2023/24 YF Election Timeline and Code of Practice
This has been compiled by James Potts (Young Fabians Chair) for the Young Fabians Executive Committee Elections to be held in 2023.
- For the purpose of the election, James Potts as Young Fabians Chair will serve as the Returning Officer and adjudicate. Per convention for YF Chairs, James will not seek re-election to YF Exec, and therefore does not have a conflict of interest. James will be contactable at [email protected]
- Laura Cunliffe-Hall (YF Chair 2021-22) has agreed to support as Assistant Returning Officer.
- The Returning Officer will carry out their roles in communication with Fabians staff - particularly the General Secretary, Finance & Operations Manager, and/or Membership Officer - where appropriate.
TIMELINE FOR CONDUCT OF THE ELECTION
1. 31 May 2023: Members must have joined by or on this date to be eligible to stand and vote in this election.
- Members must also be fully paid-up on 1 September to be eligible to stand and vote; and be under the age of 31 on 5 September 2023 to be eligible to stand.
- Fabian Society staff will be responsible for conducting membership validation checks in consultation with the Returning Officer, who will adjudicate on eligibility to stand and vote.
2. Friday 18 August 2023: Notification of the election will be publicised on the Young Fabians’ mailing list and social media channels. An email seeking self-nominations from members will be sent.
3. Friday 18 August 2023: An 'election comms rules' period for Young Fabians officers, networks and groups will begin (see details below). In addition, please note that:
- Young Fabians social media accounts, mailing lists, existing WhatsApp groups, platforms, and data cannot be used to promote or denigrate the candidacy of any YF member at any point. This is the case both before and after the start of the pre-election period.
- Candidates and other members must adhere to the Election Code of Practice listed below. Candidates are also expected to adhere to the YF Officers Code of Conduct.
- A serious breach of these may lead to:
- a candidate or member receiving a written warning;
- a candidate or member losing permission to stand and/or vote;
- other disciplinary action that reaches beyond the campaign.
The Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officer will rule on whether or not there has been a breach and what disciplinary action is appropriate in any given case.
4. 9am Tuesday 5 September 2023: Deadline for members who meet the eligibility criteria above to submit self-nominations to stand in this election. Self-nominations must be submitted to the Fabian staff’s Finance & Operations Manager.
5. Midday, Tuesday 5 September 2023: Public campaigning may begin.
6. Friday 15 September 2023: The voting period will open. The election will be conducted via electronic ballot, run by Fabian Society staff. To participate, members must have provided a current email address. Members who provide an email address during the voting period will be issued with a vote by the Fabian Society.
7. Friday 13 October 2023: The voting period will close.
8. Friday 13 October to early November 2023: The newly elected Exec members will decide amongst themselves which role each of them should fill: the final list will be proposed to the Young Fabians’ AGM as a motion. Meanwhile, the new Exec-elect will hold handover sessions with the outgoing Exec, who will continue to serve until the relevant motion is approved at the Young Fabians’ AGM.
9. Date TBC November 2023: The Young Fabians’ AGM will take place, giving members a chance to vote on the motion to approve the roles for each member of the newly elected Exec. If the motion is approved, the newly elected Exec will immediately assume their new roles, with the new Chair and Secretary respectively chairing and minuting the rest of the AGM.
ELECTION CODE OF PRACTICE
- Campaigning publicly before the afternoon of *Tuesday 5 September 2023*
- Campaigning publicly for a specific officer position on the Executive Committee (e.g. Chair, Anticipations editor, communications officer).
- Sustained and intensive campaigning on behalf of someone else - or publicly endorsing a candidate for a specific officer position. Replies, Shares/Retweets/Quote-Tweets and Likes (etc) reacting to a candidate’s social media posts about the campaign are permitted in moderation, as long as they are not done to disparage their candidacy. This requirement applies to candidates and non-candidates.
- Direct communication with anyone about the election after you’ve been asked not to.
- Excessive repetition of communications (on social media or via email, phone etc).
