allow authority to collapse back into the hands of those claiming a divine or pre-existing right.

In this party, a transition of governance authority was mandated by a vote of all members. As in any democracy, the members of our community are the ultimate source of sovereignty. A principle reason for appointing the Board was to introduce a separation of powers from the exec, and the members agreed this through their vote. That the exec should not decide the rules for appointing the exec would serve as a clear example of a situation that was meant to be avoided by appointing a separate Board.

Prior to the existence of a Board, the only check on the exec was that of the members as a whole. In the event of, say, inappropriate election rules, that check could only be exercised using the crude mechanism of the members voting to depose the execs. If the execs create the rules for electing execs, and the members' only authority to check this power is to depose the execs, this evidently leads to a vicious circle of indeterminacy when it comes time to appoint the replacement execs. It is precisely to avoid such over-simplistic and ultimately flawed governance that we have a Board with authority to drive an agenda for constitutional change and such "other governance responsibilities which are as yet undefined in [the] constitution".

You are right that the constitution does not prohibit the execs from deciding the rules for how to elect the exec. Nor does it positively grant them the authority to decide the rules on electing execs. In past, the authority was exercised by the exec. But that is based on an unspoken assumption, not a constitutional precedent. In short, they did it because there was nobody else to do it, just as Kings made decisions because there were no Parliaments to overrule them. We now have a Board, and based on the member's decision to approve the formation of a Board, I believe it is clear the members intended for authority like this - the procedures for elections of the exec - to be decided by the Board.

I agree that at least the basic election rules should be in the constitution. That would place the onus on the Board to determine those rules, and not on the exec to do so. I don't believe anyone would sincerely argue against the principle that the rules for appointment of executives should be stated in an organization's constitution. That there is a gap suggests the Board should do its job in devising those rules, and that the proposed election should be delayed until the Board has had time to do so.

My final observation relates to the question of urgency. Perhaps it is felt that the Board has insufficient time to decide the rules for an election. This logic is circular. The timeframe for this election was decided by the exec; if the Board has authority to decide election rules, it can also decide if the current election schedule is too hurried. Furthermore, it appears the exec have made a number of key decisions in a very short space of time. Even if the Board decides urgency is vital, I see no reason to believe the Board cannot reach its own decisions in a satisfactory timeframe, and so give guidance on the procedures for executive elections before the leadership election takes place.
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby azrael » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:54 am

While I don't disagree with what you've said, I think to some extent the Board is still too new and until it works to give itself the authority it wishes to exert, it hasn't really fully taken on the mandate which the members have given it. I think what I mean by this is that there is an onus on the Board to demonstrate it can work properly before the NEC should give up the powers it has traditionally had.

Yes, I think we'll all be in a better place once things work 'properly', but until then we muddle along. I suspect you think we've done too much muddling and ought to be doing more things 'properly'. This is a good example of the sort of 'problem' that can manifest, so is perhaps a bit of a kick to tell the Board to stop using being new as an excuse, and get some visible stuff done.
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Re: Nominations For Party Leader

Postby epriezka » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:02 am

azrael wrote:While I don't disagree with what you've said, I think to some extent the Board is still too new and until it works to give itself the authority it wishes to exert, it hasn't really fully taken on the mandate which the members have given it.


Maybe so. But I'll highlight that not a single Board member stood on a platform of "elect me now, I'll be ready to do my job at some indefinite point in the future..."

azrael wrote:This is a good example of the sort of 'problem' that can manifest, so is perhaps a bit of a kick to tell the Board to stop using being new as an excuse, and get some visible stuff done.


Yes, that's exactly how I regard it. I hope the Board can see that execs deciding the rules for exec elections is an exemplar for why there should be a separation of governance from executive responsibilities, and a good opportunity for the Board members to reward the trust placed in it by the members.
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