For a recovering bureaucrat, one of the biggest challenges is coming upon a situation whereby you need to create some guidance, some instructions, for a necessary task. As a cautious soul, for what else would you be as a bureaucrat, the temptation is to be thorough, to reduce risk, to make it easy to manage.
I was reminded the other day that our Regional Vice Chair, a truly wonderful person who has been an inspiration to me in so many ways, a soulmate and a friend, had persuaded the Regional Executive that I should chair a small working group to review our internal election procedures after last year, when we managed to get quite a lot spectacularly wrong, without noticing. I don't blame the Returning Officer, as he was poorly briefed, but it wasn't pretty.
But anyway, I was busy, and never got round to doing anything about it. No, that isn't quite true. Actually, it was more that I wasn't really very engaged.
So, having been reminded that time was running out, I set to work. First, a set of fifteen constitutional amendments, removing references to the late-(un)lamented Regional Assembly and extending the length of term of office for the Regional Executive from one to two years. So far, so good.
The next step was to draft some Returning Officer guidance. Our Regional Constitution, never knowingly read, does have some interesting quirks, but having one two-page document which lists all the things that must be done and/or arranged is a help.
And lastly, election rules. Oh yes, we must have some, mustn't we? Actually, no, we don't. We use the massively over-bureaucratic Federal Party Rules. Not any more...
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