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Re: Adyar estate

Jun 15, 2009 03:35 PM
by Anand

--- In, "Anton Rozman" <anton_rozman@...> wrote:
Here is the link:

I think you might be making mistake in interpreting the constitution of TS.
Pl. read carefully appendix A. I am giving here relevant passages.
A: Biographical Data of Presidential Candidates

Each candidate shall submit to the Secretary biographical data not exceeding two hundred words.

The following information shall be included : (a) date and place of birth (b) education (c) past and present occupations (d) date of joining The Theosophical Society (e) work done for The Theosophical Society.

Other information may be included but must be factual and shall not contain statements of opinion or policy.

The biographical data for circulation shall be drawn up by the Election Committee on the basis of the information supplied by the candidates, and shall be approved by the Executive Committee (excluding any candidates for election) before being issued.

B: Voting Procedure for a Presidential Election

Note: Where the term 'General Secretary' is used, it refers also to Regional Secretary, Organizing Secretary, and Presidential Representative. Where the term 'Section' is used, it refers also to National Society, Regional Association, and Presidential Agency.

(a) The Section shall print the voting papers and biographical data as soon as the names of the nominees are announced.

Where practicable, in the view or the General Secretary, all the papers should be in the language(s) of the area.

It shall be the responsibility of the General Secretary to ensure that the voting papers together with the biographical data in full are sent to each member.

Other material concerning the candidates shall not be circulated.
Here constitution is referring to what can be sent with the voting papers to members and what should not be sent along with the voting papers. The statement "Other material concerning the candidates shall not be circulated." is written in this context. In short, voting papers and biographical data should be sent to members, but that envelope should not include other material. This is what above statement means. 
At other times it is allowed to circulate other material. For example TS constitution does not forbid CAMPAIGNING. It is commonly understood that in any democratic election every candidates would show to voters, through pre-election debates and campaigning, why he/she should be elected, what his/her policies and programs would be. In fact any election without such intense debate is not really a democratic free election, because voters will be voting without analysis of future policies, programs and merits and demerits of candidates. That means in TS also Presidential candidates should show to members what she will be doing, if elected, and why he/she should be elected.
If we understand this democratic election process well, we can see that circulation of campaign style material must be allowed. 
Anton's article concludes that Presidential election was not legal because lot of material was circulated by various officers. This argument of Anton does not seem right because TS constitution does not forbid campaigning and circulation of material related to the election. 
Even officers are allowed to send their opinions about Presidential candidates through means of communication available to him/her. For example, I did not see anything in constitution that can forbid the President of American Section telling it's members, through official magazine of TSA, that in her opinion one Presidential candidate or both are too old to give proper leadership to TS. General Secretaries, who can have editorial functions under him, can use his magazine to disseminate what he thinks and feels about situation. And it is not necessary that every time doctor's certificate is necessary. For example, a General Secretary can publish his opinion that "any person above 75 years of age is not suitable for the Presidentship of TS". All General Secretaries are allowed to have such opinions.  

Anand Gholap

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