SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The reader is always invited to send comments and to make contributions on this blog. I don’t guarantee that they will always be published, but certainly I will consider them.
Today T.J. sent me:
”Aren’t bids fun. Have a look at the voting for the CYCC. It appears two officers had an interest in single bids for the CYCC and voted against the independent bid for the CYCC and CO combination bid. Section 2 of the bylaws says:
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
”Whenever a proposal is being considered which puts any CFC officer in a potential conflict of interest he shall declare the conflict and abstain from discussion, voting or other involvement in the matter.”When will the CFC get its act together? Never, probably!”
Thankyou for the email, T.J.! Part of the problem with any volunteer organization is the quality of the volunteer. The more professional and experienced the volunteer, the more likely problems and obstacles will be solved efficiently and within respected guidelines. The less professional and less experienced the volunteer, the more likely problems and obstacles will generate more problems and obstacles.
Without yet wanting to pass judgement of Bob Gillander’s performance as CFC President (afterall, no one else wanted the job and he inherited a lot of shit), the CFC –beginning with the often-inebriated presidency of Haldorf Palsson– has not shown much respect for its own rules , procedures and regulations. Soon personalities began to dictate how things were to be done instead, the Governors often being reduced to claques of cheerleaders retro-actively approving illegal decision making by the executives. For this reason, in the space of a few short years the CFC office in Ottawa saw more employee changes than in the combined decades before! Finally the business was run into the ground and the Office was sold for a pittance.
When this self-destructive behaviour will change is anyone’s guess, but it is clear that until that happens the CFC will not likely attract professional and experienced individuals to become volunteers or run for elected positions.
The recent example of dealing with the competing bids for the Canadian Open (CO) and the CYCC by two groups only serves as an example that behaviours are not going to change anytime soon. One of the bids should have clearly been ruled out– immediately– because it did not conform with the required format according to the CFC handbook. (The bidder no doubt knew this, but understood that the CFC does not respect its own regulations. It would have implied many tens of thousands of dollars extra expenses for parents and the organizer would have pocketed a percentage of this from the extra hotel nights required)
Making matters worse, the entire bidding procedures were then contaminated by allowing both bidders to change their bids while the Governors were supposed to be considering them! This is really unprofessional and should only happen in the most exceptional circumstances. Bids should be worked out before being handed in; be serious; and conform rigorously to standards that are in the handbook.
Steve Karpik wrote an interesting post on one of the Canadian message boards today:
”In my opinion it is a positive sign that two groups presented strong bids for the CYCC. Each bid was distinctive and presented compelling reasons why their model for the 2011 CYCC was best. This is good for chess in Canada.
What is not good is that only 26 of the 60 CFC governors voted. Not even 50%. Voting turnouts in municipal, provincial and federal elections tend to be low but you get on the voters list by virtue of having Canadian citizenship and a pulse. Not too high a bar to get over. Consequently I can understand why we see voter apathy in Canadian elections. But I do not see why the turnout to vote on the CYCC bids was so low.
By being CFC governors, these individuals are saying implicitly that they are interested in seeing chess and the CFC prosper. However, their actions say quite the opposite. I would go so far to say that by not voting they are insulting the hard work that the bidders put into their proposals.
So why would someone want to be a CFC Governor and not want any input into one of the most important decisions of the year? Maybe the pool of Governors is too big.”
Steve raises a number of interesting points, especially about apathy of the Governors. But I think he under-estimates how many of the Governors are just fed up with with the lack of professionalism that repeatedly shows itself at virtually every decision making process. If the CFC does not respect its own rules and regulations (and processes), then the CFC will never work as it is supposed to. Nor would the majority of the Governors want to participate in such a comedy.
The CFC executive, once more, botched it up from the very beginning. Even after the result was officially published, it was found out that not all of the votes were counted and the result could have been entirely different than what it was originally announced as.
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS