Author Topic: AGM 2015 proposal re returning to voting for the winners  (Read 2125 times)

Offline Rolnikov

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AGM 2015 proposal re returning to voting for the winners
« on: May 08, 2016, 03:35:13 PM »
My proposal from last year has been postponed for discussion this year. I doubt I'll be there, so I could do with putting together some answers to the questions that were raised. I know that there were concerns expressed at the AGM, but I don't have any specific detail on what they were.

If any members who were at the AGM can help, please drop me a line on bfsawards@britishfantasysociety.org, or just post here. If you know who raised any concerns, let me know and I can go direct to the source! Thanks.

Here's the proposal that will once again be up for debate:

Quote
AWARDS PROPOSAL BY STEPHEN THEAKER

Summary:

To replace the current jury system with a system of members voting on the shortlists, while establishing an egregious omissions committee and a statutory two-month reading period.

Proposal:

Changing: "The British Fantasy Society resolves that the BFS Awards shall ultimately be decided by a jury deliberating on a shortlist determined by the members of the Society. The Jury shall comprise individuals directly or indirectly related to the writing, publishing and bookselling genre fields. The Jury shall include at least one non-member of the Society. The Jury shall be appointed by the Awards Administrator, subject to approval by the BFS committee. The Jury shall deliberate on a shortlist of four nominations as determined by the membership by online or postal vote. The Jury shall also have oversight powers to add nominations where it identifies an egregious omission. In order to add such nominations the jury must make a unanimous decision. The addition of a nomination will be made in camera."

To: "The British Fantasy Awards are ultimately decided by the votes of the members of the British Fantasy Society and the attendees of the previous and upcoming FantasyCons ("the membership"). A shortlist of four nominations will be determined by the membership by online or postal vote. An egregious omissions committee shall have oversight powers to add nominations where it identifies an egregious omission. In order to add such nominations the egregious omissions committee must make a unanimous decision. The addition of a nomination will be made in camera. The egregious omissions committee shall include at least one non-member of the Society. The egregious omissions shall be appointed by the Awards Administrator, subject to approval by the BFS committee. The membership will vote on the shortlists, voting to begin no sooner than two months after the announcement of the shortlist."

And consequential changes to the voting procedure section.

Reasons:

(i) The current system requires an amount of work that is likely to prove unsustainable (e.g. well over 600 emails this year).

(ii) The pool of potential jurors is limited, and we are going through them quickly.

(iii) BFS and FantasyCon members would decide the awards once again.

(iv) The egregious omissions committee will continue the good work done by juries in adding to the diversity and credibility of the shortlists.

(v) The two month gap between the announcement of the shortlist and the commencement of voting will encourage members to read (and buy) the nominated works.

(vi) Attendees of the upcoming FantasyCon would have more involvement than they do at present; voting on the first round is over before many have signed up.

Offline Rolnikov

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AGM 2015 proposal re returning to voting for the winners
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2016, 12:28:07 PM »
As you may have seen in the other thread begun by Phil, it looks like we'll be taking a different tack on the resolution of the above proposal.

After the AGM my information was that my proposal was "held to be discussed with an outcome by the end of the 2016 AGM". However, a fuller version of the delaying proposal is reported in the (draft) minutes: "[The publicity officer] suggested that we could consult on this and decide at any point up to & including the next AGM. Chair proposed this. All agreed."

So the above proposal probably won't be up for consideration at the next AGM, and apparently the committee is now discussing it. I'll be putting forward the view that it should be decided by a vote of the entire membership.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2016, 12:19:42 PM by Stephen Theaker »

Offline Phil Lunt

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AGM 2015 proposal re returning to voting for the winners
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2016, 12:37:47 PM »
I've literally just opened it up for discussion in committee and, as yet, have had no replies or suggestions from anyone. Original thread announcing it can be seen here, for anyone who has missed it:

http://www.britishfantasysociety.org/forum/index.php?topic=4011

Offline Djibril

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AGM 2015 proposal re returning to voting for the winners
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2016, 01:15:22 PM »
I see that the other thread has been locked to discourage non-members from expressing an opinion on it. Shame, some of us (including former BFA jurymembers) do have opinions.
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Offline Phil Lunt

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AGM 2015 proposal re returning to voting for the winners
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2016, 03:37:23 PM »
I see that the other thread has been locked to discourage non-members from expressing an opinion on it. Shame, some of us (including former BFA jurymembers) do have opinions.

Absolutely not stopping comment here or on any another thread, like the original thread the proposal was announced on last year that is linked to in my post. The thread I posted is just the announcement regarding what's going on.

Offline AllenStroud

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AGM 2015 proposal re returning to voting for the winners
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2016, 03:47:37 PM »
I see that the other thread has been locked to discourage non-members from expressing an opinion on it. Shame, some of us (including former BFA jurymembers) do have opinions.

The committee is pretty accessible. If you have something you want mentioned or considered, you can easily email me, or someone else - bfsjournal@britishfantasysociety.org

Offline littlepurplegoth

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AGM 2015 proposal re returning to voting for the winners
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2016, 04:18:30 PM »
The thread has been locked because it is *a notice*.

This in no way prevents anyone having a discussion on it. absolutely not. go and start as many threads as you like, where ever you like. I might suggest it prudent to avoid the sort of comments that would be construed as nasty or unpleasant, but otherwise?

Go for your life :-)

ETA: further the Chair has asked people to let them know their view by email. This is important for a few reasons:

- it enables those who may not wish to, or feel able to, comment in public to do so.
- it enables those who simply wish to comment privately, to do so, in the confidence that it will be exactly that: private.
- it is more likely to have the committee hear viewpoints that are contrary to the push of public comments.
- it ensures that the views of all will be seen and read. no ones views will be lost in the melee of the forum.

