2010 LCMS Convention Resolution 8-17

This is another in our series of resolutions to the 2010 Synod Convention, posted here at the request of a commentor. If you have a comment on a specific resolution, see our Resolutions page. If the one you want to discuss is not yet posted, please contact us and we will add the resolution to start discussion.

Some of the bylaw changes made by this resolution; compare this to the whereas and resolved:

  1. BOD and COP shall determine the “5 geographic regions” 24 months prior to each convention
  2. Congregations can only nominate for the (2-6th?) VP serving their area (3.12.2a)
  3. Somehow the congregation is provided an opportunity to nominate based on their delegates that were in attendance at the previous district convention. (3.12.2b) ((it is unclear whether the delegate submits the nominatinons or the congregation does))
  4. Praesidium nomination moved from 4 to 5 months prior to convention. (3.12.2c)
  5. Paragraph on politicking removed (3.12.2e)
  6. Heading on 3.12.2 changed to add “1VP”, but then the bylaw still talks about 2nd-6th VP (there are now 5 regional vp’s?)
  7. This statement added to 3.12.2.1; does this mean no floor nominations? “No opportunity shall be provided for additional nominations.”
  8. Somehow there are now 3 nominees for P and 20 for 1VP (3.12.2.1)
  9. 3.12.2.3 removed; evidently NO floor nominations. Does this remove authority from the convention?
  10. The delegates from the prior year’s district convention do the actual voting for president, not the congregation (3.12.2.3)
  11. 1VP is elected as the first election of the convention from a slate of 5 of the 20 men nominated by the district delegates, selected by the newly elected president (3.12.2.4)
  12. ((Again, no provision for floor nominations))
  13. 3.12.2.5a talks about congregations nominating the regional VP’s (RVP); does this conflict with 3.12.2 above? 3.12.2 outlines using district delegates to do this, while 3.12.2.5a doesn’t say how it is done.
  14. 3.12.2.5b employees of synod organizations are ineligible to serve as regional VP’s
  15. 3.12.2.5c says the RVP nominations will be signed by president/secretary of each congregation; again, conflict with 3.12.2?
  16. Again, no allowance for floor nominations. Robert’s Rules anyone? (3.12.2.5e)
  17. It appears that all 600+ delegates selects one RVP from each region; i.e. the vote is not based on regions, only the nominations are based on regions (3.12.2.5f)
  18. The convention then votes to rank the 5 regional VP’s in order of succession

I am speechless after reading through the changes. Is it legal to remove floor nominations? Discussion?


Congregations Walking Together in Mission as They Elect President and First Vice-President
To Elect the Synod President

RESOLUTION 8-17 (starting at line 18)
TF Report (CW TFR, pp. 34–35); Overture 8-63 (CW, pp. 242–243)

WHEREAS, The President serves the whole Synod; and

WHEREAS, Technology has made it possible for every congregation, through its duly elected delegates to the district convention, to participate in the nomination and election process; therefore be it

Resolved, That information concerning the three candidates receiving the highest number of nominations and consenting to serve, including biographical information and further information outlining each candidate’s vision and direction for the Synod, be shared with all congregations of the Synod; and be it further

Resolved, That four weeks prior to the start of the convention, two of the delegates to the previous district convention from each congregation be provided opportunity to cast votes in a secure fashion for the office of President; and be it further

Resolved, That if no candidate receives a majority, a second ballot for the top two candidates be cast in a similar fashion; and be it further

Resolved, That the results of the balloting be announced to the Synod two weeks prior to the start of the convention; and be it finally

Resolved, That Bylaws 3.12.1–3.12.1.4 be amended accordingly, as shown (“2007 Handbook Convention Version,” TB, pp. 303–305).

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.

Comments

2010 LCMS Convention Resolution 8-17 — 9 Comments

  1. If this passes, now that the president-elect is known two weeks prior to the convention, will be be given the opportunity to chair the convention or have some influence on it? Seems like a pretty obvious change, why else would you move the presidential voting outside of the convention?

  2. From online version of Robert’s Rules of Order:

    Closing and Reopening Nominations. Before proceeding to an election, if nominations have been made from the floor or by a committee, the chair should inquire if there are any further nominations. If there is no response he declares the nominations closed. In very large bodies it is customary to make a motion to close nominations, but until a reasonable time has been given, this motion is not in order. It is a main motion, incidental to the nominations and elections, cannot be debated, can be amended as to the time, but can have no other subsidiary motion applied to it. It yields to privileged motions, and requires a two-thirds vote as it deprives members of one of their rights.

    If for any reason it is desired to reopen nominations it may be done by a majority vote. This motion is undebatable. It can be amended as to the time, but no other subsidiary motion can be applied to it. It yields to privileged motions.

    Appears that this requires the ability to make floor nominations only if the nominations were submitted by a committee. Since nominations for the praesidium were made by the “”congregations”” (or district delegates), perhaps this rule doesn’t apply?

    So while this is not necessarily illegal, it does remove a power that the convention had in old bylaw 3.12.1.3.

  3. evidently NO floor nominations. Is this not illegal according to Robert’s Rules

    Robert’s Rules of Order: Newly Revised (10th Edition) §46 Nominations and Elections
    “Methods of nomination are: (a) by the chair; (b) from the floor (sometimes called “open nominations”); (c) by a committee; (d) by ballot; (e) by mail; and (f) by petition. If no method of nominating has been specified in the bylaws and if the assembly has adopted no rule on the subject, any member can make a motion prescribing the method (31).”

    So the nominations process does not have to permit floor nominations.

