With regard to supplying a head count of supporters, I cannot give you verifiable figures for the simple reason that we have been prevented from participating in a fair election. However, there is ample evidence that we command considerable support. For example, on January 10th we publicly announced a press conference at which Arild Remmereit was to speak and we made no attempt to selecte the people who attended. There was standing room only for the 225 people who showed up and it was obvious to all that a substantial majority of those present were opposed to the RPO Board. Maestro Remmereit received an enthusiastic standing ovation and as speaker after speaker made points in his favor, the spontaneous applause was ample proof that an overwhelming majority of those in the room felt that we were representing their opinions. In essence, our position was endorsed by a voice vote!
A further indication of our strong following was at the annual meeting of members held on January 23rd in Hatch Hall. Severa times during this meeting, there was an opportunity for the members to express their pleasure or displeasure at what they heard and once again, there was no doubt that the supporters of our position far outnumbered those who approved of the Board's actions.
I draw your attention, by the way, to the fact that the Board didn't announce Remmereit's firing until the day AFTER the annual meeting. Some interesting conclusions can be drawn from this which are beyond the scope of our current discussion.
With regard to representative democracy, you say that we know that the RPO board was elected by a majority of the ballots cast by eligible voters. I think that any fair-minded person would conclude that the election you refer to was far from fair. First of all, the ballot contained only names of nominees chosen by the board's Governance Committee which meant that the membership had no chance to vote for people that supported our position. Even if a substantial majority had chosen to express disapproval by leaving their ballot blank, it would have had no effect on the outcome. The Board's candidates had to win! There is a striking resemblance of this situation to that of "elections" held in countries ruled by dictators!
So you might ask why we didn't put up our own candidates. The answer to this is very simple. The deadline for submitting alternate candidates is fixed by the bylaws at October 31st. Our desire to submit an alternative slate arose only after Remmereit's contract was summariarly terminated and this didn't occur until November 28th, well past the deadline.
The only thing that the RPO Community Supporters group is asking is to be able to face the membership with a fair election in which there is a competing slate of candidates. Such an election would be a referendum on the current board's actions and qualifications to lead. I am quite certain that if this occurred, we would win by an overwhelming majority. It escapes me why the current leadership is so stridently opposed to holding a new election in which competing visions for the RPO can be submitted to the membership for a fair vote. This is really all that we are asking!
You say any information I can provide that sheds light on the validity of our claim to represent anyone other than ourselves will be most welcome. I take it that you're saying that we represent no one but ourselves. If this is what you mean, all I have to do is to find one person who claims we represent him or her and you should be satisfied. I feel confident that we can do much, much better than that and I'm confident that in a fair election, we would come up with a substantial majority of members who would vote to make a significant change in the current RPO Board. Why can't we try?
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