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 Post subject: CoA Voting Proposal
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:47 am 
Proposal to Modify Club Rule 3.3.4.1.2


Gentlemen,

The current Club Rule 3.3.4.1.2 reads:
In the election of a CoA, only members at the rank of Lieutenant General or General at the time the election Voting period begins may vote for the CoA representing their respective military group. The Election Committee will use the Department of Records to verify ranks to determine eligibility. Nominations for the CoA may be made by any regular officer subject to the restrictions in Rule 3.3.4.2.2, below.

I feel a general re-writing of this rule is necessary to drop the required rank of Lt. General in order to vote. The vote should be expanded to all members of the CoA’s military group.

A basic history of this Rule should be included here so I will quote General Jeff Laub in his recollection of the creation of this rule.

When I first became Chief of the Armies for the Union 5 years ago (2005), we did not have elections for those positions in the Rules. I was an Army Commander, and when General Nelms decided to step down, I stepped up.

When the Rules were written during my time on Cabinet, it was decided to allow the Command structure of Army Commanders, Theater Commanders, sitting CoA and Training Academy Commanders (both War College and VMI/UMA) to vote in a CoA election - a total of 9 folks.

As we the (then) Cabinet went through other elections, I chaired a committee to take lessons learned from our earliest elections and make changes to the Club Rules based on our experiences. One of the topics that I felt strongly about was the CoA elections as they were written at the time. Here's why:

Since the CoA has the authority to appoint anyone he wants to commands, or remove anyone he wants from commands, he could cherry pick commanders to guarantee his victory in any subsequent election - the incumbent would always win, theoretically. So I wrote the current election Rules, and got them passed by Cabinet and membership. My intentions were as follows:

1 - To prevent the incumbent from controlling his voting base

2 - To recognize that, as a Lt General or Full General, those individuals have accomplished 2 things - served in a Corps level command or higher at some point in their career, AND had the longevity to earn enough points to get those ranks. To me, that represented a significant investment in our Club, and warranted a vote in deciding who runs their Army. As you pointed out, it expanded the voting base by 4 fold, from 9 to 38ish at present on the CoA side.

Those are the historical records of the CoA voting Rules up to the present.


I believe the intent and steps taken were in the right direction but they stopped one step short. There is no reason why voting should not be expanded along the same boundaries as in the Presidential and Secretary processes. In both of those instances all concerned members, regardless of rank, are allowed and encouraged to vote. Only in the election of CoA do we retain such an undemocratic system that disallows the majority of concerned members from participating in the vote.

In the Club’s past it was argued by those that defended this stipulation of Rule 3.3.4.1.2 that it guaranteed only those competent, senior, officers could vote for CoA. Because these men had committed more time to the Club they alone should be responsible for electing the CoA. Stating it bluntly it assumed junior officers were not able to appreciate and understand what was involved in the running of the Club.

This is pure nonsense. In the past few years the Club has seen changes that were unthinkable just five years or seven years ago. In the CSA we have seen a Lt. Colonel and three Brigadier Generals be asked to run armies. We have had two Colonels appointed as Commandant of VMI. And we have had a Brigadier General lead a theater. The Union is also turning to younger leaders and recently elected a Brigadier General into the Cabinet and had appointed two Colonels to lead UMA. Not to mention the half-dozen or dozen Chief of Staff's that have held, and some still do, ranks far below even Colonel. Lastly, the Club elected a Colonel as President in 2010.

Yet under the current Club Rules NONE of the above people could vote for the CoA! Is this not outrageous? A Cabinet Member, a Theater Commander, Army Commanders, Academy Commandants, the Club President… none could vote for the CoA! Oh, that’s right, we were junior officers… what could we know?

A member in good standing should always be allowed to vote for the representatives of his own side of the Club. To deny him this right is just downright silly. Our little Club continues to turn to the up and coming members for leadership and yet we declare them incompetent to vote for CoA?

In Laub’s history I believe that he and the Cabinet did a great service by making the CoA position an elected one. I believe they were absolutely on the right track by allowing more than just those assigned to command positions to vote as well. They expanded it to all Lt. Generals and Generals but stopped there. I do not fault them though as they made great strides for the growth of elected representation in the Club. I imagine they knew future members would re-evaluate the rule at some point and they may have even suspected the day would come when it was re-written to expand the vote to all members of that side of the Club. I believe that time is here – likely it is overdue. The CoA is a representative of every officer on his side of the Club. Therefore it only stands to reason that he should be elected by every member of his side as well. The Club should also recognize the many contributions of members serving below the rank of Lt. General and honor all of them by allowing them to vote for their own CoA.

