Scouts Canada Elections 2012
At the upcoming Scouts Canada Annual General Meeting, there will be an election for posts on the Board of Governors. For the first time in a very long time, the Scouts Canada voting delegates will have a real choice as to who will sit on the body that decides the direction of Scouting in Canada.
The rumour mill is working overtime and there appears to be some misinformation about the influx of candidates for the election.
Normally, the nominating committee puts forward a slate of people for the open positions on the Board. These names are then ratified by a vote by the voting delegates. While this is an accepted practice it does not allow for a choice of people who may have different skill sets, ideas and energies. This is not to say that the nominees put forward are poor choices. Quite the opposite. The nominating committee has done a great job of finding dedicated, skilled people who wish to sit on the Board. However, when I vote I like to have a choice. I like to be able to better inform myself on the candidates and their strengths so that I can better educate myself for the vote. I really am bothered by having to vote for a slate of candidates that have been nominated by the attrition of the board.
Some people may have been pointed to this site to inform themselves of the organization SCOUT eh!, pointing out that it is a great example of what the candidates are pushing. They have been told that the nominees that were not put forward by the nominating committee were all SCOUT eh! members trying to rile up the troops. Nothing could be more wrong. While some of the candidates are members of SCOUT eh! the organization had no hand in orchestrating this drive.
SCOUT eh! was started in 2004 to address the issues of the day, predominantly, the democratic deficit of Scouts Canada and the sale of camp properties. There were many other issues but those two resonated with enough Scouters that SCOUT eh! soon had almost a thousand members from all across Canada. SCOUT eh! strove for legitimate change and contrary to popular belief, it did not criticize just to criticize. It suggested constructive solutions at the same time. It seems that people only remember the squeaky wheel part. Outspoken behavior in the past, was only because there was no real channel for open two way communications. The SCOUT eh! website accurately portrays the times and therefore should be viewed through the perspective of several years of change.
When Steve Kent started as Commissioner and the Scouts Canada Action Plan was put forward, SCOUT eh! went dormant because we perceived that Steve was a breath of fresh air and that a major percentage of the Action Plan echoed the issues we had been trying to change. We were encouraged and hopeful.
Over the last couple of years some more issues have come to the fore and there seemed to be no way that the ordinary Scouter could have a regular voice. In the last 2 or 3 months, some long time and dedicated Scouters started some discussions about how there could be better choice and discussions at the national level. Many of those Scouters decided to go through the nomination process and run for the Board of Governors. Hence this drive for a vote on a real field of great candidates.
The overwhelming reason why?
The non nominating committee nominees are not ranting and raving. They are not foaming at the mouth radicals. They are, one-and-all, dedicated and successful Scouters who have a really good grasp on what works,
We all felt that the voting delegates deserved more than a slate to vote for. We all felt that we had something to offer. Why not inform the voters and let them decide. They should not ever be told how to vote. They should vote for whom they believe will do the best job for Scouting.
There are 19 people running for 10 spots. I say that is good. I say that is healthy. I say it gives you a choice.
You can go to the website below and inform yourself on the candidates and, in some cases their thoughts. Do yourself and Scouting a favour. Take some time and educate yourself about the issues and then vote your conscience, not a slate.
I am one of the candidates. I don't know whether I will be elected but I'm OK with that.
As long as you, the voting member, have a choice and you exercise that choice, I'm OK with it.
Yours in Scouting,
Scouter Mike Reid
Former Chair of SCOUT eh!