Election 2012

SCOUT eh! Scouters and friends,

As a founder of this organization and a member in good standing, I am putting forth this call for nominations for the democratic election of officers to the executive body of the organization.

There are three elected positions: Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.

This key three overseas the day-to-day business of our organization by administering the member list, forum and website, handling any and all funds for the organization, and responding to relevant issues of the day in appropriate forums.

The three positions are very collaborative. We have a policy of at least 2 out of 3 officers vetting all written material before it is posted and/or sent.

The work load varies with the times and can vary from one hour a week (arararar) to 15 hours a week.

Ladies and gentlemen, we all got involved in Scouting because we love it. We got involved in SCOUT eh! because we care about Scouts Canada's future. Well, the future is now.

Will you once again stand and be counted?

I am arbitrarily calling for a nomination period until Sunday, August 12, 2012. At that time the slate of candidates will be announced and two scrutineers for the election will be named. The following week (16th to 19th) the voting procedures will once again be published and the candidates can post their platforms online. Voting will take place online from August 20-26, 2012.

The elected candidates will be announced promptly afterwards.

To nominate yourself or someone else, email Don Connors.

I would suggest too that the incoming executive call for a SCOUT eh! Summit at the end of September so that the membership can muster and discuss the relevant issues and tasks before us and plan how we can best be effective in the coming year.

As I see it, these are the hot buttons:

  1. Democracy. One member, one vote is coming. But if it is only for the electing of voting members to the SC AGM then it is another exercise in democratic rubber stamping. We need to strive for elected commissioners, at least at the local level.
  2. Property Sales. As we saw with Haliburton Scout Reserve and rumours on other camps (including a piece of Tamaracouta Scout Reserve), this is an emotional and difficult issue. We need to galvanize our membership to fight for our land and facilities.
  3. Member suspension/termination. The current process lacks transparency and accountability and therefore is tragically flawed. We need to push for the creation of a Scouts Canada Ombudsman to oversee this process and other areas where a miscarriage is possible.
  4. Program review. It appears that this is not a review but a wholesale replacement. I know some Scouters who are on the panel. Where is the transparency? Why do we not have a chart of changes that we all, as section Scouters, can evaluate and offer opinions on? Why the need for such secrecy on such a far reaching issue? Would we not be better served to take the time needed to ensure that all front line leaders can be included? What is the hurry? Especially in light of the fact that our own poll says the overwhelming majority of us are happy with what we have. Tune the car up, don't replace it! Change for changes sake is a futile exercise.
  5. The biggest issue for me personally is the "if you are not with me, you are against me" syndrome that seems to prevails in the leadership and staff at Scouts Canada. Since when does disagreeing with something (or someone) mean you have a blemish on your record? At what point does being outspoken make you a dinosaur, a relic, and a person of lesser value to the movement? Good change happens with the interchange of ideas. It happens with honest opinions stated in a way that it is possible to sway another's opinion, improve an idea, and empower the member.

A post on the SCOUT eh! Forum cited the CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA:

[Girl Scouts Chief] Executive Hesselbein did not force this change down people's throats, but simply gave the interdependent councils the opportunity to make changes at their own discretion. Most did. When asked how she got all this done without concentrated executive power, she said, "Oh, you always have power, if you just know where to find it. There is the power of inclusion, and the power of language, and the power of shared interests, and the power of coalition. Power is all around you to draw upon, but it is rarely raw, rarely visible."

As a member of SCOUT eh! and an ordinary member of Scouts Canada, I urge you all to draw on the power around you and consider throwing your hat into the ring. Consider serving as an officer in what is quite possibly the only movement capable of mounting a voice of reason in the current governance.

Eagle Scouts are returning their medals in protest over the Boy Scouts of America's lack of judgment on inclusion within their organizations. They are putting themselves out there for principle. Let us all take note of their example and screw up our courage once again to challenge the status quo.

I stand here with a place at my left and a place at my right, Who will step up and fill those spots?

Yours in Scouting always,

Mike Reid
Founder and former Chair