Monday, November 26, 2018

Voting in ACS elections

From this week's C&EN, this interesting comment from Attila Pavlath:
I congratulate our recently elected national officers and thank them for their willingness to lead the society and build our future. However, three aspects of our elections greatly concern me.

1. Only 14,000 members voted, which is at best 10% if we assume that foreign members did not vote. In 1971, 39% voted! Are the remaining 90% satisfied with our direction or just would like something different? This should be thoroughly studied.
It'd be really interesting to know what the peak voter participation is - I suspect it's below 50%, but I dunno. (It'd also be really interesting to understand what voting in civic organizations has done over the last 50 years - I bet that's fallen as well.) 

6 comments:

  1. Maybe more people would vote if you got a sticker...just saying.

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  2. 1) There are no stakes whatsoever. 2) Very few of the voters know any of the candidates. 3) The candidate's positions are pretty much boilerplate. Honestly, when did you ever see two ACS Presidential candidates offer drastically different directions for the ACS?

    That's why no one votes.

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    Replies
    1. The ACS doesn't want to admit that they're really a publishing company pretending to be a professional association.

      I'm involved in a much smaller (but real) professional association, and I wish we had enough people interested in volunteer leadership roles to have an actual election!

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  3. There was an ACS presidential candidate years ago who pointed out the real problem - a dearth of jobs for chemists following a decade of massive layoffs and massive outsourcing to foreign countries. He was attempting to build a platform to actually address this issue. I cannot recall his name. He received my vote...and lost the election. I haven't voted since. The candidates are, as The Iron Chemist describes above, all the same year after year, and give job-seekers the standard unhelpful responses.

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    Replies
    1. Wasn't it Pavlath himself? It was more than a few years ago.

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    2. There were a number of ACS presidential candidates since 2010 who took on member unemployment as their #1 issue. Bryan Balazs is the one that I can think of that lost (twice?). Donna Nelson and Peter Dorhout have both had employment has a top three issue (top 1 for Nelson, can't remember for Dorhout.)

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