Thursday, September 15, 2011

Well, I didn't vote for him!

It seems that the bonus post by Bro. Matt Blaisdell, regarding the No. 1 Pin, has caused quite the stir. I'm seeing commentary on it all over the internet. Mr. Blaisdell has apparently struck a chord with many of you and rightfully so. As members and leaders of the greatest organization for young men in the world, it is our duty to ensure that the leaders we elect (both directly and indirectly) know what our opinions are. If we don't tell them what we think, then we can't expect them to do what we want.

One of the unique things about DeMolay International is the way it is organized. The young men have a truly republican system for electing their representatives (at least in PA.) The members elect their Councilors in the local Chapter. In most cases, those Councilors represent the Chapter at the annual Convention. They then vote for the six elected State Officers. Of those six ESO's, two go to the annual DeMolay International Session and take part in the DeMolay Congress  (usually the SMC and DSMC.) The Congress is then tasked with electing the International Master Councilor and the International Congress Secretary. So, in a round about way, every DeMolay in PA has a say in who the IMC is, as they have elected the people who vote for him. This system is very much like our own government. We elect representatives who are supposed to vote in favor of our views as it pertains to laws (although we know this is easier said than done!)

On the other hand, we have DeMolay International (formerly known as the International Supreme Council.) This body is composed of around 200 Active Members / Executive Officers (who wear gold collars) and a varying number of Deputy Members (who wear silver collars.) Local participants in the DeMolay program don't get to vote for these individuals. Rather, Executive Officers and members of the national body submit nominations, who are then passed through a committee. If they are approved, they go to the floor of DeMolay International for final election. So, in reality, the national level leaders of DeMolay are part of a network of known supporters who have been recognized by the current members of the body for their work on behalf of the Order.

It is from the Active Members that the Grand Master, Grand Senior Councilor, Grand Junior Councilor, Grand Treasurer, and Grand Secretary are chosen. All must have been Active Members of the Supreme Council prior to running for office. This means that there is no way that the average Advisor could ever run for these positions. To attain an office at that level you have to have spent years of service in dedication to our Order, have been recognized by someone within the group, and then elevated to an Active Member before you could even ponder such a decision. In this way, the adult leadership of DeMolay International is almost exactly opposite of that of the young men. It is an oligarchy of the chosen who lead and direct us into the future.

Now, please understand that I am not intending to criticize or endorse either form of governance. Rather, I am using it as a tool to demonstrate the different ways that we operate within our own organization. It is my hope that everyone takes time to understand the process. It is only by understanding and working within the system that we can hope to make any improvements or changes.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

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