At a committee meeting of the BKA this evening it was suggested that the County BKA proposes to the British BKA that, at their Annual Delegates’ Meeting, voting could be done by ‘proxy’. The idea behind this is that if, for some reason, the appointed delegate is unable to attend, the County’s votes could be cast by post or email.
I don’t think that ‘proxy’ is the correct term for this as already substitutes are permitted so long as the BBKA is notified in time (24 hours in advance of the meeting I think). It would have been useful the year I was unable to attend because of a broken leg. I’ve forgotten whether a substitute was sent or not. As the ADM is always held way up north in early January it is conceivable that snow would make it difficult to drive the 167 miles to get there but that would apply to lots of delegates simultaneously and there probably wouldn’t be sufficient notice of the weather conditions to organise voting by post or email or on-line conferencing.
The whole point of sending delegates to meetings is that they can hear and participate in debates and, unless mandated by their Associations to vote in a particular way on a particular proposition, make up their own minds when they’ve heard all the evidence and arguments. Otherwise you might as well do it by post! Fortunately, in my County at least, there are few occasions when I am told in advance which way to vote: it’s a bit like telling somebody sitting on a jury what their verdict is to be before they arrive at Court.
I understand, but have never experienced, that modern technology allows for ‘video conferencing’. That may be a way forward for those who are unable to attend in person, indeed, the whole elbow to elbow meeting might be replaced by this method. It would save a lot of travelling time – 7 hours for me – fuel and expense. The down-side would be the absence of ‘networking’ opportunities.