Losing a Board Election by Demi Robinson

A friend of mine once told me, there are three things I need to do after losing an election: not to whinge; not to blame others; and not to judge others.

Instead, I should try to reflect on the circumstances why it happened. I ran for the position of Vice President-Internal in the PCC-NSW Board and I lost.

I think one of the reasons why I lost in the election was that I did not have a good, decent, long standing ‘relationship or connection’ with some Affiliate Presidents and/or Representatives authorised to vote during the election. Seriously, this was my downfall. I therefore have to do something about it if I want to sit on the PCC-NSW Board next year.

There are however, some important issues and concerns that need to be addressed with regard to the election procedures and mechanics.
At the 2018 PCC-NSW Elections and past elections, a Registration Committee was appointed to validate the authenticity of the Voters’ List. A Returning Officer was appointed to conduct the election. Prior to the election, a Working Bee composed of the [incumbent] PCC-NSW Board was formed to prepare the ballots. Nominations for the various positions were lodged with the President and/or Secretary seven days prior to AGM.

To avoid any protest or complaint and to ensure the integrity of data, I believe that independent individuals (not affiliate members) comprising an Elections Committee should be appointed at least 4 weeks prior to the date of the Elections. It will also result in transparency, accuracy, due process and fair outcome.

For example, the vetting of candidates’ nomination form must be authenticated by the Returning Officer and handed over to the Secretary for safekeeping. It must also be announced publicly via electronic communications, social media and local Filipino papers if possible. The existing 7-day submission of candidacy is FLAWED and does not allow affiliates, especially the voters to assess the qualifications of the candidates. We need more time ━ at least 4 weeks to announce to the general membership and the public as we all purport visibility in the Community.

Another example: the appointment of a special Registration Committee vetting election paperwork should not rest on the President especially if the President is running for re-election. A consensus from the entire Board whom to appoint must be required.

It is not my intention to render judgment on the Registration Committee this year. However, my view is that the executive power of the President was somehow abused when an affiliate member was appointed as a Returning Officer. The appointee happens to be President of the Ilocano Association and the person’s name was also in the Voter’s List. Ergo, it was the same person who also validated his/her own status as a Voter. In addition, the President of the IAA was given an Authorised Representative Form from Timek ti La Union (after the registration process was closed) to cast a vote for and on behalf of Timek ti La Union. This person, as part of the Registration Committee charged with authenticating Voters’ List and authorised representatives to vote had conflicting interest in this situation.

Furthermore, the Returning Officer, representing the Rizal Movement Campbelltown, was in the Voters List and a question was raised how did he cast his vote whilst playing the role of Returning Officer?

The above shows deficiencies and flaws in the election procedures and to my mind, requires immediate attention. I would expect the 2018 PCC-NSW Board to address these concerns during their term. By the way, congratulations to the new Board. Ω

(Opinions expressed in this paper are those of the writers and not necessarily endorsed by the management of Philippine Sentinel. The publisher accepts no responsibility over the contents written as well as the contents of paid advertisements.)