In LCC: Constitutional Considerations – Full Disclosure Please I posted “Carl Vehse”‘s comment about what would be quorum for the October “Special Convention”, and the fact that the Board left out the specific Bylaw details pertaining to holding conventions and special conventions.
It seems Carl’s had some extra time on his hands, because he made another comment with more questions to consider. Specifically, who decides if an extraordinary event has taken place that would merit moving the Convention?
Carl’s comment in full:
Per Statutory Bylaw 9.12, the LCC secretary shall publish at least 90 days prior to the Special Convention the agenda of business to be conducted. This has been done with the publication of Overture 1.01, which amends Statutory Bylaw 9.01 to read:
“A Convention shall be held every four years at a time and place determined by the Board. The Convention may, however, be postponed due to extraordinary events (acts of God, war, terrorism, government regulations, disaster, strikes, civil disorder, pandemic, etc.). In such a case, the Convention is to be held as soon as feasibly possible.”
There are three problems with this proposed amendment in that there is no provision as to
1. what LCC person or group decides an extraordinary event (including the all-encompassing “etc.”) exists;
2. what LCC person or group decides to postpone the Convention due to the existence of an extraordinary event;
3. what LCC person or group decides that the extraordinary event no longer exists, allowing the Board to determine “a time and place” for the postponed Convention.
One might have the notion that the Board would make these three decisions, but Overture 1.01’s WHEREASes and the proposed amended Statutory Bylaw don’t specifically state or even imply this, nor do other Statutory Bylaws. Currently, Bylaw 9.01 sets the four-year requirement for Conventions and then mandates the Board to decide on a time and place for that year’s Quadrennial Convention.
Perhaps these decisions could be made by the Commission on Constitutional Matters and Structure (CCMS) since in its July 9, 2020, ruling on Special Convention delegates, the CCMS seems to have interpreted the phrase “interpret the Statutory Bylaws, the Synodical Constitution, and the Synodical Bylaws” in Synodical Bylaw 2.104 to mean “create out of thin air…”
Personally I am of the opinion that whoever decides a regular convention can’t be held at its appointed time, it should not be the Board of Directors because that would be a conflict of interest. Another group or person should be given responsibility for deciding when a force majeure exists – possibly the unanimous agreement of the Synodical President and Regional Pastors.
Or, since the CCMS’s decided they have the authority of Synod in convention and can unilaterally amend the Synodical documents, we could let the CCMS deal with the rest of Synod’s business and do away with these pesky conventions.
(Need I mention that ignoring the boundies set out by the governing documents was what resuled in the ABC District fiasco? Have we learned nothing?)
A further question I have is this:
If the Special Convention was being called to deliberate on a weightier matter, such as – amending Article 1 of the Constitution, or removing an elected Synod official for cause,
would an “overwhelming majority” of members of Synod be okay with holding a Special Convention with just the fraction of Circuit-appointed delegates under the old structure? Would we not expect to operate under the new Constitution & Bylaws that were approved by an “overwhelming majority” of members of Synod? Or is it just because this is a relatively minor special convention, so we can just use the old rules (or, shall I say, interpret the new rules to sound a lot like the old rules)?