Opening Statement



Thursday, 19 May 2011

Telephone + Online Voting Approved!

Yes! Resolution #13 passed! First came the usual finagling over who was going to claim responsiblity for bringing you telephone and online voting. Everybody jumped on board championing the cause. I'd suppose it could look good on next year's election flyers and possibly sway those voters who don't know the whole story. Let's face it, some candidates really like these sort of shallow window dressing strategies, and sometimes they even work. Arguments ensued. Whose piece of telephone and online legislation would be voted on first? Sigh! Fortunately most UAGM participants didn't favour any such change of agenda. We managed to get some much needed basic housekeeping resolutions out of the way instead. Then afterwards the well worded Legislation Committee's Resolution #13, thankfully the one with no names attached [see my last post], was approved. Unfortunately there wasn't much if any in depth discussion over the actual pros and cons of online or telephone voting. Alas, mostly just posturing. Still for next May, they can now be an option during the TSU executive election.

Time ran out for Resolution#2 which would've allowed 2 year executive terms in 2012-13. There were endless requests from the floor for clarifications of clarifications of clarifications, friendly and not so friendly amendments, passionate pleas for commas and semi-colons, and ummm....well you get the picture. I counted 40 or maybe 50 members in attendance at this year's UAGM. No need to wonder why!  Anyway, not much reasonable debate on approving or rejecting the actual resolution as written ensued, but at least the idea has been introduced for further consideration, perhaps at next year's TSU UAGM.

What's the most simply foolish part of all this UAGM nonsense?  A lot of the those present had seemingly all ready made up their mind on the issues and votes before they arrived to...ahem....debate. One could be forgiven for thinking there wasn't much focus on winning over minds, as opposed to just scoring political points. And the endless and ultimately futile requests for reconsideration and division definitely only served to further highlight the all ready glaringly obvious battle lines and voting numbers, while wasting more time.

Still, there were also a lot of us there to actually hear all the different arguments and sides on this and that issue. If I heard some new points that challenged my own view, and made a lot of sense, I myself would definitely want to consider that carefully, and vote for what is best for TSU. However that concept seems to have often gotten lost among the partisan politicking at TSU over the past few years, despite claims to the contrary, sometimes by even the worst of offenders.

We all know there are still a lot of good, TSU focused members who run for election and faithfully show up at UAGM every year to openly debate the unit's issues, and work constructively to solve them. Indeed I've had the pleasure of working with many of these members over my 5 years on two quite different TSU executives, but at the same time unfortunately, some things never seem to change!

Action Directive #1 setting up an ad hoc committee to study the feasibility and related costs for creating a 4th TSU release position was passed. The chair focused everyone back on the issue of creating a committee to study the proposal, rather than arguing the merits of releasing a 4th person, without the info and recommendations the new committee could produce, to help us have a proper debate.

The meeting time ended among discussion of whether or not the ballots from the May 11th election should be destroyed asap. A moot point when time ran out, but no doubt you will be hearing more about this one later.

So, how do I grade this year's UAGM? I'd say 6 out of 10. I'm being kind. However the Legislative and UAGM committees tried their best under difficult circumstances. Resolution #13 passed. TSU President Jansen provided an insightful  report on the past executive year at TSU. Ditto OECTA President Ryan, on provincial issues and concerns, most notably the fall provincial election. Most participants didn't join in the clown show aspects of the UAGM with all the grandstanding and so on. It only takes a few to waste a lot of our time, and we still can't seem to get around that entirely, but in the end a lot of important business did get done. This year's chair seemed relatively inexperienced in the fine points of our unit by-laws and Robert's Rules of Order. However she did insist members stick to the process, and discuss the issues being presented, which mustn't have have been very easy. She definitely deserves kudos for this. .

Special thanks to all of you who came up to comment to me on what you liked and disliked about my blog. All of it was very constructive and much appreciated.  I will stick to the high road here, but politics is a blood sport to some, so there will be some not so nice things I will have to address from time to time. I will be fairly blunt and to the point, as is my way. I won't toe any TSU party line but I won't go rogue, and I am certainly considering all your member input, as my blog site continues to grow.

Please come back later. I will fix the typos etc. and maybe expand on my comments further. The photos are posted in the slideshow top screen left. Not all of them, as it only shows 20 at a time, but I am always changing the shots. Anyway, school and union duties beckon, and then -the long weekend!!! Bye for now!

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