Democratic Policy Report

August 19, 2005

Good Day everyone!

As reported to you previously, we had arranged with Board Member Scouter Keith Martin of BC to discuss with him the report or submission that he has been tasked to deliver to the board. Scouter Keith was charged by the Chief Commissioner to bring forward a report and recommendations to the Board that would address the democratic deficit that exists in our organization.

Scouter Ted and I spent a considerable amount of time in a conference call with Scouter Keith

Ted and I did a lot of listening and some talking. The upshot is this: Scouter Keith recognizes that although Bylaw #2 is flawed, we need a pragmatic approach and it is the document we have to work with. With that in mind he wants to present actual policy to the Board at the September meeting for their consideration. I said "policy" not a study or a report. He wants to present a document that theoretically could get adopted by them. This raises some interesting theories. Foremost among these would be that they possibly realize that the good ship SC is in serious peril and does not have a lot of time to correct its course. Another would be that they feel that the democratic deficit is biting them on the proverbial behind.

When I asked how we (SCOUT eh!) could help, he ventured the guess that we, your executive, probably has a pretty good feel for the pulse of the Ordinary Members and he would like to consult us on issues such as election mechanics, scope, voting age, representation, nominations, etc. Rest assured if there are issues that need vetting by SCOUT eh! Members we will ensure that happens and we will keep you posted on information that is coming forward.

While we don't have a great number of details yet, we feel confident that we have a warm place at the table. Whether we will have real and true impact on this policy remains to be seen. In the meantime when the document comes out, and if it is one that we can support, we will have to make plans to ensure it is adopted by Scouts Canada without any further delay. This is imperative if we hope to have any chance of steering the ship back to friendly and less troubled waters.

In the meantime, your Area and Council Commissioners need to hear that the membership must have a say in choosing our decision makers. That includes the Area and Council commissioners and the Council representatives who are the Voting Members who elect the Board of Governors. Send them a letter, postcard, e-mail, and talk to them. Tell them that you have been left out of the decision making process and you want a say. Speak to your fellow Scouters, ask them to take a stand on this. If the management does not hear from the grass roots then Ted, Liam, and I are just talking heads. The Board of Governors meeting will be held approximately one month from now. This is your opportunity to make our voice heard.

As always our phones and computers are ready to hear from you.

More news when it is fit to print.


Mike Reid, Chair