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Eclipse
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« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2009, 06:56:07 PM »

This would be absolutely wonderful.  As I've said before, I've seen this system work fairly well in the CG Aux, another paramilitary style organization.  And it is the way almost every club or other private organization in the country works.  Sure, there will be problems, but there are problems now.

Last time I checked CAP was not a democracy, nor should it be. Ever try to get anything done at a condo association board where there's a few naysayers?

Its bad enough I have to herd cats in a lot of cases just to get anything done, if my position as a commander was subject to the whim of the membership, we're done.

The strength of our program is the objective nature of the progression, ES taskings, and evaluations, which includes unpopular things like SUI's - so as an elected commander I'd have to worry that my objective, negative evaluation of a unit would result in my losing the next election?

Also, comparing the CGAux to CAP simply doesn't work - they are a different animal, with a much more limited mission, and a different relationship to their parent service (note I didn't say "better", I said "different").  You might as well compare us to the ACA or the CIC - just because an organization has a paramilitary structure doesn't mean they are an appropriate comparison.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2009, 07:27:59 PM »

I understand why some are scared of introducing democracy in our organization, but there is nothing unique about CAP or its members that wouldn't be able to make this work.  It is always better to have the politics out in the sunshine rather than hidden in the shadows as it is now.  And when it comes down to it, having elections will actually reduce the type of politics that people hate (backstabbing, sucking-up) since they people that use those tactics won't be able to use them anymore.  They'll have to concentrate on doing such a good job that a majority thinks they are worthy of promotion. 

We've got several other threads on electing CAP officials, so I won't go any deeper on this particular issue. 

 
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Eclipse
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« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2009, 08:05:31 PM »

And when it comes down to it, having elections will actually reduce the type of politics that people hate (backstabbing, sucking-up) since they people that use those tactics won't be able to use them anymore.  They'll have to concentrate on doing such a good job that a majority thinks they are worthy of promotion. 

You kidding, right?

Right now a commander (generally) serves at the pleasure of his next higher echelon, with no specific requirement to bow to pressure from his subordinates, and in that environment people on this board purport that CAP has serious issues with nepotism, pencil-whipping, and prejudicial treatment of people not on the "A" list.

You think that gets better when the commander has to depend on his subordinates to maintain his job?
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Spike
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« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2009, 08:08:27 PM »

You think that gets better when the commander has to depend on his subordinates to maintain his job?

That is just that.  There are term limits on serving in a Corporate capacity in CAP isn't there?

If so, then nothing to worry about "commanders having to depend on his subordinates".  MAYBE they should start working for their subordinates.......that would be a positive change!!
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RiverAux
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« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2009, 08:12:10 PM »

Quote
You think that gets better when the commander has to depend on his subordinates to maintain his job?
Its better to be accountable to many than to one.  You can be the worst squadron commander in the world and not do one thing for any of your members, but as long as your group/wing commander likes you, you keep your job. 

Our biggest problems have always been related to not taking care of our folks, not breaking the rules to help them out. 
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Eclipse
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« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2009, 08:17:58 PM »

Again you guys are missing the point, and since this is never going to happen, theres no reason for this discussion.

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RiverAux
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« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2009, 08:55:05 PM »

Quote
Last time I checked CAP was not a democracy, nor should it be. Ever try to get anything done at a condo association board where there's a few naysayers?
A board is not the same as electing someone with authority to act.  The proposal is not to govern by committee, but to choose our leaders. 
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Ned
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« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2009, 09:49:15 PM »

As we've discussed before, from the CP perspective, electing the wing commanders would a wonderful thing.

The proposal states that the wing commanders will be elected by the membership of the wing.  And since, statistically, the majority of members are either cadets or CP-supporting seniors, think of the positive changes that this process will produce on CP budgets and support! ;)

Having said that, this particular proposal has some fuzzy areas that are a little troubling.

For instance, while wing commanders are elected by the wing membership, it notes that region commanders would "have command authority" over the members in their regions and "exercise authority" as the "senior corporate officers" in their region.

There is nothing in the proposal that would prevent a region commander in the exercise of her/his "command authority" and / or their authority as the senior corporate officer from simply firing the wing commander elected by the members.  Or terminating the wing commander's membership.  Indeed, it is implied in 13 b that the Region Commander can do so by "notifying the wing commanders concerned (both the new commander and the commander being replaced.)"

Kinda defeats the whole exercise of democracy in the first place.

Equally mysterious is why the author believes that - particularly in large wings - the average member will have significant knowledge about wing commander candidates in order to intelligently cast their votes.  How would a wing commander campaign be run?  Who pays for that? Some argue that we already have a problem with only "people of means" being able to be a wing commander as it is.