I propose the deletion of the egregious wording in Rule 3.3.4.1.2 and the new Rule to replace it simply read:
In the election of a CoA all members may vote for the CoA representing their respective military group. Nominations for the CoA may be made by any regular officer subject to the restrictions in Rule 3.3.4.2.2, below.


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 Post subject: Re: CoA Voting Proposal
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:42 am 
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To help further clarify:

3.3.4.2.2 Candidates must be nominated by two other members before being placed on the ballot. Other than the President, nominating officers must be from the same military group as the candidate being nominated.

However, your proposal seems to indicate that anyone may fill the COA position. I do not think that your proposal is a workable nor desired solution. I have a counter, less drastic proposal that is better suited to club, IMO.

I could see a change to allow the voting to be carried out by all General officers. This would, at the very least, allow the vote to include more of the leadership base of the club. In order to become a General Officer (approved by the cabinet), that person must have a leadership position within the club. This shows a commitment to not only gaming, but in club administration.

There MUST be some qualification to attain the COA position. It should not be given out, willy nilly, to anyone.

You make a couple of assertions:
Quote:
Stating it bluntly it assumed junior officers were not able to appreciate and understand what was involved in the running of the Club.


Nothing of the sort. It assumes that persons that have had EXPERIENCE within the club are BEST suited to govern the club. As so called junior officers advance in time and rank within the club, they may also be able to get in to senior administrative position.

Quote:
This is pure nonsense.


Your words. The process has worked and is currently working.

Quote:
I propose the deletion of the egregious wording in Rule 3.3.4.1.2
In your opinion it is egregious.

As the process has stood the test of time AND could be modified in a responsible manner to me more inclusive to include all General Officers. The rule in not egregious, but a valid rule voted on by the rules of the club and approved by the cabinet and the whole club membership, at that time.

It is always great to have discussions and I hope this proposal is presented to the cabinet for their perusal.

_________________
General Ernie Sands
President ACWGC -Sept 2015- Dec 2020
Western Theater, Commander, USA
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"If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there."


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 Post subject: Re: CoA Voting Proposal
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:34 pm 
The proposal makes no mention of changing any requirements for those running for the position.

Just to clarify that.

I would also not favor any changes to the standing Lt. General rank required to run for it. I think that makes sense.

And, yes, Ernie, those were my opinions. I do speak for myself when I write :wink:

Ernie Sands wrote:
The process has worked and is currently working.


If the process in place works than why did we have a situation where a Cabinet Secretary, four Army Commanders, a theater commander, and four Academy Commanders, plus the Club President.... were all unable to vote?

If those people weren't committed to the Club than what more could they do? Donate an organ? Yet they couldn't vote. So how does that system work exactly?


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 Post subject: Re: CoA Voting Proposal
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:16 pm 
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Quote:
If those people weren't committed to the Club than what more could they do? Donate an organ? Yet they couldn't vote. So how does that system work exactly?


They have taken a big step toward being able to vote. After they have achieved the proper rank AND experience, over time, then they will be able to vote.

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General Ernie Sands
President ACWGC -Sept 2015- Dec 2020
Western Theater, Commander, USA
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 Post subject: Re: CoA Voting Proposal
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:25 pm 
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Isn't it proper procedure to submit proposals to the Cabinet first before throwing them out to the general membership?

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 Post subject: Re: CoA Voting Proposal
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:36 pm 
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General Sands said the current Club Rule "assumes that persons that have had EXPERIENCE within the club are BEST suited to govern the club. As so called junior officers advance in time and rank within the club, they may also be able to get in to senior administrative position".


The error in this type of thinking is that it completely ignores the EXPERIENCE that individuals have gained outside of the Club and bring with them when they join. General Meyer isn't the competent CoA that he is today because of what he learned within the Club but because of the experience and skills he brought with him when he joined the Club.

This whole idea that rank gained within the Club effectively qualifies someone to fulfill the role of Chief of Armies within the ACWGC is false. Let me prove it.

Here's a list of 25 Union Officer's in the ACWGC that hold the rank of Lt. General or higher and currently are not holding any command position (according to the DoR) other than serving as Brigade Commanders.

