International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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from EVU News, Issue 4 / 1996

The last edition of the EVU Newsletter contains comment on the IVU elections on page seven suggesting they were not very democratic. The main concern seems to be that there was only one candidate for the posts of President and Deputy President respectively. A further comment suggests that one other candidate for each post withdrew after "contacting" and "persuading" behind the scenes."

There was a second candidate for the post of President but that person withdrew before the congress for personal reasons. The second candidate for the post of Deputy President discussed his candidature with various people during the congress and withdrew his nomination the evening before the election. No reason was given for this decision.

IVU is a democratic organisation and member societies are invited to make nominations for all positions in IVU well before a congress and in several editions of the IVU Newsletter. It is for member societies to decide if they wish to nominate. If, when the elections arrive, and there is but one candidate for each post, then the candidate is returned unopposed. This is democratic since every opportunity is given to member societies to make nominations.

It is a fact that there has been but one candidate for the position of President and only one for the post of Deputy President in all elections during, at least, the past twenty years, and probably much longer. Votes were not taken but, should the member societies so wish, in future they can decide to vote whether to accept the candidates if there is but one candidate for a post. Should this result in a candidate being rejected, then IVU would have a difficult situation to resolve. If member societies wish to change any procedure, they can do so at the appropriate time. The time and place would be during the meeting of member societies during a world vegetarian congress.

Maxwell G. Lee,
Deputy President, IVU.

Editorís Comment
The EVU News is meant to give information to the members of the EVU and interested readers who have access to the Internet. Information, that is about events which not all members could attend, like congresses, AGMs etc.

I feel that it is the task of the editor to inform the readers in an objective way and not to turn a blind eye to certain things or gloss over the situation.

According to the statutes of IVU the President and Deputy President have to " elected by the General Meeting of member organisations at a World Congress..."

In any Democracy, the opportunity is given to the electors to use their right to vote for a proposal or a candidate, even if there is only one. In general a simple majority (sometimes 2/3, depending on the statutes) is required for an election to be valid. -

If what I saw in Johnstown in occasion of the elections in IVU is symptomatic of the past 20 years, I am not surprised to hear, that there was only one candidate for the important positions in IVU. (I was raising my 3 children at that time and therefore unable to attend the congresses and to give a personal comment.)

It would be interesting to know, why there had to be an election for the position of General Secretary in Johnstown, when there was only one official candidate!-

However I think times have changed and there are more people able and willing to hold a position with responsibility.

I am afraid there can be no further discussion about elections in the EVU News. Interested members are invited to attend the General Meeting of the IVU which will take place on the occasion of the EVU Congress in Italy, September 1997, and where more details may be given.

Sigrid De Leo,
Hon Secretary of EVU