CTC Democracy

redspoke

Re:CTC Democracy

Postby redspoke » 2 Dec 2004, 9:39pm

It would be great if more people stood for CTC Council - lots of opportunities coming up soon - and remember elections are by postal ballots of all members.

The next AGM will be in Warwick on 23rd April. All members welcome. You and any one other member can submit a motion for discussion.

The policing plan comment gets us onto to a very different subject. Suffice to say here that the British Crime Survey puts dangerous driving as the big public concern in local areas - way above burglary, criminal damage and what the professionals call car crime (they include taking cars and things in cars but not the crime of driving them at people).

And that's a lot of the problem. When you go along to forums with the police they will say that our concerns are not "real crimes" and don't appear in their targets.

But if someone wants a go on that I suggest you start another thread.

drossall

Re:CTC Democracy

Postby drossall » 2 Dec 2004, 9:50pm

No, I still disagree. I think Clem's ideas would weaken the message to the point of no impact. Instead of "the CTC thinks", we would have, six months later when no-one was listening, "a majority of members who responded think...". Of the few people who were still interested so long after the issue was current, most would decide cyclists were divided and ignore us.

I'll stick to voting the leadership out if they consistently take unhelpful positions.

Which they don't.

Clem Oxby

Re:CTC Democracy

Postby Clem Oxby » 3 Dec 2004, 11:24am

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Hi Again Drossall,
Thank you for responding to my posting. I’m fully in agreement in what you say that a statement designated as that of our Club, the CTC, carries far more weight than if it is designated from a committee or individuals within our organisation.. That’s a clear and definite fact, but so is the fact that if it hasn’t been put to a poll of the membership then it can’t in truth be designated as that of our Club, but only of the committee or individuals who are generating that view.

If some people within the Club want a view to be put forward as that of the Club then, in a correctly-run democratic club, the only truthfull way is to put it to the vote of the Club. As I said, I’m fully in agreement that a view designated as that of our Club, the CTC, carries far more weight than one that isn’t. But if you want it to be designated as that of the Club, you’ve got to seek the approval of the Club’s Membership—that’s democracy !----however much some members may want it otherwise !.

Another point is that by issuing a statement on behalf of our Members, i.e. the CTC,
without first seeking their approval has, in fact, disenfranchised our members from their right to vote on the very statement issued under their name !. That’s NOT democracy.

The vast majority of views generated by committees and individuals can be issued without recourse to the Membership, as they are at present with no delay, by designating them as from the committees or individuals generating them. Only when it is judged that a statement needs to be designated as from the CTC, need a poll of the membership be undertaken, however much that delay will be regretted by some members.

As I’ve stressed previously, I’m trying to establish that every member of our Club is given an equal opportunity of their views being heard, and of voting on views issued in their name.

Thank you for responding and for your forbearance in reading this!----Clem Oxby---
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keepontriking

Re:CTC Democracy

Postby keepontriking » 3 Dec 2004, 3:15pm

Clem,

Can we assume you will be putting your ideas on democracy to the National AGM?

The problem with this is that you won't be able to accept the result, whether the AGM agrees with you or not (because its not the FULL membership present), but it could act as a catalyst.

An alternative is for you to hold your own referendum on the issue if you feel so strongly.
Why don't you try that?

BTW I would vote against you.

Clem Oxby

Re:CTC Democracy

Postby Clem Oxby » 3 Dec 2004, 6:33pm

Hi Keepontriking,
You raise a very important point concerning the democracy of the Governance of our Club, the CTC. The AGM usually has less than 100 members attending it. Consequently any motions which are put at the AGM have only been voted upon by a very small percentage of our total membership of 55000. For motions to be recognised as being approved by the majority from amongst our whole membership it is feasible and practicable to arrange for a democratic vote by putting AGM motions in our journal, which is distributed to all our members, and requesting the votes upon them to be returned by mail.

Thank you for responding to my 'letter'
Clem Oxby
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drossall

Re:CTC Democracy

Postby drossall » 3 Dec 2004, 10:34pm

But logically, given your position on voting, you would still only accept the outcome of a poll if a considerable majority of all members voted and the result was overwhelming.

I am sorry, but yours is a recipe for paralysis and cyclists having no voice at all. Everyone knows what is meant by "the CTC's view". The claim is to speak on behalf of members, not to have counted their views.

keepontriking

Re:CTC Democracy

Postby keepontriking » 3 Dec 2004, 11:37pm

I fully understand where you are coming from Clem, but as Drosall says it is a "recipe for paralysis" and IMO it would kill the Club.
However you are entitled to your opinion - or should the whole world have a vote on that ;-)

You will put a motion forward won't you?
How about:
"I (Clem Oxby) propose that only items that have been approved in referendum by at least 50% of the whole membership may be published in the name of the CTC."

Will you?
Its your chance to put up or, as they say....

