Pretty much everyone
Please comment if you would like to not have to listen to the rants at the agm
I am happy to hear the arguments for and against and with the current chair knowing what happened last time I am sure it will get pushed along.
Everybody is entitled to propose a rule change and we must hear it no matter how long a debate it causes. If you don't want to participate then don't come to the AGM, however, you will lose your right to vote on it if you don't.
Which raises a completely different point - I can't make Salcombe so won't be at the AGM.
I don't agree that it shoud be removed (everyone should be entitled to their say) but would like to raise another agenda item (can I do that if I'm not there?) that we look into a method of online voting?
Probably being a bit dense , but when is the AGM and where?
MROA rules indicate that 90 days notice is required but where and when was it published?
beaten to it by above, so Salcombe - agree about postal voting though, for rule changes.
Is this first comment for real? The AGM is a democratic forum for the class to decide on these things. Any class member has the oppurtunity to make any proposal have it heard and voted on by the class members present. Can we close this (anonymous) thread now please.
the godfather 3031
Jez and Ben, --having been a continuous class assoc. member for the past 35 years, I totally agree that all proposals to change rules should be thoroughly discussed and voted on.However, I disagree profoundly with the assertion that the AGM is in any way a democratic forum. I would love to vote one way or the other on the issue but in this household the Merlin Rocket does not feature at the centre of the universe and work and family commitments preclude my attendance.Until a system of postal voting is introduced any rule changes should be postponed.I don't have to be at Westminster for a general election but I am given a vote(which I always use!).
Richard 1074 and 3443
Quite happy to stick my head above the parapet, so not an anonymous post by any means.
It was a genuine question. I couldn't find any info, either in the Yearbook or on the website.
I presume that something will be forthcoming at least 14 days before the event, as per 6 iv [b] of the Association Rules.
As to postal voting, this could be done under 6 vii a or b as a "poll"
Pat Blake Magazine Editor
The notice of the AGM was printed in the Spring Magazine, circulated to all members. It was on page 3, the first editorial page in quite large type! The agenda, including the proposed rule changes (there are two) is in the Summer Magazine which is being printed now and will be circulated to all members more than 14 days before the AGM. The minutes of the last AGM were printed in the Autumn Magazine on page 36.
Agree with online voting. If you used your name, membership number and another secure item, it would allow those that administer the vote to carry forward membership's wishes.
However, the AGM should not be marginalised and the debate should be carried out with the membership being sent a number of options to vote upon. Thses options should be decided at the AGM and then worded by the committee.
It is the most democratic way of doing things. The B14s have been conducting all changes via this route since 2005. It means that all have equal voice and feel included. We may not agree with the outcome sometimes, but that is democracy.
The sooner this happens the better for all.
Andy Hay - Business as Usual
Hi all, glad to see that the semi-demoncratic process was not in question (I was worried when I first saw the post this morning!). A petition to remove an agenda item is just not cricket.
I too am not sailing at Salcombe, but am making the effort to attend the AGM (luckily this is only an hour down the road for me) as I have done many times in the last few years. The Class use Salcombe as this is the first main opportunity for the largest group of members to meet up (it also gives a second option that an EGM could be called (just) at the Nationals if there is something that requires something later in the year, or even the Silver Tiller Dinner might give an EGM opportunity if needs must).
The AGM agenda will be published in the next edition of the MR mag as I have been asked to clarify the exact wording of the Rule proposals. I assume that Pat has this at the printers now.
Regretably, unless the RYA step in (which they probably will not do as the relevant rules here are in the Class Association Rules, not the measurement rules), any change to the voting process or the management of the class would have to go through the same AGM process we are debating now. That would require formal resolution at the AGM. A "poll" is not a concrete decision but more advisory to the Committee as far as I recall.
I am not adverse to postal / remote voting, but unless we rig up some form of live video feed from the AGM hall, you would not be privvy to the discussions therein. There is always a challenge where you might have 50 members voting on something that affects all 500+ MROA members - then again nobody voted for the current Government ......
Richard 1074 and 3443
Thank you, I did remember something about the AGM but was unable to recall where. The excellently produced magazine was not to hand.
Not an aggressive post, just an innocent enquiry, and an attempt to allow more folk to have a say in the future of the class.
As someone else has already stated - " If it aint broke, yet "
Pat Blake Magazine Editor
On the subject of postal or on-line voting, some of you will remember that there was a proposal for wide ranging alterations to the MROA rules proposed by our ex-Chairman, Steve Watson. They were debated at the AGMs in 2009 and 2010 but they didn't get the 75% majority that is required under those rules. As I recall the proposals didn't actually include alternative voting methods but changed the definitions so that they might be included in the future.
I think our predecessors were very wise in requiring a 75% majority to change the rules - that is for the MROA rules and the Measurement rules. THE RULES ARE THE CLASS. All Merlin Rockets have been built to those rules and it is only the rules which define the class. So under the MROA rules it is difficult to instigate a rule change - there has to be almost a consensus view before a three-quarters majority is reached.
That is not to say, of course, that nothing should ever change. Just that a very good case has to be made and proper debate held before any change is accepted.
I know that your committee have debated postal and on-line voting several times - believe me no one is trying to supress democratic opinion. Perhaps this next committee, to be agreed at the July AGM, can put forward some sensible proposals that meet all the requirements and get the required majority past a General Meeting.
Convener of the crews union
Pat Blake is absolutely to the point and in my view correct in all respects.
Those wanting postal votes etc., may like to reflect that despite the attendance in Salcombe of 100+ voting members in some years it has been hard to make a quorum at the AGM!
On a philosophical note the "voice of the people" has never been a reliable way to make decisions.
I don't think it would be difficult to allow proxy voting, but that would require that the motion being voted on was not ammended in any way at the meeting.
Every issue is different, but sometimes I feel a good way forward is to debate the matter freely at a meeting, then put a motion to the whole membership. That way, people get a chance to check facts before voting.
But some issues, like the recent sails malarkey need to be resolved urgently, while others are timeless.
Based on experience at a certain club around here, I also think opening the bar before the end of the meeting is a bad idea.
The changes to Rules of the Association took three attempts over 2009 to 2011 with democratic success eventually obtained after substantial consultation. There were 11 proposals submitted in the third year, enable a mix and match approach to the proposed changes.
The earlier attempts tried to introduce electronic voting but this proved to be too much (along with changing "Chairman" to "Chair".)
Looking at the Rules governing ballots and polls, they are deliberately defined. A poll being a secret ballot as opposed to a show of hands. "Meeting" is not defined. My dictionary suggests a "coming together" but not necessarily physically present. So a meeting could be an "assembly or conference" without all particiapnts being in a single room.
What is clear from the Rules in section 6 is that there is scope for voting outside of a physical meeting by some practical mechanism. This would then accomodate any valid ammendments to the original proposal. However, an alternative interpretation might be that voting on rule changes or other proposals must be at a "meeting". But could a "meeting" be a virtual poll of some description following discussion in some manner. Perhaps a explicit forum on line open for comment and response for a set period of time.
Security of voting will be an issue. In Birmingham, the voters still smart from a postal vote scandal some years ago.
I was once in serious debating contest where we argued the meaning of a full stop.