Should The Few Make Decisions For The Many? Our Current Incumbents

As I get questions from readers, delegates, constituents, and pastors, I compile their concerns and try to address them in subject areas that are consistent with providing a fair and balanced discussion. With Sabbath approaching there will be several forthcoming  topics posted for your reading and spiritual growth. I have asked several pastors to submit blogs. All contributors to this blog are appreciated.

I have received several questions about our incumbents currently serving in elected office. The central question that I have seen is “why should the few make decisions for the many?” Meaning, why does a small committee get to decide that the incumbents name cannot be presented to the delegates for a vote? Shouldn’t the incumbents automatically get the opportunity to have their name sent to the delegates for an up or down vote first?

Let’s take the question of “politicking.” Is this process politics with principle and grace as Pastor Stanley and firstangel pointed out? If an incumbent has served their term, is up for re-election, and wants to continue to serve, shouldn’t they get the opportunity to have real data about the people perspective of their leadership? Why does a small group get to decide that the delegates cannot vote our current incumbents “up or down?”

Our current conference president, treasurer, and secretary have not only served in these offices but have served this conference 30+ years. If they want the opportunity to serve shouldn’t the delegates be allowed to send them a clear message?

Every leader has flaws, such as recognizing the need for transparency for officials including the executive committee. Leadership is complicated, challenging, and most of all difficult if you don’t get perspective. For example, even if the current president won by a narrow margin by delegates…isn’t that adequate data for him to know he has a lot of work to do before the next election? Since we do not have term limits voted ,currently, shouldn’t we at least come to some consensus that the incumbents, who have given many years to this conference, automatically have the opportunity to have their name voted up or down by all delegates at constituency THIS TERM?

By doing this the people, constituents, have an opportunity,  with much prayer, to decide if they are the right “fit” for where we are headed. Additionally, are they the change agents that we need them to be? This does not negate the need for transparency and the need for the current incumbents to recognize that the pastors mainly senior ministers need an advocate, serious issues emerging since the creation of this blog.

On May 1, 2011 your small committee, who were nominated by delegates at your churches (“the few”), will meet and make a decision for the delegates (“the many”). We call the small committee to release the incumbents name first, and allow the delegates to vote our current leaders in an open meeting so that the incumbents are allowed to be respected for their years and service to this conference. Wouldn’t this reflect Christian politics in a way that is principled?

Link to current positions held by the Southwest Region Conference of Seventh-day Adventists:

http://southwestregion.adventistchurchconnect.org/article.php?id=3

God Bless

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5 Responses to Should The Few Make Decisions For The Many? Our Current Incumbents

  1. Wow firstangel! What a concept! What do you suggest an effective voting process would be if all constituents are included?

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  2. firstangel1844 says:

    The system that we currently are using to elect officers is really archaeic and certainly cannot represent the will of every member. Here’s why. When delegates are selected from each church they assemble at the constituency meeting. After the nomination process and the candidate is brought out, the delegates vote sometimes by secret ballot. The flaw of the system and why it is not a democratic process is this–delegates cast their votes based on their individual preference which may or may not represent each individual member (preference, will etc.) in the conference who are not delegates. THIS IS AN UNDISPUTATBLE FACT.

    If the electoral college elected the President of the United States and voted their individual preference it would not be democratic because it would not represent the will of each voting citizen of the United States. The delegates at the constituency meeting is some what like the electoral college gone zoomorphic wild.

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    • firstangel1844 says:

      Also, what is the reasoning behind our system of election? To prevent a public or a conference wide contest as seen in local, state, and national elections. To prevent debate between candidates and I believe to let the Holy spirit in the end tip the scale for the good ot heaven. So if there was no political maneuvering to gain an edge in the back room the system could work . Taking into account that we believe that God would ultimately descide the outcome and members of the nominating committee were not positioned by forming a political machine that tips the scale.

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    • firstangel1844 says:

      How is it possible for the electoral vote to produce a different result than the nation-wide popular vote?

      It is important to remember that the President is not chosen by a nation-wide popular vote. The electoral vote totals determine the winner, not the statistical plurality or majority a candidate may have in the nation-wide vote totals. Electoral votes are awarded on the basis of the popular vote in each State.

      Note that 48 out of the 50 States award electoral votes on a winner-takes-all basis (as does DC). For example, all 55 of California’s electoral votes go to the winner of that State election, even if the margin of victory is only 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent.

      In a multi-candidate race where candidates have strong regional appeal, as in 1824, it is quite possible that a candidate who collects the most votes on a nation-wide basis will not win the electoral vote. In a two-candidate race, that is less likely to occur. But it did occur in the Hayes/Tilden election of 1876 and the Harrison/Cleveland election of 1888 due to the statistical disparity between vote totals in individual State elections and the national vote totals. This also occured in the 2000 presidential election, where George W. Bush received fewer popular votes than Albert Gore Jr., but received a majority of electoral votes.

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      • firstangel1844 says:

        AS A CLARIFICATION: THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE DOES SELECT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

        How is it possible for the electoral vote to produce a different result than the nation-wide popular vote?

        It is important to remember that the President is not chosen by a nation-wide popular vote. The electoral vote totals determine the winner, not the statistical plurality or majority a candidate may have in the nation-wide vote totals. Electoral votes are awarded on the basis of the popular vote in each State.

        Note that 48 out of the 50 States award electoral votes on a winner-takes-all basis (as does DC). For example, all 55 of California’s electoral votes go to the winner of that State election, even if the margin of victory is only 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent.

        In a multi-candidate race where candidates have strong regional appeal, as in 1824, it is quite possible that a candidate who collects the most votes on a nation-wide basis will not win the electoral vote. In a two-candidate race, that is less likely to occur. But it did occur in the Hayes/Tilden election of 1876 and the Harrison/Cleveland election of 1888 due to the statistical disparity between vote totals in individual State elections and the national vote totals. This also occured in the 2000 presidential election, where George W. Bush received fewer popular votes than Albert Gore Jr., but received a majority of electoral votes.

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