I have just reread the monthly newsletter which FVC now puts out. I reread that Bob Rae is now on the advisory board of FVC. I also read that FVC is looking for a new Executive Director, while Anita Nickerson is the interim ED.
I feel so much better now that uncle Bobbie is on board. He is also on the local chapter website as promoting a "citizen led, evidence based process for electoral reform in Toronto". He will have plenty of time to help us poor thimple people now that he is out of parliament.
He is not a supporter of the AV idea. The last time I talked to him was during the 2008 election when I asked him a question about PR. He mumbled a bit about how the official Liberal party position was to support the Alternative Vote system. You could tell he was not enthusiastic about it. Now that he is out of parliament he will be free to speak up against it.
Of course Stephane Dion and Joyce Murray are in parliament and will have to be careful about what they say. Trudeau fils is pushing AV and if he is anything like his daddy... Well, he was not like Harper is, but he had a way of fixing M.P.'s who disagreed with him that was considered a bit ruthless for those times.
Rae was my MP for five years and would have had a lot of first hand experience of takeover/takedown politics here in Toronto Center. I can tell you that this is the capital of such behavior. If it something that is remotely about power, you cannot adopt a good fairy attitude and invite everyone who shows up.
That is what I think Rae would "advise". FVC absolutely has to get the RaBIT supporters off of its board, and the damned fools who are covering them, or it will not survive. It seems that the head cover is the board chair, Doug Baillie.
This brings me to the other subject of the day, the resignation of Wayne Smith as executive director. This is some of the first really good news I have had since I started following the situation in FVC. It is not that I do not like Wayne, but you do not hire your ED on the basis of being an old devoted FVC supporter who is hard up for a job.
I hope Wayne has another job to go to.
But having someone who is desperate for the job is a good way of exerting a malign interest over an organization with one paid employee. This is the first important qualification a candidate for the ED job should have; he or she should not need the job.
You need to hire someone who is so well qualified that he/she could quickly find an equivalent position elsewhere, and can therefore keep his/her integrity. That means somebody with a degree and some experience working within advocacy based non profit organizations. The person should be committed to FVC principles, understanding what the organization is for, but should not have been an activist or office holder within the FVC before coming aboard.
If we have an ED with integrity, that will solve much of FVC's problem. But there is a problem getting to that. The ED will be hired by a board which has lost integrity. That is why I would much prefer it that Anita Nickerson stay on as interim ED until the problem with the board is straightened out, even if it takes all year. It is not that I am suddenly a big Nickerson fan, but I know she is not an appeaser.
Alas, it looks like they are rolling ahead fairly quickly with the big choose. I have this sickly suspicion that the shadowy business Liberal operatives who are running the campaign for AV and against FVC have somebody in mind as ED of FVC. I wonder who is on the hiring committee?
If there are enough "foxes" on said committee then here is what they must look for in a candidate;
1) The ED must understand exactly what FVC is for, meaning what proportional representation is all about. The candidate absolutely must have a firm position against take down politics and all forms of game playing within organizations. The big problem we have here is that overly political types think that is just how things are done.
2) The ED must be basically apolitical. He/she needs to have worked with organizations which are seriously non partisan. Too much connection with any political party, not just Liberals, is a disqualifier.
3) The candidate's work history must be seriously checked to insure that he/she has never been involved with any kind of internal power game, except to refuse to tolerate it.
I know there are people who read these messages who will have a part in choosing the ED. If you do not get someone who understands what restoring and maintaining the organization's integrity requires, then FVC is really finished. Choose wisely.
==================( Now, here comes somebody with this... )
Re: Wayne Smith as ED
*You said: "It is not that I do not like Wayne, but you do not hire your ED on the basis of being an old devoted FVC supporter who is hard up for a job."*
I was President when Wayne Smith was hired, and just want you to know that there was a 5 person hiring committee including 4 board members and Larry Gordon, our ED at the time.
We went through over 40 resumes, and decided together through a fair process on 9 people to interview. And as an aside, two of the board members were from out West, so didn't know Wayne.
The interviews were attended by all of the hiring committee physically or through conference call, so each of the hiring committee had a chance to question the candidate. We performed interviews in Ottawa and Toronto.
We then through a fair process decided who would be our Executive Director. And Wayne was the one that came up on top.
I was President of the organization at the time in a volunteer position, and we had just lost our one and only ED, Larry Gordon. Looking back, I couldn't have imagined any of the other candidates being able to learn the ropes so quickly and for us to have confidence in their representation of our cause to outsiders so quickly.
Just wanted you to know that your analysis above of how Wayne got the job of ED was false. There were many more factors than history with Fair Vote, and being unemployed at the time that got him the job.
So BB has sent me a message that she does not like what I said about the succession of Wayne Smith to Larry Gordon's position. Basically, I said that there was something fishy about it, because while Wayne had skills that made him a good volunteer for FVC, he was clearly not suitable as Executive Director.
Look; FVC is a non profit advocacy organization seeking specific changes in government. What it needs in an ED is someone with experience speaking to politicians, media, and civil servants; someone who can talk their language. I agree these types are loathsome to have to talk to for most people, but some people like that kind of work and have the needed education.
A good way to further an underhand way of taking over an organization is to put someone in the key position of ED who is desperate for the job and will not challenge factions.
So B was president when the ascent of the Wayne transpired and is seeking to justify it. I assume you have all read her squawk so I will not go over it in any detail. Yes, you had a hiring committee of five. Two were from out west, though I do not know hat that had to do with anything. Yes, you had forty resumes. Yes, you interviewed nine of them. Great. So how did you end up with Wayne?
Oh, he was the one who could learn the ropes quickly! I do not think there are all that many ropes to learn. What there are have likely been done before by anyone with experience working at a small non profit. You have to run the web site, moderate the e-mail list, run elections for some of the local chapters, keep records up to date, record meetings, handle correspondence.
I think Larry Gordon has a business background and knew most of this stuff. He was retired so he could do without the job, which anyway he did for free for a long time. This is why he was so effective and why FVC was effective at that time.
Unfortunately, the people in FVC are having a lot of trouble adjusting since Larry left. They can't get it that they are not a debating shop anymore, as FVC was when it started. It has to develop into a professionalized advocacy organization or else fall away and die out.
I have also said it is not a good idea to get a new ED until the HTO challenge has been defeated. But they are not listening to me. I am like the robot in "hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy". Oh, well. trDON'T PANIC! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHTRZpe9J7k