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Re: Election Dates

Darren Benham writes ("Election Dates"):
> There have been enough questions concerning our first Constitutional Leader
> Election that I will repeat the key dates and how it will progress.
> [We have a decision to make.  Do we want the Leader's
> term to be January to December (which will shorten the 1999 Leader's term by a
> month or so) or do we stick ridgidly to the 1 year term and have a Leader's
> term from February to January?]

  The Project Leader serves for one year from their election. 

Just because the US have their elections at the same time each year
doesn't mean we have to.  In any case, around Christmas and the New
Year is a stupid time for elections !

> 2)  From December 23rd to January 13th, the floor will be opened to
> campaigning.  During this time, no more nominations will be accepted.
> [The constitution states clearly that the second set of three weeks
> is used for campaigning.  It is, however, vague on whether
> campaigning is allowed during the nomination period.  Since the the
> constitution does address campaining (saying to use weeks 4-6) and
> since the constitution does not state that campaigning should be
> conducted during weeks 1-3, I understand it to mean that campaigning
> should not be conducted during weeks 1-3, the nomination period.
> That is my interpretation and my reasoning behind it.]

5.2(4) says that `candidates should use this time for campaigning'.
Unfortunately, this is ambiguous.  There are two possible
interpretations, depending how you place the stress:
 A  candidates should use this time for _campaigning_
    ie, The use to which this time should be put, is campaigning.
 B  candidates should use _this_ time for campaigning
    The time during which campaigning should happen, is this one.
If we interpret it as A, then campaigning may happen at other times.
If we interpret it as B, then it should not.

However, there is another problem with interpretation B: `campaigning'
is not defined anywhere.  Surely it should not be forbidden for
(potential) leadership candidates to state their views on things, and
answer questions ?  Are their opinions suddenly secret ?

I think that it would be very helpful to allow people to discuss each
others opinions, not just once candidates have been selected, but also
so that they can decide whether to stand.  A potential candidate might
have difficulty deciding whether they should stand themselves or
support another candidate, if they aren't allowed to see discussion of
people's views.


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