distributed 19 April 2015; due 28 April 2015 at 6pm DC time (EDT)
distributed 19 April 2015
Message mailed to DPCA Voting Members, 19 April 2015
Please find attached the Proxy Form for the upcoming global meeting as well as a sheet of instructions that explain many of the rules that govern proxies at our global meetings. Please note that the deadline for submitting a proxy form is April 28 at 6pm DC time — although early submissions are encouraged.
The DA Charter sets forth complex rules for proxies. In many cases, a DPCA Voting Member who wishes to give a proxy to another member of DA must do a significant amount of planning — particularly to avoid naming a proxyholder who is unable to accept the full number of votes due to the 4 vote cap for each voter.
The Nominations and Elections Committee and I collaborated to ensure that the same rules apply for ordinary DPCA business and the elections of officers. I am happy to answer questions about the rules for proxies and even particular scenarios.
I will confirm the receipt of each proxy by email to the DPCA member issuing the proxy. I will attempt to catch invalid proxies or problematic situations before the meeting begins, but I cannot take responsibility for the validity of the proxy forms that I receive. It will be much easier to catch problems with proxy forms that I receive this week.
Also, please take into consideration I will issue proxies on a first-come-first-served basis. For example, say Agatha sends me a proxy form assigning 3 votes to Bertha, who has only 1 vote of her own. If, two days later, Voldemort sends me a proxy form assigning 3 votes to Bertha, that proxy form will be invalid. If Voldemort is fortunate, I will notice the problem and let him know. If he is unlucky, I will not notice the problem until the first vote at the Global Meeting and he will need to sign into WebEx to cast his votes himself.
Thank you for your patience in dealing with this knotty process.
Clarification posted to DPCA-Leadership, 21 April 2015
Dear DA leaders,
Over the past few days, I received two questions regarding voting at the general meeting that the DPCA Executive Committee asked me to answer on this forum. I hope that this message will provide some predictability and clarity about the vote-counting for our upcoming general meeting.
1. How many votes will each country committee have if the ExCom’s proposed amendments are adopted with immediate effect?
Please find attached a chart listing the number of votes for each Country Committee under the current Charter’s rules for allocation, and the number of votes projected under the rules proposed by the ExCom.
Note that for Country Committees with more than 150 members that meet the counting criteria (include the Last Verified Date), the effect of the proposed amendments is effectively random. A Country Committee loses a vote if its “allocable votes” — a technical step in the vote-allocation process — involves a fractional part of less than 0.455.
As always, non-compliant Country Committees are allocated votes but the officers of those Country Committees may not exercise those votes. If you are concerned that your Country Committee may be non-compliant, please contact your Regional Vice-Chair or myself.
Especially attentive readers will notice that DA-Taiwan’s membership count has been revised. This change did not affect the final vote calculations in either scenario.
2. Does the 4-vote cap prevent DPCA members with 4 votes from giving a proxy to other members who hold one or more votes themselves?
The four vote cap comes from Section 3.6(e) of our Charter: "No member may cast in excess of 4 votes (including proxies) of the total number of votes determined under Section 3.6 (a) and (b).”
Partial proxies are prohibited due to Section 3.7(d) of our Charter: "Proxies by Country Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs shall be given only for the full vote of the Chair or Vice Chair granting the proxy.”
- A Chair or Vice Chair allocated 4 votes can only issue a general proxy to a member of the same Country Committee who is not a DPCA Voting Member or a Non-Voting Representative from the same region.
- A Chair or Vice Chair allocated 4 votes can only issue a limited proxy to a Non-Voting Representative, or a limited proxy for the purposes of the DPCA Officers’ Elections to a DPCA Voting Member not eligible to vote in those elections (i.e. one of the current members of the ExCom).
- A Chair or Vice Chair allocated 3 votes can only issue a general proxy to a member of the same Country Committee who is a not a DPCA Voting Member, a Non-Voting Representative from the same region, or a DPCA Voting Member from the same region who holds only 1 vote.
…and so on.
Please note that Section 3.7(d) does not apply to Voting Representatives. Voting Representatives may issue a partial proxy to an individual within the proxy rules.
As an example, let’s say that Severus is a Voting Representative for DA Poland with 4 votes. Severus sends a proxy form for a general proxy to Pomona, Chair of DA-Latvia, who holds 2 votes of her own. In that situation, I would assign 2 of Severus’s votes to Pomona to bring Pomona's total votes up to the cap of 4. Although DA-Poland winds up “losing” two of its votes, at least Severus has not been disenfranchised.
The rest of this message explains some of the reasoning behind this admittedly frustrating combination of rules. It is not necessary to read this explanation in order to vote or issue a proxy responsibly.
I consulted with Orlando Vidal, International Counsel, to confirm this application of the Charter. This understanding of the Charter was also explicitly stated by the International Counsel at the time of the
2011 2013 DPCA Officers’ Elections, John Eastwood, in his Clarifying Notes. That document is available at:
Proxy Form and Instructions for May 2015
A hypothetical example might clarify why rules work this way. Let’s say Rubeus is Chair of DA Estonia and holds 4 votes. Sybill is Chair of DA-Moldova and holds just 1 vote (because the Vice-Chair of DA-Moldova will attend the meeting as well).
If Rubeus issues a proxy to Sybill, it must be for Rubeus’s “full vote” as Chair. That “full vote” is 4 votes. A proxy is invalid if it violates "the limitations set out in this Charter” (See Section 3.6(c)). The 4-vote proxy may not be divided, so it would push Sybill above the four-vote cap if it were granted. (4 + 1 = 5) Thus, I would reject the proxy as invalid.
Like many of you, I regret the complexity created by the strict implementation of the proxy rules set forth in the DA Charter. I am happy to help anyone with their individual circumstances. The primary goal of everyone involved is to enfranchise DA’s leaders to the maximum extent possible under the rules.
Guidance on Proxies from 2013 - still in effect
Just before the 2013 Global Meeting in London, the International Secretary and International Counsel published detailed policies and several clarifying notes. Those documents are your best documentation of precise questions regarding proxies.
- Final version of the Counsel's notes on voting and proxies: International_Counsel_Clarifying_Notes_v3_1.doc
- With respect to counting attendance for Country Committee compliance: " CC attendance included physical presence, WebEx presence, present by proxy to someone physically present, or present by proxy to someone on WebEx."
- Link to the final overall reminder from 2013, with some notes regarding proxies: April 8, 2013 message from Lou Hureston
- Link to International Counsel's statement that proxies are not transferable and a few other details: March 27 message from John Eastwood
You are always welcome to contact me or the International Counsel to discuss your particular situation.