General Jeff Bangma
Lt General Ed Blackburn
General Doug Burke
Lt General Frank DiNola
Lt General Michael Dowling
Lt General Colin Gaskell
Lt General James Gleason
Lt General David Groce
General Dirk Gross
General Randy Hartwig
General Rusty Hodgkiss
Lt General Bob Hughes
Lt General Alte Jenssen
Lt General Dale Lastowica
General Jeff Laub
Lt General Dwight McBride
Lt General Joe Mishurda
General Frank Mullins
Lt General Niall Murphy
General Mark Nelms
General Willie Passmore
General Ralph Peterson
General Kelly Ross
General Ned Simms

No disrespect is intended towards any of these fine gentlemen but if rank alone "qualifies" (proves) them to be competent for serving at higher levels command... then why is it that the Union Army has a number of important posts as such as Theater Cmdr, Army Cmdr, Corps Cmdr and numerous other Chief of Staff and Division Cmdr posts vacant at the moment? You'd think these highly qualified individuals would be tripping all over themselves to fill these positions and do what they do best.

Obviously, they have DISQUALIFIED themselves from serving in such positions at the moment... and certainly for better reasons other that their current rank qualifies them to hold the position.

This is why rank within the Club should NOT be used as a prerequisite for any position within the Club. The holding of rank means nothing other than that at some point in time you were given the opportunity to hold a higher command position. Your rank is not reflective of whether you were or were not successful in fulfilling those duties.

Nor should rank be used to determine who is qualified to cast a vote to approve candidates for various positions within the Club. Let all interested parties come forward to apply for positions based upon their own merits and let these merits be weighed and measured by the Club membership as a whole.


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 Post subject: Re: CoA Voting Proposal
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:06 pm 
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Folks

I am not the sharpest tool in the shed as compared to the previous Officers who have posted but I will give my opinion.
I think there should be some prerequisites for CoA..not so sure rank is a good one..I have some opponents who do not care about registering battles ... they just enjoy playing.....maybe a minimum number of months in the club...or possibly a minimum number of leadership positions held to ensure experience......
But I do believe everybody should have a vote....this club belongs to all of us...
I dont believe we want to have the perception it only belongs to an elitist group...
only way we can grow..become stronger is to have more participation from all of our members

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General Tim Miller
6th South Carolina Brigade "Upstate Sharpshooters"
2d "Hill's Light Division"
II Corp
Army of Northern Virginia


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 Post subject: Re: CoA Voting Proposal
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:51 pm 
Ernie Sands wrote:
They have taken a big step toward being able to vote. After they have achieved the proper rank AND experience, over time, then they will be able to vote.


So your telling me all of the people I named shouldn't be allowed to vote for CoA because they simply aren't experienced enough? An AC, TC, Cabinet Secretary, Academy Commander and Club President? They can run armies, run theaters, vote on Cabinet decisions, and the president can even veto entire Cabinet votes... but none of them are qualified enough to vote for CoA in your opinion?

And how about someone like Brig. Gen. Kyle FitzMaurice who has been in the Club since 1998... not experienced enough?

There are so many silly examples of why the system is flawed and should be updated, IMHO. I have been collecting data for a few years and waiting to bring this issue up until I had sufficient material to present a strong case. I believe there are so many active young leaders in the Club that they have earned the right for all Members to vote for CoA regardless of their rank. Men from every rank below Lt. General have served in every capacity from DC up to Club President but still have not been granted the right to vote. These members have proven, to my satisfaction, that their rank alone does not adequately reflect their worth or contributions in the Club.

Rather than tell hard working, loyal, long-time members that, "sorry you just aren't experienced enough to vote," let's remove the requirement. Judging someone's competency to vote based on their rank alone is just wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: CoA Voting Proposal
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:23 am 
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How about you write it up and present it to the Cabinet and let them decide whether to bring it to the club for a vote rather then arguing about it here on an open forum. As a past Club President surely you know that is the correct way to get things done.

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 Post subject: Re: CoA Voting Proposal
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:50 am 
nelmsm wrote:
As a past Club President surely you know that is the correct way to get things done.


I'm sorry. Where in the Rules is that outlined? Please quote the rule word for word.

I will save you all the time.

The ONLY rule concerning revisions is Rule 9.1 "Revisions to these rules must first be approved by a simple majority of the Cabinet, then by a simple majority of club members voting. Club-wide votes are to be organized by the Cabinet, but must allow at least two weeks for votes to be received. The exceptions to this rule will be the inclusion of new games, as per 1.1, above, as amended on August 13, 2008 and changes for spelling or grammatical errors."