Clem Oxby

Re:CTC Democracy

Postby Clem Oxby » 5 Dec 2004, 10:29am

I have tried to be brief in my responses to the postings. When I mentioned the way members’ views are sought I should have described it in full and not simply referred to it in a shortened form. A better and more correct description would be: “A poll of the whole membership in which the majority of those voting are in favour”.

keepontriking

Re:CTC Democracy

Postby keepontriking » 5 Dec 2004, 1:03pm

As you wish to be brief a one word answer will suffice.

Once again, re you going to put a motion to the AGM?

Yes, or No.

David

Re:CTC Democracy

Postby David » 9 Dec 2004, 11:21am

Along with other members of the National Council I received a copy of Clem's letter. He has stimulated lively discussion among councillors and will be receiving a response which reflects this discussion. My comments here are personal and have not been subject to a referendum among my fellow councillors!

How to involve members more in organisations like ours deserves the airing Clem has given it and useful points have been made in these exchanges - thanks to everyone. It is vital for the CTC to be able to respond quickly and authoritatively as issues arise. Putting caveats around its policy statements would surely weaken their impact. CTC's approach is the same as that of almost all comparable organisations and most people will understand that any such group will have people with a wide range of views. Such differences fortunately extend to national councillors and stronger policies are forged because arguments are tested in debate. The views of members expressed to councillors and officials are a vital part of this debate and are very much welcomed.

Undoubtedly some members - and Clem may be one - support compulsory helmets and are uneasy about the way the policy was arrived at. This is not the place for a debate on the policy but the way it was formed does serve to illustrate more general points. Councillors include people who dislike helmets, see little or no value in them and don't use them. Others (including me) use them regularly and think on balance they make us safer. A number of studies (and as a councillor I though I should check them out) suggest that where helmets have been made compulsory the number of cyclists has declined significantly. The clinching argument for me was that even if the most extravagant (and hotly disputed) claims for the benefits of helmets are right, the reduction in cycling resulting from compulsion would outweigh any advantages. So I do understand the arguments of those who feel that if lives would be saved by what many feel is a minor inconvenience we should not opppose it. But CTC could not sensibly support something which would reduce the number of cyclists - and therefore damage the health of the nation - even if members voted for it.

Although I - and at least most fellow councillors - don't agree with Clem's approach to extending democracy, we really do welcome debate. It is a crucial part of a vibrant organisation. Keep the ideas coming!

J Cantrell

Re:CTC Democracy

Postby J Cantrell » 10 Dec 2004, 9:43am

David - do you really mean what you say in the last sentence of your penultimate paragraph? ...."But CTC could not sensibly support something which would reduce the number of cyclists - and therefore damage the health of the nation - even if members voted for it."

If you are saying that the council of CTC would just ignore a majority vote then that is a very odd kind of democracy.

David

Re:CTC Democracy

Postby David » 10 Dec 2004, 11:05am

That's a fair point and I was being a bit provocative! The point I was really trying to make is that for any organisation there are certain things that go against the basic purpose of its existence - in this case promoting the interests of cycling and cyclists. (Forget about helmets.) Are there lines we just shouldn't cross because they run counter to what we are for?

In practice it seems unlikely that, even if we held referendums, the majority view would often differ from that reached under present arrangements - simply because we are all usually fighting for the same ends.

But here's a message to all of you out there: at present many of us got onto council unelected, simply because it is difficult to get people to stand. So the number of vacancies is often equal to or more than the number of nominations. So one sure way of increasing democracy would be to have more people standing for council so that we have more elections.

J Cantrell

Re:CTC Democracy

Postby J Cantrell » 10 Dec 2004, 8:24pm

OK David, fair enough - but what you say about the reason for having a club is very pertinent. You say it is - to promote the interests of cycling and cyclists - no problem there in principle - but you then say ... forget about helmets... I see why you say that because you want to concentrate on the subject of representation and democracy and not get bogged down again in all the old arguements.
However this is virtually where Clem came in with this topic. Some members think that it is in the "interests of cycling" to recommend the wearing of helmets -- some members think it is in the "interests of cycling" not to recommend the wearing of helmets. There may be other topics where the membership is divided. If politics is the activity that occurs when tyring to resolve opposing views then we have a political issue here. The question is how should we resolve it.

Clem Oxby

Re:CTC Democracy

Postby Clem Oxby » 15 Dec 2004, 5:20pm

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Hi it's Clem again. I've just returned from a week away at a family get-together in Suffolk---excellent and interesting cycling countryside by the way.

I'm solely interested in correct democracy within the Club; specifically that a truthful description is given of statements and views issued by groups or individuals within the Club.

I selected the helmet issue as an example of a view generated within the Club since a minor issue would not raise the same degree of interest as this example has.

I am reluctant to give my own position on the helmet issue, since, as I said, it's the democracy which concerns me---not the example. However where I stand on the helmet issue is colouring the discussion---so I'll state where stand (but for me it's not an important personal issue at all )

If I had been asked to vote I would have voted for a statement that the CTC is against the compulsory wearing of cycling helmets---or similar words.

No doubt this discussion will rumble on for quite a while, but I hope to respond more immediately since now I'm home I'll be able to read the Postings as they appear.-----Clem--####################