13 d. says that chaplains cannot be wing commanders.  I guess I understand why that might be, but does that mean that other professionals could be?  Like doctors and lawyers?  In the RM, such specialists can only command medical and legal units.  What's the difference? Why pick on the chaplains as being uniquely  "un-command worthy?"  Strange.

I predict either a very long or a very short floor debate on this one.

Ned Lee
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Eclipse
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« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2009, 10:04:35 PM »

Being able to cast a vote doesn't mean there is anyone you want to vote for.  In a lot of cases there are only two or three people in an entire wing, at any given time, even capable of being a Wing CC.
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Cecil DP
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« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2009, 10:16:41 PM »

Funny, All the Corporate Officers move up to BG, But we who have 40+ years as members, 20+ yeasr as LtCol's are still not able to make Colonel. The Wilson Award should count for something.

As for the election of Commanders, A more reasonable alternative is that a short list is selected by nomination from the Wing membership, and than a choice made by the Region Commander
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Michael P. McEleney
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Major Carrales
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« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2009, 10:17:48 PM »

So, does this "democracy" thing mean than people can be elected willy-nilly?  So because "Lt Col U. Betcha" is popular, but is a schmuck who lacks the ability, knowledge and may or may not meet the criteria, they can be elected?  While "Lt Col U. Ima Capofficer," who is an able administrator, but is from some "backwater" part of the Wing doesn't stand a chance because they are not from a locale deemed "cosmopolitan" enough.

Those of you pushing for this are asking to open CAP up to things so political and agendistic, with people forming factions and infighting to a point that very well may threaten the future of the organization.  To think otherwise is to be naive; just the history of the last five years is evidence enough of what is possible in a closed system, much less in one where the cesspool of political hucksterism will be perfumed by the veneer of "democracy."

There are forces at work with such machinations in motion as it stands now that regularly try to unseat sitting CAP Officials for what the Declaration of Independence would call "light and transient causes" that, in a system where there were an election process, we would see an amplification of said machinations that would shatter this organization.  What's more, it would interfere with Mission readiness. 

Mark my words, in an organization like CAP movements and ideas need to be grassroot and work their way up, but authority, direction and command must flow down the chain.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2009, 10:24:14 PM by Major Carrales » Report to moderator   Logged
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RiverAux
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« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2009, 10:25:06 PM »

If we were an actual military organization with a great leadership development system perhaps our current system would make sense.  As it is we are a paramilitary organization where instant obedience to orders isn't a part of the job.  That being the case, there is no reason our organization could not have an element of democracy to it. 

Heck, we already have democracy in CAP, but it only involves a few dozen people. 
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Major Carrales
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« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2009, 10:29:46 PM »

If we were an actual military organization with a great leadership development system perhaps our current system would make sense.  As it is we are a paramilitary organization where instant obedience to orders isn't a part of the job.  That being the case, there is no reason our organization could not have an element of democracy to it. 

Heck, we already have democracy in CAP, but it only involves a few dozen people.

Our current system is fine.  Representative Democracy is fine.  Please, RIVERAUX, heed Eclipses' advise to refrain from trying to turn CAP into the Coast Guard Aux, they are two different organizations developed from two different models.

There is no need for the type of system you seek, all it would do is give people a chance to question the person who are elected and promote "I didn't vote for him, why should I listen."  I already see this in our national election system. 

What will exist are various factions that will spend half the time trying to get their people elected and the other half trying to sabotage their opponent's administration so facilitate the first objective.

Last thing we need are people campaigning for Office in CAP instead of devoting that time to Mission Readiness. I can see it now, people passing around "vote for me" cards at SAR missions and Wing Conventions turning into nominating conventions complete with buttons, signs and boater hats.  Think about what that would do for our image.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2009, 10:32:49 PM by Major Carrales » Report to moderator   Logged
"We have been given the power to change CAP, let's keep the momentum going!"

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Smithsonia
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« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2009, 10:34:02 PM »

Sparky; (Sorry this post was made while the two previous posts came on board. SO, it is slightly redundant)

The Pope and the Supreme Court Justices are elected and so was Gen. Courter... or at least voted on by the BOG. Every General Officer in the military is voted on by Congress too.

The size of the elective body is the actual topic. Not if election or democracy is part of the equation. As far as I know, all other things being equal, most everyone has some elective body/authority/constituency that they report to and know that this body can take action against them or remove them too. In its way democracy is less about garnering of power and more the distribution of impotency. Everybody has someone (or thing they owe) everyone has something that has power over them. For lack of a better term it's called "the system."
« Last Edit: August 16, 2009, 10:39:32 PM by Smithsonia » Report to moderator   Logged
With regards;
ED OBRIEN
Major Carrales
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« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2009, 10:39:31 PM »

Sparky;
The Pope and the Supreme Court Justices are elected and so was Gen. Courter... or at least voted on by the BOG. Every General Officer in the military is voted on by Congress too.

The size of the elective body is the actual topic. Not if election or democracy is part of the equation. As far as I know, all other things being equal, most everyone has some elective body/authority/constituency that they report to and know that this body can take action against them or be removed by. In its way democracy is less about garnering of power and more the distribution of impotency. Everybody has someone (or thing they owe) everyone has something that has power over them. For lack of a better term it's called "the system."

I am member of fraternal organizations, been on a Building Association, participated in Teacher Site Based Management committees and a number of other such places for the "common good" where this sort of political "system" is in place.  It does not solve the "back stabbing" and the like, it only promotes the divisions I mention.  So much so that people will betray friendships, destroy opponents and wreck the overall course of the organization to where it nearly collapses.

I cannot...I will not... support the idea of introducing this sort of thing to the Greater Civil Air Patrol.  I'll say it again, I cannot allow a Civil Air Patrol where the one where the cesspool of political hucksterism will be perfumed by the veneer of "democracy."
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"We have been given the power to change CAP, let's keep the momentum going!"

Major Joe Ely "Sparky" Carrales, CAP
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bosshawk
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« Reply #35 on: August 16, 2009, 11:29:42 PM »

Opinion: I would say that I can identify a number of former and serving Wing Commanders who would shudder at the thought of having to be elected by the members of their respective wings.  They simply know that they would not have been elected to their current positions, given the choice of their wing members.  There are also likely some Wing Kings who are very popular and could get elected to any office that they chose to seek.

As for Region Commanders, the politics that exist in CAP will not likely allow this proposal to happen.

In my opinion, this proposal will get absolutely nowhere.
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Paul M. Reed
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CadetProgramGuy
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« Reply #36 on: August 16, 2009, 11:30:42 PM »

Ummm Yeah, 18a will never fly with MaBlue....
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RiverAux
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« Reply #37 on: August 16, 2009, 11:31:21 PM »

Quote
Our current system is fine.  Representative Democracy is fine.  Please, RIVERAUX, heed Eclipses' advise to refrain from trying to turn CAP into the Coast Guard Aux, they are two different organizations developed from two different models.
As I am someone with experience in both organizations you might try listening when someone tells you that it could work in CAP.   I might just know what I'm talking about.

Please state why democracy works in CG Aux (and almost every other voluntary organization out there), but would fail in CAP.  The people are exactly the same.  The sorts of activities undertaken by the organizations are quite similar.  Both are accountable for property given to them by a military service.  Both are paramilitary organizations. 
 
What makes CAP so special that it can ONLY be run by a person elected by a committee who then gets to choose replacements for those very same committee members and wherein the committee members have nearly unchecked power within their home groups?   Why is it better for Wing or Squadron leaders to be selected by outsiders who may not know the person they are choosing at all?   

If we were in a business or in the military where leaders are actually held accountable for most of what they do, maybe this would work for CAP.  But we all know that there are only two ways to lose your command in CAP:  1) Fail to get along with your superior (whether your fault or his) or 2) Make a MASSIVE mistake. 

CAP leaders don't get relieved of their jobs for non-performance.  If you're a squadron commander who has poor meetings, horrible retention, and no one getting qualified for ES you're probably going to stay in that job until you decide to quit as long as you're not making waves and are turning in your paperwork more or less on time.  And if you're in that squadron there is nothing you can do about it except to start a backstabbing campaign to make the Group/Wing Commander lose confidence in the squadron commander or you can quit.  Most decide to quit. 

Thats no way to run an organization.

Are there going to be problems with more democracy in CAP.  Sure.  But they will be a lesser evil than the problems we've got now.

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RiverAux
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« Reply #38 on: August 16, 2009, 11:48:28 PM »

Campaigning for Wing Commander?  Probably would generally consist of posting resumes and their goals and objectives.  It would be a big positive if candidates actually went out and visited squadrons in their Wing as part of the campaign so they actually have an idea of what is going on elsewhere.  Wing Commanders are supposed to do that sort of thing while in office, but rarely do. 

All in all, I'd rather have a Wing Governor than a Wing King.

