Committee revises nomination process

A committee appointed by BLE President Edward Dubroski has issued recommendations to reform the process by which candidates are nominated for International office, as required by Section 14.3 - Ritual of the BLE Constitution & Bylaws.

In essence, the two-page recommendation reforms and standardizes the caucus process that takes place every five years during the union's International conventions.

The call for this reform came from delegates attending the Sixth Quinquennial International Convention in 1996. They passed a resolution, which was adopted as Section 14.3 - Ritual (page 210) of the BLE Constitution & Bylaws.

Section 14.3 - Ritual states: "Whereas the submitters of this resolution feel that the present system and procedures used outside the governing body of the BLE to draft candidates for office within the Brotherhood are inefficient and do not serve us well; therefore, let it be resolved that the International President appoint a committee of 12 to resolve this problem and write a formal policy to be adopted and used at future conventions."

The recommended policy is still just a recommendation -- it must be adopted by delegates attending the Seventh Quinquennial International Convention in September in order to take effect.

In essence, the recommended policy lends itself to the most efficient caucus process possible, while providing a level and equitable playing field for all candidates seeking office, consistent with the BLE's governing principles.

The caucuses are grouped by regions -- Canadian, Western, Eastern and Southeastern -- and serve an extremely important delegate function. The caucuses interview candidates for office and attempt to come to a consensus on supporting those candidates whom delegates believe are best qualified. The caucuses also consider support for resolutions that are before the convention.

The recommendation proposes specific dates and times for the caucuses to meet jointly and hear from candidates. In addition, the policy suggests that candidates for the BLE's Executive Committee -- International President, First Vice-President & Alternate President, and General Secretary-Treasurer -- be given 45 minutes per office for their presentations. Each candidate would be allotted five minutes to make an opening statement, and the remaining time will be used for a panel-type question-and-answer session.

The committee also recommended that all other offices be allocated a 15-minute interview session each, with three-minute presentations by each candidate followed by a question-and-answer session for the remaining time.

The recommended policy also suggests that a moderator and timekeeper be elected from each regional caucus to preside over the interview sessions.

The 12 BLE members appointed by President Dubroski to develop the recommended policy include: P.L. Wingo, Chairman, Section 14.3 Ritual Committee and Member, Constitution & Bylaws Committee, Seventh Quinquennial Convention; C.E. Anderson, I.D. Staff; D.J. Anderson, Vice Chairman, Canadian National Legislative Board; S.J. Bruno, Chairman, Eastern General Chairmen's Assoc.; G.L. Gore, Chairman, Constitution & Bylaws Committee, Seventh Quinquennial Conv.; R.A. Holmes, Chairman, U.S. National Association of State Legislative Board Chairmen; G.C. Howe, Member, Constitution & Bylaws Committee, Seventh Quinquennial Conv.; M.B. Kenny, Member, Constitution & Bylaws Committee, Seventh Quinquennial Conv.; J.D. Mullen, Chairman, Western General Chairmen's Assoc.; E.L. Pruitt, Member, Constitution & Bylaws Committee, Seventh Quinquennial Conv.; D.J. Shewchuk, Chairmen, Canadian General Chairmen's Assoc.; and R.C. Wallace, Chairman, Southeastern General Chairmen's Assoc.

The resolution was amended by delegates at the 1996 convention to require publication of the Committee's recommendation in the Locomotive Engineer Newsletter. The full text of the resolution is reproduced below.


Section 14.3 Ritual reads,

"WHEREAS the submitters of this resolution feel that the present system and procedures used outside the governing body of the BLE to draft candidates for office within the Brotherhood are inefficient and do not serve us well; therefore, let it be RESOLVED that the International President appoint a committee of twelve to resolve this problem and write a formal policy to be adopted and used at future conventions."

The Committee appointed per Section 14.3 - Ritual met on Monday, July 9, 2001. This committee was mandated when the delegates adopted the above resolution at the Sixth Quinquennial Convention in 1996. Its purpose is to recommend a policy that lends itself to the most efficient caucus process possible. We believe our recommendation should provide a level and equitable playing field for all candidates seeking office, consistent with the intent of our governing principles.

It should be understood that caucuses are essentially an ad hoc process. The process itself does not have a constitutional requirement for delegates to attend. However, clearly, all delegates are obligated to apprise themselves of all information available to them through the caucus process in order to make an educated decision when casting a vote on behalf of their division. As such, all delegates are strongly encouraged to attend both the joint caucus sessions and their own regional caucuses.

Caucuses

Rules for Joint Caucus Meeting

1) Moderator and timekeeper shall be elected from the regional caucus chairmen. Moderator may not be a candidate for office.

2) Joint caucus meeting shall be open to all BLE members, but only delegates are allowed to participate in the question and answer session.

3) Questions must alternate between candidates. Answers are limited to one minute.

4a) Candidates for each office shall speak in order of their nomination.

4b) Agenda

First day: (All U.S. and Canadian Delegates)
Candidates for International President ...............................7 p.m.
Candidates for First Vice President....................................7:45 p.m.
Candidates for General Secretary-Treasurer.......................8:30 p.m.
Candidates for Alt. General Secretary-Treasurer................9:15 p.m.
Additional questions and answers, if necessary.................10 p.m.
 
Second day: (All U.S. Delegates)
Candidates for Vice President............................................7 p.m.
Candidates for Board of Appeals and all
other alternates...................................................................Following VPs
 
Second day: (All Canadian Delegates)
Candidates for Vice President.............................................7 p.m.
Candidates for Board of Appeals and all
other alternates...................................................................Following VPs

In order to maintain the integrity and fairness of this process, it is the recommendation of this committee that regional caucuses prohibit campaign speeches.

Submitted by:

 

 

2001 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers