Guidelines for the Conduct of Election Campaigns and the Mandate of the Elections Committee

 

1.   It is understood that the Elections Committee will recommend revisions to these guidelines as more experience is accumulated.  All Guidelines and changes as approved by the Board will be communicated to the IPA membership.

 

2.   In general, the candidates for election are expected to conduct themselves in a manner commensurate with the dignity of the office they aspire to hold.  This is meant to help those who are participating in the campaign or who are Members making observations to form a judgement whether to communicate their concerns to the Committee Chair.

 

Self Declaration Letters

3.   Broomhills will ask each candidate for election to sign a letter in which they agree to abide by the Guidelines as established by the Board and as they are described here.  The letters shall include a reference to having received and read these Guidelines and the Committee’s Mandate.  To the extent that they are able, the candidates will acquaint their supporters with the Guidelines as well.

 

Conduct

4.   These guidelines are established to preserve a positive tone in the conduct of the entire election process.  The Guidelines apply at any time before an IPA election, during it, and after it is concluded,  For instance, it would be inappropriate for negative comment to be allowed about any candidate well before, or after an election is concluded.  Thus there is no time limit regarding the application of these guidelines.

 

5.   Negative statements Initiating, promulgating, or promoting negative statements or allegations about a candidate is prohibited and to be considered a matter worthy of report or complaint to the IPA Elections Committee.  If an IPA Member learns about such an allegation from another, it should be reported to the Committee.  The negative statement or allegation should not be conveyed to the candidate as this will be viewed as equivalent to spreading the information.  The Chair and members of the Elections Committee will make all efforts to stop such allegations from spreading and to identify the source of the negative campaigning.  This procedure applies to all negative statements and allegations, whether they are in written form, oral communications, or by electronic messages such as email.

 

6.   Funding of Campaigns No funds are to be solicited from any source for the purposes of election campaigning.  No campaigning should take place while on IPA business.  However, in the interests of fairness and discouragement of excessive campaigning, no candidate should exceed US$20,000 (twenty thousand US Dollars) or its equivalent in personal expenditure.  This figure is a guideline that candidates are expected to honour rather than a rigidly enforced rule.

 

7.   Campaign literature is defined as any material which actively supports any particular candidate or candidates.  It may only be positive in tone. 

 

8.   Constituent Organizations and Other Psychoanalytic Organisations

‘Other Psychoanalytic Organisations’ includes, but is not limited to, IPA Study Groups, Allied Centres, the regional or sub-regional bodies.  The need for these Guidelines relating to Constituent and other Psychoanalytic Organisations arises from the fact that over half the IPA’s membership are in a very few Constituent Organisations.  These guidelines are therefore intended, amongst other things, to limit the capacity of the very large Constituent Organisations seriously to influence the outome of elections to the detriment of the IPA’s many other Constituent Organisations.  Constituent Organisations and other Psychoanalytic Organisations:

  1. may not distribute campaign literature (defined above) on behalf of any candidates, specifically at the request of any candidates, by any means including electronic listserves or the like, nor may they provide e.mail or other lists of their members, including access to list-serves, in order for candidates or their supporters to distribute campaign literature.
  2. may not endorse or support or appear to endorse or support any specific candidate or candidates above others. 
  3. may however choose to invite candidates to submit written statements or statements on specific topics or responses in writing to specific questions (all or any of which may constitute campaign literature) and distribute them to their members by any menas as long as all candidates for the same position are invited to do so and that all the statements received are distributed to all their members.
  4. may invite candidates to speak to their membership, as long as all candidates for the same position are invited on the same basis and, if they accept, are given equal time.  Summaries of such presentations may be distributed to Constituent Organisations’ members as long as it is done equally and fairly for all candidates and to all their members.
  5. may encourage their members to vote, and may provide lists of candidates standing within the region, provided all such candidates are so listed. 
  6. may also provide their members with information on how to obtain candidate statements from the IPA website or distribute these statements to their members themselves, provided they do so for all candidates in the region and to all their members.

 

9.   Journals and Other Publications Psychoanalytic journals and other publications, such as society newsletters, may invite and publish statements, presentations or interviews with candidates (all or any of which may constitute campaign literature), provided that equal space is given to all candidates for that position.  If any candidates decline to provide such material, the publications must inform their readers of those candidates who were invited to submit material but declined to do so.

 

10. Candidates and Members Candidates and Members may campaign privately, provided they only do so positively in tone.  In supporting themselves or candidates, they may:

  1. Lobby individual groups of Members, or Members may do so on behalf of candidates.
  2. Distribute campaign literature or other material to any number of Members, provided it is done in moderation in frequency and length, using distribution lists which are drawn up by or operated by the candidates or their supporters, and not acquired from IPA Constituent or other psychoanalytic organisations.  Repeated mailing or lobbying (more than twice or of excessive length) will be considered a matter worthy of report to the IPA Elections Committee.
  3. Set up their own websites or other electronic forums and inform Members about them.
  4. Lobby at psychoanalytic meetings provided they obtain the prior permission of the meeting organisers.

 

11.  All Board members should abstain from publicly supporting any of the candidates.

Requests for Information and Reports

12. Any IPA Member may seek information from or send a report to the Elections Committee.  The Elections Committee will provide such information as it can, and note reports, taking such action as it judges appropriate.

 

Complaints

13.  Any IPA Member may make a complaint to the Elections Committee.  The Elections Committee will act upon all complaints.  The reporter of a complaint may not remain anonymous to the Chair or to the Committee.  However, that individual may request anonymity when the Chair conveys the complaint to the Executive Committee or the Board or other pertinent groups or individuals.  The Chair is obliged to inform all members of the Committee if a request for anonymity is made.  However, the Chair will make the final decision on whether or not the anonymity should be maintained when communicating to Members outside the Committee.  The reporter of the complaint will be informed of the decision on anonymity.

 

Sanctions and Other Interventions During Election Campaigns

14.  When reports or complaints are made to the Chair or the Elections Committee, the following procedures shall be followed in the order listed below, to the extent required in the Committee’s judgement. 

 

15.  A careful review of the situation, including where appropriate phone or personal interviews with the candidates and others involved will be conducted.  After completion of the review, all members of the Committee will be informed.

 

16.  If appropriate, a letter summarising the review will be sent to the individual or individuals involved in the infraction, detailing the events and the particular infractions involved.  Depending on the Committee’s findings and the responses of the individual or individuals, the Committee may or may not proceed to the step described in paragraph 19 below.

 

17.  Both of the steps in paragraphs 15 and 16 above may be taken by the Committee without additional consultation.

 

18.  The Committee may choose to consult the Ethics Committee, if the issue falls within the terms of the IPA’s Ethical Procedures, prior to proceeding to the step described in paragraph 19 below.  If the Ethics Committee upholds the complaint, then the Committee should proceed to the step described in paragraph 19 below.

 

19.  It is recognised that in many instances the facts surrounding an incident may be difficult or impossible to ascertain.  However, after careful review of the situation, the Committee may decide on one of the following:

(a)  to drop the incident,

(b)  to mediate between the parties and take appropriate action where the parties involved and the Committee are generally satisfied with the solution reached,

(c)  to accept a written statement of a candidate that he/she did not authorise a certain action of a supporter.

(d)  To take such action to resolve the issue in the most equitable manner as it judges appropriate subject only to taking legal advice, should this be necessary.

In situations in which conflicting information or insufficient data make a determination difficult, consultation with the Executive Committee or the Board may be sought.

 

20. Subject to legal advice and with the approval of the Board, who may be polled individually for this purpose by email, a candidate’s eligibility for office may be removed or Members or groups of Members may be barred from voting in the election.

 

Reports to the Board

21. When the elections are concluded, all significant reports and all complaints to the Elections Committee should be reported to the Board with recommendations as to changes to the IPA Elections Procedures or other actions considered appropriate. 

Elections Committee Mandate

22.  The Committee on Elections is a Committee of the Board formed with the following functions:

 

23.  It will administer the Guidelines for the Conduct of Election Campaigns, as these Guidelines are established by the Board and as they may be changed from time to time.

 

Methods

24.  The administration of these Guidelines requires that the Committee monitor the conduct of the candidates for election for every office that is voted upon by the Membership of the IPA.  The Committee’s way of working shall be as follows:

 

25.  The Committee members themselves will be in frequent communication through the Chair, by telephone, fax, email, and any other suitable medium of communication, during and throughout each election campaign until after the deadline for receipt of ballots.  If possible, the Committee shall meet in person on any occasion that presents the opportunity, such as a Congress or other meetings.

 

26.  Any Member, candidate for elected office, or IPA Board member may report concerns about or observations of alleged infractions of the current Guidelines for the Conduct of Election Campaigns to the Chair of the Committee.  The Chair is obliged then immediately to inform all members of the Committee and to solicit their opinions about the matter, including what response seems appropriate on the part of the Committee.  The Chair shall next inform all Committee members of all the opinions received in response and offer a proposed course of action.  The Committee members will then vote on the proposal by the Chair or suggest alternatives, which, if agreed to by the Committee members, will then be voted on.  The majority opinion prevailing, the Chair will initiate the agreed action.  The Chair shall keep adequate written or electronic records of all such transactions and provide a summary after each event and/or meeting, and these records and summaries shall be a part of the IPA archives.

 

27.  Such reports to the Chair of concerns or of alleged infractions should contain specific information regarding the candidate involved, the actions or behaviour of concern, the date, time, and duration and whether other persons are involved in the alleged infraction.

 

Composition of the Committee

28.  The Committee shall consist of nine members, three from each region.  In this way, three committee members in each Region should be able to monitor the activity in their region.

 

29.  The terms of the Committee members shall be staggered.  Three members shall be appointed by the President every two years, one member from each Region.  Each member shall serve a six-year term and no member may serve more than one six year term (except where he/she is a replacement for another member – see paragraph 30 below).

 

30.  Members who cannot serve the complete term shall be replaced by presidential appointment.  A member who has been appointed to replace a member unable to complete his/her term, may be appointed to continue for a full six-year term provided he/she has not served longer than 2 years as a replacement member.  A replacement member who has not served longer than 2 years as a replacement member may also be subsequently appointed for a full six-year term at a later stage.

 

31.  The Chair of the Committee will be appointed by the President from existing members of the Committee (at the time the Chair takes up office) from three names submitted by the Committee.  The Chair is appointed for a two  year term as part of his/her full six year Committee term. 

 

Reporting to the Board

32.  The Committee shall report when necessary to the Board regarding its functioning and experience and with any suggestions concerning modification of its Guidelines and its Mandate.