Nowhere in the Rules is the process to present a proposal covered. This is a huge oversight that should be corrected at some point in the future. But this thread isn't about that.

You're right... as a past President I know all the WRITTEN rules - forward and backwards.


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 Post subject: Re: CoA Voting Proposal
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:34 am 
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Thank you Blake and gentlemen for your input. I will put this on the to do list. We have 3 topics right now under Cabinet discussion, one in the cue and this one to setup.

I want everyone to understand that we have real lives, and can spend only so much time on this hobby. The Cabinet members are made up of very committed individuals but in-spite of our best efforts life gets in the way of our favorite pastime. I am mentioning this so that you don't expect decisions by the Cabinet within days. As a general rule I set aside at least two weeks of discussion for a topic however this will usually be longer to give a chance for all in the Cabinet to respond. So 30 days or more to discuss, for the Cabinet vote and to put together a proposal for a membership vote, will not be unusual. It is a lot of work.

In regards to post about topics and issues that concern individuals such as this one I think it is healthy for the club. I think this helps the Cabinet to determine what the membership is concerned about and more importantly what are the membership thoughts about a subject. This club is for the members and they ultimately decide, via vote, what changes will be put in place. Input is usually a good thing. Stifling membership voices is not good. That is censorship. We all know what governments do to stifle criticism. This should not be the case here and it will not be during my tenure. I do not view people making post about club issues as troublemakers. Antagonistic, hate or insulting post will not be tolerated though.

Posts like this can provide the Cabinet talking points. The Cabinet can deliberate with some hindsight. The Cabinet can hopefully put forward a proposal that should be in line as to what the membership desires. All the Cabinet does is deliberate and propose. The membership ultimately decides. It would be a waste of time for the Cabinet to propose something the membership does not want. There is always a wide range of thought on most subjects and what the Cabinet does is come to a consensus or compromise as to what would be acceptable to the majority.

Fellow members do not hesitate to send to the Cabinet or make posts with club issues you feel should be addressed. As long as everyone follows the established protocols for the forum behavior the moderators will not need to intervene and censure posts.


Thank you all.

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General Pierre D.

5th Bde, IV Cavalry Corps
Army of Northern Virginia
ACWGC President 1997 - 2006, 2012
ACWGC Forum Administrator


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 Post subject: Re: CoA Voting Proposal
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:37 am 
First, I wish to say thanks to Blake for bringing this particular topic up.....I throw my support behind all members of an army group being able to vote for their COA......This is the type of thing that makes even a "hardliner" like me happy......

Second, I wish to say thanks to Pierre, for supporting Blake in having posted this.....Tranparency is a great thing in the club......Both ways.....This lets those in power see what us Peons think........

Sincerely,


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 Post subject: Re: CoA Voting Proposal
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:43 pm 
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Gentlemen,

General Laub's original thoughts for only including Generals and Lt. Generals in the voting process are sound and reasonable. The only changes I would vote for and support to rule 3.3.4.1.2 would be to include all officers holding a rank of Brigadier General and above.

Regards,
John

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 Post subject: Re: CoA Voting Proposal
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:27 pm 
Newton wrote:
General Laub's original thoughts for only including Generals and Lt. Generals in the voting process are sound and reasonable. The only changes I would vote for and support to rule 3.3.4.1.2 would be to include all officers holding a rank of Brigadier General and above.


So you feel an officer is capable enough to serve on the Cabinet and become Club President at the rank of Colonel? An officer may even become an Army Commander or an Academy Commandant at a rank below Brig. General - and this has happened in the very recent past. Officers may lead Divisons, Corps, or become CoS's for the CoA and AC's at ranks below Brig. General.

But these same officers are not capable or experienced enough to vote for CoA unless they are a Brigadier General? How do you explain that exactly?


We should treat people as equals regardless of the rank they hold in the Club.


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 Post subject: Re: CoA Voting Proposal
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:20 pm 
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Hi Blake,

We are talking about two different rules here. I would vote to change rule 3.3.4.1.2 (at what rank can you vote for CoA) to include Brigadier Generals and higher and as to rule 3.3.4.2.1 (at what rank can you serve on the Cabinet, become Club President or CoA), I would vote to change that rule so that it states that only Brigadier Generals and higher would be eligable to become Cabinet Members or Club President.

Respectully,

John

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