As mentioned in my previous post, the first meeting of the new Rules Committee was last week, the agenda being to identify the remaining changes needed to produce a new version of the rule book, incorporating the changes made at last year’s State Conference.
The meeting was positive, constructive, and collegiate. It was agreed that proper minutes will be kept. Everyone present seemed to be committed to producing a better, clearer, more useful set of rules.
We sat down with the old rules, the new rules and a list of the differences between the two. Everyone shared the issues they’d found in the draft that had been circulated earlier, and the necessary repairs were discussed and agreed. An updated draft will be circulated, and assuming no major issues emerge, it will be put to next month’s meeting of the Admin Committee to be endorsed as the agreed version of the rules.
There remain issues. Some rules are unclear. Others are contradictory. Except where this was because of a drafting error, there isn’t anything the Rules Committee can do in the short term. To resolve an ambiguity one way or the other, or somehow resolve a contradiction would be to change the rules, and only Conference can change the rules.
What the Committee can do, and has agreed to do, is to prepare a list of issues we have with the rules, and to see if we can agree on how to resolve those issues, a report to be presented to the next State Conference for endorsement.
(It’s not yet clear when the next State Conference will be. For reasons that were not explained, that decision cannot be made until April. There is no obviously good choice. On the one hand, to hold Conference at such short notice would mean compromises in its preparation, and possibly impact the preparation of Federal Conference as well. On the other hand, to not hold Conference means that delegates to Federal Conference, except for those directly elected by FECs, would have to be elected via some other mechanism. One possibility is that they will be selected by the Administration Committee. Another possibility, suggested to me by a Heffron SEC member, is that a postal or internet ballot of Conference Delegates could be held.)