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Re: Pay to vote

Poster: "H L. Falls" <hlf@holmes.acc.virginia.edu>

> 	Unto the Merry rose, does Niall Dolphin send greetings!
> 	I would like to know what people would think about a kingdom policy of pay
> to vote. 
> When the various baronies take a vote for their next Baron and Baroness,
> some of them 
> offer a part of the official polling to go to non-members to get their
> opinions.

   Weeellll, I admit that as part of the "Old As Dirt" (tm) faction
(yes, I (vaguely) remember Gyrth's and Melisande's first reign, back
when this was the East...) I am more than a bit bemused by the tendency
to dismiss folks who work their butts off for the local group without
choosing to pay Milpitas for the privilege as "freeloaders".  We've 
also heard from at least one *paid* member who admits that he hasn't 
been very active for several years.  And what about those who live in
one locality but prefer to play in another?  Active locally, paid up
nationally, but "turfed out" because their mail box is in the "wrong"
zip code?

   In other words, while I consider the "official" mailing list to be a 
good starting point, it should *not* be the only consideration in local 

>           In no other 
> non profit organization that I know of does this happen. If I went into a
> local chapter of the 
> Red Cross as someone off the street, or even as a concerned citizen, and
> insisted that I should have 
> a vote on the election of the local president of the chapter without being
> a member, I would be laughed 
> out.

   Ummm, this isn't the Red Cross???  (Last I looked, anyway...)

>      More then once in the SCA has a polling been given and every signature
> ( including children and pets ) had been utilized to influence an
> appointment or a decision. 

   And we've also heard of factions "stuffing the ballot box" by buying 
associate memberships for folks who weren't very active...

>                            A pay to vote policy as far as I could tell
> would give a better idea to the crown of what the opinion is of the more
> active members of a group,

   No, that's *paid* members.  Not necessarily the same thing as "more
active" members.

>                            or it would increase in membership because it
> would make people get off their behinds. 

   So let's encourage membership by taking away people's right to 
express an opinion and then offering to rent it back to them???  
This was one of the biggest problems with the "pay-to-play" idea
a few years back -- folks who had been able to attend events whether
they tithed to Milpitas or not had that right taken away and offered
back "for a small fee"...

>                                          As far as thoes people who
> consider themsleves too poor for a membership... an associate membership is
> not that expensive, and even at my poorest in college did I manage to pay..
> this was even before requirements for a membership for fighting.

(and in a later post you rephrase this:)
>                 but if you cant come up with $20 a year for somthing you
> really want to be
> active in, your a slug 

   Niall, do you *really* intend to be this offensive?  Dammit, it's
*my* money.  *I* worked for it.  *I* will decide how it should best 
be spent.  Plenty of times I settle for hamburger, not because I *can't*
afford steak, but because I *won't*.  Lots of other things get left on
the shelf as well, not because I *can't* afford them, but because I 
don't consider them to be a good buy.

   And membership in the SCA, Inc. is *not* a good buy.  Consider --
a sustaining membership is $35.  For that you get TI and your kingdom
newsletter ($12, last I looked) and corporate insurance (the value
of which is hotly debated, but let's assume... cost about $2, last
I heard).  That's $14, the other $21 is overhead.  That's $3 in 
administrative costs for every $2 worth of services!

   And _associate_ membership is *lots* worse -- for $20, you get
$2 worth of insurance!  That's *$18* to administrate $2 worth of 
service!  The Federal government would be proud!

   And despite that, I'm a sustaining member and have been (with
lapses) for quite a few years (membership #8978).  Why?  In part 
because I want to get the Acorn and TI, and in part because I'm 
willing to concede that the insurance *may* be useful.  And how do 
I justify spending what I myself have called a bad buy?  Well, it's 
something that I *can* do that (maybe) benefits the Society (the folks 
around me, not the corporation).  Maybe my paying a bit too much frees 
up a bit of money for someone with more talent than I to do something 
with.  Call it hospitality, generosity, or perhaps courtesy, if you will...

> in service to setting off bombs,
> 				Niall Dolphin
> 				(the artist formerly knows as Niall MacFarlane)

--Landi Haraldsson (nobody in particular)
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