Council Regulations consultation - Section 3

Please make your comments on this section below:



Section 3 - electronic voting

A motion shall be defeated if more than
50% of those casting a vote or declaring
an abstention vote “No”.
Doesn't say what you mean!!! Also, should the 50% be of those who do vote?

Section 3 - electronic voting

If we call the votes Y,N,A,R (Yes/No/Abstain/Refer), then Y+N+R is those voting, and Y+N+A+R is the total number of known views. Then this section says N/(Y+N+A+R)>50% implies rejection, which I think IS what we mean. Equally Y/(Y+N+A+R)>50% implies acceptance, and R/(Y+N+A+R)>50% implies referral. All other cases are Chair's discretion between reject and refer, which is a cop out, but we couldn't see a clear alternative.

Section 3 Electronic Voting

personally I feel Refer should have a lower percentage or a higher weight. I would be concerned if a significant number of Council members requested a refer but the weight of Ys or Ns pushed through the result. I feel is (say) 20% of members request refer then that should override all other votes.

Section3: refer votes

Section 3 is for the conduct of 'urgent' business (admittedly that's not defined - how can one?). Hence 'refer' is often the same as 'no', in practice. Weighting 'refer' would encourage tactical voting (I'm against it, but if I vote 'refer' that's more likely to stop it than voting 'no'). Does Len really think that 79% Yes and 21% refer should mean 'refer'?

Refer Votes

I take your point, but perhaps naively, I felt that a Refer meant, at least in part, that further discussion in a face to face situation was felt to be necessary. In the example it does look a bit odd but suppose the figures were 40% Yes, 30% No and 30% Refer? To my mind a Refer vote is "I don't know, without further discussion".

Looking at the point in another way, Would/Should Council be asked for a vote at such short notice? Urgent in this case may be misleading as it could be up to 6 months between Council meetings. I would have thought, quite correctly, that in 'Urgent' situations it is the role of the Trustees to be able to make those decisions. Councils views are only 'advice' and therefore not binding on Trustee Board were the actual decision would be made. Therefore, Refer votes should be used as 'pause for thought' flag in an 'urgent' situation nothing more, as I assume there would not be time for further discussion.

Perhaps, in an 'Urgent' situation, the Refer vote option should be removed? However, in such a situation I would be concerned if the numbers of Abstentions were significant enough to affect the outcome.

More on Refer votes

With 40/30/30, as you posit, the case falls into "In other cases the Chair shall use their discretion as to whether to include it on the next scheduled meeting of Council." If feasible, I would expect a sensible Chair to do so, but I currently don't see how to formulate an algorithm here.
"Perhaps, in an 'Urgent' situation, the Refer vote option should be removed?". Possibly, but I would hope the fact would speak for themselves.
"I would be concerned if the numbers of Abstentions were significant enough to affect the outcome." as indeed they might - 4 yes, 3 no and 2 abstain is a hung vote, and would be treated as above, so the number of abstentions would indeed affect the outcome.

More of Refer Votes

I am not in opposition to what you say, however, I do think the regulations need to make it clear. Not sure I would be happy 'leaving it to Chair's discretion'.

Happy to leave it to you Roger.


Other than the discussion above I am happy with the rest of the contents.

Also happy to leave the 'Refer' discussion to your 'wrap up' Roger