In all of these, it makes the whole process more fair, than simply a discussion followed by adoption or rejection at the AGM would have been.  The decision of the AGM was that this could be decided by the cmt. and in making all aware that we are doing so, the cmt are going *beyond* that required of them already.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2016, 04:44:33 PM by littlepurplegoth »

Offline Djibril

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AGM 2015 proposal re returning to voting for the winners
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2016, 10:56:14 PM »
Pace a bit of defensiveness here, I quote:

Quote
I've locked the thread so that members could email me directly with any views on this, mainly so it's easier to check that people commenting are actual members.

seems pretty explicitly to invite non-members to keep out of the conversation. (Which is fair enough, this is BFS business, and as you say for the committee to decide. I wouldn't have or want a vote anyway. I hope it's not my comment on this that was construed as “nasty or unpleasant”?)

I'll only say that, if there is still a jury system next year, I'll be happy to volunteer as the non-member participant on any jury that the awards coordinator thinks me useful for. I enjoyed being on the nonfiction jury for three years a few years ago, and would gladly be of service again. :)
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Offline Phil Lunt

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AGM 2015 proposal re returning to voting for the winners
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2016, 09:28:53 AM »
I'll only say that, if there is still a jury system next year, I'll be happy to volunteer as the non-member participant on any jury that the awards coordinator thinks me useful for. I enjoyed being on the nonfiction jury for three years a few years ago, and would gladly be of service again. :)

And we'd be happy to take you up on that! :)

Apologies if I was a little choppy yesterday, I was getting bombarded from all directions, as you could probably imagine ;)

Offline Rolnikov

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AGM 2015 proposal re returning to voting for the winners
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2016, 11:29:42 AM »
Thank you to my colleagues for joining the discussion, but just to clarify:

Once I saw the draft minutes of the 2015 AGM this week, it became clear that the AGM had after all knowingly delegated its power to decide this proposal. For example, the draft minutes mention attendees saying that something so important should not be decided by the small number of people in attendance at the AGM.

I have put it to the BFS committee that the proposal should be put to a vote of the membership, for pretty much the same reasons. It's a big decision, and I think it's one the society should make as a whole. If this is accepted by the committee, my plan is for us to email the membership with notice that a vote is imminent, with links to a thread for its discussion here on the forum. (Djibril, your thoughtful comments will of course be very welcome, as they were when we first discussed this proposal last year - and I would link to that discussion too, to avoid any of us having to repeat themselves.) After a set period for discussion, we would email the membership again with a voting link. If it passes, it passes. If it doesn't, it doesn't. Either way we know where things stand going forward, and indeed members and potential new awards admins may be minded to put forward their own alternative proposals going into the next AGM.

The BFS committee does also have the option of voting my proposal down rather than letting it be put to the membership, if it thinks the proposal really isn't up to snuff, so before we decide that issue we are having the discussion mentioned above. In that case, again, it will be disappointing, but we will know where things stand and people will be able to volunteer for the admin post with a good idea of what the workload involves. While the chair's forum announcement caught me rather by surprise, I don't think that the committee deciding this point before encouraging a discussion among the membership is undemocratic in itself, given that the membership has known about this proposal for a good long time and has been encouraged to comment on it here on the forum, via the bulletin, and so on. With that in mind, the chair's request to be sent direct emails could be considered a way to gather extra views rather than restrict them, as our publicity officer suggests above.

Obviously, it would have been preferable to sort all this out immediately after the AGM, and before the current awards cycle began, but at least we can get on with sorting it out now, one way or the other. It goes without saying that if the proposal does pass, the current awards cycle, having already begun, won't be affected. The changes will come into effect (or not) once this year's winners have been announced.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2016, 12:14:14 PM by Stephen Theaker »

Offline littlepurplegoth

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AGM 2015 proposal re returning to voting for the winners
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2016, 12:04:54 PM »
Let me make a sentence in the above clear.

Emails to the Chair are to *open* participation. Stephen's sentence suggests that I am inferring the opposite situation is in play.

I have not edited his post to change any phrasing, merely to correct the name in use so that this post will make sense to those reading.



« Last Edit: May 15, 2016, 12:11:17 PM by littlepurplegoth »

Offline Rolnikov

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AGM 2015 proposal re returning to voting for the winners
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2016, 12:19:14 PM »
No worries. I've changed it to note your committee position instead, with a link to the relevant forum post. I realise that there are lots of good reasons why people prefer not to use their names online.

Sorry too if that part of my post you highlight was open to possible misinterpretation. The phrase after the comma is intended to relate to the whole of the preceding sentence, not just the previous few words, i.e. I'm saying it could be seen in just the light you have suggested.

Offline littlepurplegoth

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AGM 2015 proposal re returning to voting for the winners
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2016, 12:44:23 PM »
and I thank you for that.

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: AGM 2015 proposal re returning to voting for the winners
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2016, 09:28:50 AM »
I decided in the end to withdraw my proposal. No one supports it (except maybe Des!) and I didn't want it to still be hanging around all these months later like a bad smell. I've split this discussion out of the AGM 2016 and awards proposals thread to avoid any confusion later in the year.

Offline Des Lewis

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Re: AGM 2015 proposal re returning to voting for the winners
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2016, 09:41:41 AM »
I decided in the end to withdraw my proposal. No one supports it (except maybe Des!) and I didn't want it to still be hanging around all these months later like a bad smell. I've split this discussion out of the AGM 2016 and awards proposals thread to avoid any confusion later in the year.

It is just that I consider Stephen to be uniquely placed within the actual DNA of the current BFS Awards System in recent years, and anything he proposed should have been taken very seriously.
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