    This is not such a bad thing. If a guy gets elected SP but doesn’t like any of the 20 guys nominated for 1st VP, you get a couple of pals to nominate the guys you want from the floor, then pick them among the 5 for the slate. This provision actually helps prevent cronyism.

    If this passes, now that the president-elect is known two weeks prior to the convention, will be be given the opportunity to chair the convention or have some influence on it? Seems like a pretty obvious change, why else would you move the presidential voting outside of the convention?

    I would love to see an amendment to this resolution to amend bylaw 3.2.4 so that the Synodical President is installed at the opening service of the convention. The outgoing SP can still give his address on the state of the Synod during the first session, but the newly elected SP would chair the convention.

    3.12.2.5c says the RVP nominations will be signed by president/secretary of each congregation; again, conflict with 3.12.2

    The provision for congregational president/secretary signatures affirming the decision of the congregation to nominate individuals is to be stricken from this section. Even if this provision were to remain, it is not in conflict with 3.12.2 since their signatures attest to the action of the congregation, not their own action.

    My ‘druthers are that the election process would remain the same – the elected delegates vote for the Synodical President. If you are going to make this change, why is it that the nominating ballots and the SP election ballot are sent to the delegates and not directly to the congregations? Does Synod not have the addresses of the congregations?

    One other thing to watch out for: as it is written, congregations with average worship attendance of 750+ could block their pastor from casting a vote. 3.12.2.3 provides the franchise for two of the delegates (fortunately the bylaw specifies that it is only two, lest megachurches get more votes for SP). Who selects which 2 when the congregation has 4? Synod? The congregation? It just doesn’t say.

  4. @PPPadre #3

    This is not such a bad thing. If a guy gets elected SP but doesn’t like any of the 20 guys nominated for 1st VP, you get a couple of pals to nominate the guys you want from the floor, then pick them among the 5 for the slate. This provision actually helps prevent cronyism.

    Actually, the new bylaws do not permit floor nominations for 1VP, nor for 2-6VP. 3.12.2.5e

    The provision for congregational president/secretary signatures affirming the decision of the congregation to nominate individuals is to be stricken from this section.

    I don’t understand your statement here. 3.12.2.5c is underlined, meaning it is new with these changes. It calls for pres/sec of the congregation to sign the nominations. 3.12.2b states only that the district delegate from the congregation be provided a secure method to submit nominations.

  5. 1VP is elected as the first election of the convention from a slate of 5 of the 20 men nominated by the district delegates, selected by the newly elected president (3.12.2.4).

    So the newly elected SP gets to determine his Presidium?!

    Congregational autonomy to the winds.

  6. Norm Fisher :
    @PPPadre #3

    This is not such a bad thing. If a guy gets elected SP but doesn’t like any of the 20 guys nominated for 1st VP, you get a couple of pals to nominate the guys you want from the floor, then pick them among the 5 for the slate. This provision actually helps prevent cronyism.

    Actually, the new bylaws do not permit floor nominations for 1VP, nor for 2-6VP. 3.12.2.5e

    That’s what I mean. If floor nominations were permitted (in particular for 1st VP where the SP gets to select 5 to remain on the ballot), he could pack the ballot at the last minute with his handpicked guys rather than those getting the highest number of nominations.

    Likewise for VPs 2-6, nominations are for the top nomination getters rather than just anyone. One could use floor nominations to circumvent widespread nominations to get your buddies onto the ballot.

    For that reason, I don’t think not having floor nominations for these positions is a bad idea.

    The provision for congregational president/secretary signatures affirming the decision of the congregation to nominate individuals is to be stricken from this section.

    I don’t understand your statement here. 3.12.2.5c is underlined, meaning it is new with these changes. It calls for pres/sec of the congregation to sign the nominations. 3.12.2b states only that the district delegate from the congregation be provided a secure method to submit nominations.

    Oops. I was looking at 3.12.2.c, where the phrase is stricken. The mistakes we make at 3am!

  7. The convention can, by majority vote, adopt whatever rules of procedure it wishes. It matters not if “Robert” says so. The most obvious and egregious of these is the so-called “Behnken Rule” of substitute motions. It violates several major premises of Robert’s rules, and contradicts a number of specific rules, but every time the convention meets, it adopts this “special rule”.

    Another example of violating Robert’s rules is the removal of candidates at the bottom of the slate for the next round of balloting. This rule change is also agreed to.

    Another note : The convention is supreme over the bylaws. It matters not what the bylaws say about the conduct of the convention. The convention can simply amend or suspend them. “No further nominations will be allowed” can be circumvented in this way :
    “Mr chairman, I move that we suspend bylaw X.XXXa for the duration of this convention.” Or, “Mr chairman, I move that we suspend bylaw X.XXXa and allow floor nominations for this office.” If the chair rules the motion out of order, one appeals to the floor. A simple majority vote will decide what to do. If the chair is overruled, then the motion is presented for a vote.

    It is rare for a convention to overrule a ruling from the chair on appeal, but it can happen.

  8. Lincoln: It is my understanding that a particular political organisation works hard to prevent floor nominations; the bylaws allow floor nominations now, what will the convention do when someone steps up and says “People, I say we put our trust in the nominations committee and accept the slate as they have presented”. Getting the bylaw suspended for this convention to allow floor nominations, THEN getting nominees added from the floor, just adds one more step to the procedure and is harder to get done now through two majority votes.

  9. It really comes down to what level of control one has at the convention. If the confessional forces have a large majority, you could see many successful floor nominations. If the convention turns out to be closely divided, it would be difficult to get floor nominations through. If the delegate count matches the nominations, the maneuvers will be coming fast and furious.

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