Farming

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Plans to reform IFA vote system suffer setback

Martin Ryan

Published 20/11/2012|05:00

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Reform of the IFA electoral system has suffered a setback after the association's national council deferred on the changes at last week's meeting.

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The proposals were issued to county executives two months ago for discussion and were expected to be decided upon in time for ratification at the IFA AGM in January.

The subject was not listed on the agenda for the meeting, but an attempt was made by a senior national officer to have it disposed of under any other business. However, the motion was objected to since the meeting had already overrun by one hour at this stage and several of the county delegates had left to catch transport connections.

Council members who later learned of the matter were reported to have been furious.

One source said that there was a lot of dissatisfaction among the membership to some of the proposed changes and what appears to have been an attempt to get it through national council without an opportunity for all members to have an input.

The debate centres on a proposal to withdraw voting rights from rank-and-file members for the election of the regional vice-presidents. Instead, the vote will be restricted to branch delegates.

Less contentious proposals include abolishing the position of regional vice-president and replacing it with a new regional chairperson post.

It is also proposed to give increased voting strength to larger branches and introduce new procedures for challenging commodity committee chairpersons.

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