That being said, I think I'm not going to be able to support this proposal as written.  I think voting should be limited to senior members and not be open to cadets. 
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Major Carrales
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« Reply #39 on: August 17, 2009, 12:19:18 AM »

As I am someone with experience in both organizations you might try listening when someone tells you that it could work in CAP.   I might just know what I'm talking about.
I don't make experts out of people just because they have "stepped in two puddles made of two different liquids" and seen no difference.  Such logic would mean that I could join the USCGAux next week and make the same assertion.

The fact is that the USCGAux and CAP differ far more than they share similarities.


Quote
Please state why democracy works in CG Aux (and almost every other voluntary organization out there), but would fail in CAP.  The people are exactly the same.  The sorts of activities undertaken by the organizations are quite similar.  Both are accountable for property given to them by a military service.  Both are paramilitary organizations. 

I don't have to state anything based on the hypothetical, however, if you want to walk down the disingenuous path then the USAF should be run democratically.  The people in it are all human as we are, they have similar activities, they fly aircraft and they are accountable for property given to them for military service from the US Congress and by default, taxpayers.

No, River...it is not the same.  I have made the point for 5 years here and at the Civil Air Portal that you cannot merely "graft" the policies and procedures of another organization on CAP as if you were putting dough in a mold. 
 
Quote
What makes CAP so special that it can ONLY be run by a person elected by a committee who then gets to choose replacements for those very same committee members and wherein the committee members have nearly unchecked power within their home groups?   Why is it better for Wing or Squadron leaders to be selected by outsiders who may not know the person they are choosing at all?
 

I'll tell you what makes it so special...it is my CIVIL AIR PATROL, the organization that I joined and that has worked for quite a while.  I will not allow people to try to change its nature just because a "sister" auxiliary runs in another matter.  I will not turn the helm of the Civil Air Patrol over to people who would turn it into a continuing contest for Col's eagles and shoulder stars instead of working to get the missions going.

And you need to read all the facts.  Squadron Commanders will not be elected by the squadron members, they will continue to be appointed by the Wing Commander.   So, I imagine, if some Wing Commander is elected to which I have been vocal in my criticism or if I supported his opponent I can expect to be relieved of command if that Wing Commander proves to be a better political HACK than my candidate.  Really...
 

Quote
If we were in a business or in the military where leaders are actually held accountable for most of what they do, maybe this would work for CAP.  But we all know that there are only two ways to lose your command in CAP:  1) Fail to get along with your superior (whether your fault or his) or 2) Make a MASSIVE mistake. 

So, you are saying the the "CAP officers in the field" are in a position to make informed judgments on those matters...because information is simply so clear and present that even a guy unconnected to the internet can vote in accordance with the facts?  Ridiculous.

I will tell you what will happen, the rumor mill that is ever at work here will become a forth blade on the tri-prop as countless CAP Officers with some petty spite or grudge will make an attempt to "actually held accountable for most of what they do."  It will be Salem Village 1692 and the McCarthy Hearings every election cycle.

In the business world, that you are holding up as a model here and the military if you fail to "get along" with superiors and work against them then you are gone...in the former you are looking at classified ads and in the latter you are sitting in a cell in Levenworth.     


Quote
CAP leaders don't get relieved of their jobs for non-performance.  If you're a squadron commander who has poor meetings, horrible retention, and no one getting qualified for ES you're probably going to stay in that job until you decide to quit as long as you're not making waves and are turning in your paperwork more or less on time.  And if you're in that squadron there is nothing you can do about it except to start a backstabbing campaign to make the Group/Wing Commander lose confidence in the squadron commander or you can quit.  Most decide to quit. 

Again, Squadron Commanders are not going to be elected, they will continue to be appointed. Inform yourself please.
Quote
Are there going to be problems with more democracy in CAP.  Sure.  But they will be a lesser evil than the problems we've got now.

Says who...you?  Because you are a Auxie?  I'm not willing to take that risk.  I'm not willing to play with the structure of the organization because on National Commander may or may not have committed some malfeasance.  Nor will I toy around with if because of the countless "issues" that people bring up here, real and imagined.

The number of assertions posted up here that are based on sheer speculation, everybody knows" statements, unwarranted/unchecked facts, leaks from sources unidentified that may also be real and imagined...lead those trained in debate and administration dumbfounded.

What is needed is a better application of the current system, not a design that will open a Dandora's Box of taking the worst of the Status Quo (political machinations) and amplifying them system wide.


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"We have been given the power to change CAP, let's keep the momentum going!"

Major Joe Ely "Sparky" Carrales, CAP
Commander
Coastal Bend Cadet Squadron
SWR-TX-454
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