Should societies be allowed to represent institutions when they hold ineffective elections with a low turn out?
I presume the point of any society is to represent its members and their area of interest on a wider scale. (this idea is open to debate) . If members feel that elections are a more a popularity contest and by this a mean that by influencing the vote and winning the competition it will make them more popular. It makes a mockery of the society and its stated aims. A lot more could be done to insure that fair elections are held in small societies and committees.
A considerable amount of time is taken by people standing to prepare speeches and ideas and they should be judged on their contribution to the societies and the ideas that they put forward. If they feel that the process was a ineffective and due to a number of predetermined votes that have been decided before and are able to shift the balance of the outcome these elections. The society will never attract the best calibre of candidates.
If people come there purely to vote on the basis of agreement than on what each candidate can offer. The ultimate result is that people that can make a considerable contribution end up feeling short changed and mistrust the process which creates a negative and ineffective society.
Something that I would like to see implemented across all societies but for certain in smaller societies is block voting clause in the constitution to safe guard against this practise.
For a example a team of 8 people that have block voted in election from a total of 27 votes. Could insure that 5 members of that particular team that may be standing gain a place on the committee . If one mathematically breaks this down it shows that they achieved a guaranteed 25 percent of the vote. by this practise. Which is an unfair advantaged for any other candidate standing not adopting such a practise.
This link explains that theory on a bigger scale
Constitutions of societies could also be changed so that if one considers the elections to be unfair they have some sort of readdress, ultimately decided by the current exec or an independent panel. For example, If the ballot papers were named and there appears 8 papers with the exact same voting pattern it should be easily identifiable as weather some thing is amiss considering the current election factors. With out doing something about block voting, societies will never engage and represent all the people they are suppose to. It is important for it to be seen to be fair and just and give people the idea that are being represented by a democratic process and want to get involved in the societies activities.
Another idea is to raise the minimum percentage number that needs to be present at an election before it is binding. With out at least 40 percent of the members voting. Is it representative?
The last idea is to invoke active and non active member voting rights. Where members only gain voting rights provided that you have been present at a number of the society’s events as a whole.