Improving diversity in the KPFA elections model
From: Eve Moser
Date: Mon Nov 11, 2002 8:07 pm
Subject: Fwd: [alliance] Re: [Bylaws] Proportional Representation Voting System
Forwarded with permission.
David Greene [ KPFA elections coordinator for the first elections] wrote:
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 14:29:51 -0800
Neil- I'm glad to see this post from you.
Rob's point is on target: I think many of us on this list have tried to make the same argument over the past year, while adding further that it's exactly this kind of community organizing that has not really taken place to date in KPFA's experience.
Which does not mean that it can't happen: The challenge of finding a diverse candidate slate in KPFA's elections has been left up to the election committee, which has been an all-volunteer, outside-the-station effort. Furthermore, both LAB elections were conducted before the settlement, when the LAB did not have near the importance it has or will have under the new bylaws.
The new conditions of network-mandated elections for a body that has a siginificant role in both the station and the national board should mean that we'll have an easier time of finding interested candidates.
Still, I'm reminded of the idea of having a nominations committee separate from the election committee, which would be charged solely with doing the outreach to ensure a robust candidate slate (they would not be kingmakers: they'd make no endorsements nor have any power to block a candidacy). This doesn't need to be mandated in the bylaws, but I think each local board should consider it.
But again, back to Rob's point - the same amount of organizing energy that people are proposing to use under the UC model is what we need for any election, and anyone who claims that the KPFA model fails to protect diversity needs to acknowledge this point, as well as review Carol's earlier points and recognize the changed conditions & importance of the elections.
On Mon, 11 Nov 2002 00:17:31 -0800 neil maclean wrote:
Rob Richie is on the short list of speaker's Don and I are inviting to speak with Pacifica community members on December 4th at All Soul's Unitarian in Washington DC. Rob has been following the Pacifica struggle and offering advice for several years. One of the key insights he has offered is that concerns raised by constituency groups could be incorporated into nomination meetings/conventions, which would elevate candidates from these constituencies and would provide space where community groups could meet and dialogue about station goals. Endorsements from such community forums would, I believe, carry weight with many listeners. The one paragraph description of Proportional Representation from the Center for Voting and Democracy web site reads:
Proportional representation (PR) is the principle that any group of like-minded voters should win legislative seats in proportion to its share of the popular vote. Whereas the winner-take-all principle awards 100% of the representation to a 50.1% majority, PR allows voters in a minority to win their fair share of representation. There is a broad range of PR systems. Some are based on voting for political parties; others for candidates. Some allow very small groupings of voters to win seats; others require higher thresholds of support to win representation. All promote more accurate, balanced representation of the spectrum of political opinion in a given electorate.
For those of you still unfamiliar with the proportional representation voting system being advocated for Pacifica Local Station Board elections, there is a pretty good article at
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