AS MY NAME WAS MENTIONED IN ANTHONY ROWLEY’S LETTER PUBLISHED IN the July 2010 issue of Number 1 Shimbun, I would like to make a few remarks on why the request of sanctioning a review of the ballots was rejected by the immediate past president.
First, the usual practice in any election is to review or recount the ballots only in cases when the margin of difference in voting is very narrow. The wide margin in our case leaves no option for a recount, as this would simply imply that we have a total distrust of those who were assigned the responsibility of conducting the election.
As outgoing president, it was my duty to select the Election Committee and I am confident that those chosen did an impeccable job. Given the vast difference in votes, allowing a recount could only be seen as an insult to these respected volunteers.
Second, voting in Club elections is a matter of secrecy of members that has to be respected. Any recount involving the winners and losers or their friends and colleagues would require the ballots to be checked by those involved in the process of recounting. Since our e-ballots and those sent by fax include the names of members, this would simply expose the identity of some members showing how they had cast their ballots, a process that leaves the possibility of using the information for other purposes.
At the end of his letter, Mr. Rowley speculates that “efficient marshalling of votes” was employed in the recent campaign. I believe this was indeed the case. From what I could see, though, with two distinct ‘sides’ contending, Mr. Rowley’s camp worked just as hard to marshal votes. The other side was simply more efficient at this.
I agree with Anthony Rowley, however, that collective campaigning is an issue that should be considered in advance of our next FCCJ election.
Note: No. 1 Shimbun will no longer print letters on FCCJ politics. As the magazine will focus on external audiences from now, the Board has decided this is no longer the right venue for airing our internal laundry.