- Formal or informal ‘slates’.
- Inducements and bribes for votes (e.g. promises of future positions or explicit project support).
- Breaching of pre-election period rules (see below).
- Negative campaigning that (directly or indirectly) criticises or denigrates other candidates.
- Paid advertising or boosted social media.
- Threats, bullying, harassment or discrimination.
- Use of any data provided to you by a third party without the recipient’s permission.
- Use of group chats, social media pages or online forums created for other purposes. The use of unofficial group chats and other channels is permitted in moderation.
- Usage of YF platforms (including Antics, Blog and Podcast), emailing lists, social media channels (including networks/groups' channels), or group chats to promote a particular candidate or campaign against another.
- Use of any Fabian Society membership data (use of this data is not authorised by the Society and is therefore unlawful).
- A campaign statement of up to 200 words, supplied to the Returning Officer for publication.
- A single campaign page on a personal website, social media platform or blog site.
- Direct personal communication with people you already know using your own data.
- Positive campaigning about yourself and your involvement with the Fabians.
- Reasonable use of your own existing social media accounts.
- Respectful, courteous and professional tone and content at all times.
RESTRICTIONS ON YF EXECUTIVE, NETWORK AND GROUP OFFICERS (‘PRE ELECTION PERIOD’)
Pre election period restrictions will begin on Tuesday 5 September 2023 and end on Friday 13 October (inclusive). They will consist of the following:
- All YF Exec members, networks and groups will retain the ability to draft member emails.
- However, the Returning Officer - or any current member of the YF Executive who chooses not to run for re-election to the 2023-24 Executive, will have the final ability to send them and will have final discretion regarding what is appropriate according to the pre-election period before sending.
- Any e-mails sent out will not be in any YF member’s name who is standing in the 2023-24 Executive Committee elections. If a member standing writes an email it must be signed off as ‘Young Fabians’. However, members may be referenced in the main body of text and included in group images used.
- All YF officers who have completed the Fabians Volunteer Data Access Form will continue to be able to create and publish events and draft emails (as stated above the Returning Officer will schedule and authorise emails being sent).
- Any posters for events should not include the names or images of YF members during the pre-election period who are standing in the 2023-24 Executive Committee elections: however, they may include external speakers and members who are not standing for election. Please note that this excludes members with protected characteristics in the event of promoting events during for example Ace Week and Black History Month in October.
- Existing YF WhatsApp groups must not be used for campaigning purposes.
- Candidates or their supporters must not post YF Exec election campaign material in these chats.
- Administrators of these groups must delete any such messages, and in serious/repeated instances must inform the Returning Officer: who may instruct the removal of the relevant participants from this and other YF WhatsApp groups, and/or insist on becoming an Admin of the WhatsApp group.
Blog, Antics, Podcast and other publications:
- Publication of blog posts, podcast episodes and articles that include authors’ names will still be permitted.
- When posting or referring to the article using any of the official YF social media channels, the name of the writer/editor/producer can be used but their social media handles cannot be used if the writer/editor/producer is standing for election to the YF Executive in 2023-24.
- Videos of events will be uploaded to the channel where appropriate by the Returning Officer or other Exec members not re-standing.
- Names of participants, including YF members, may be included in the video description.
X (formerly Twitter):
- No original posts from the YF account will contain any YF member's personal handle if they are standing for election to the YF Executive in 2023-24: except posts announcing the outcome of the election, or contests such as quizzes, raffles etc. However, their name may be mentioned in the text of the post. Posts will also not include event posters that contain the name or image of YF members standing for election (event posters that include names/images of external speakers and other members will continue to be permissible).
- Events that YF members standing for election organise and create will be promoted in the usual manner, without the use of personal handles but with a general text including a link to the event and the name/X handle of relevant YF networks/groups and members not standing. However, the organiser will be allowed to mention their name in the text of the post.
- Access to YF accounts will stay with the Exec members or networks/groups which currently administer them and will be monitored by the Returning Officer.
- If there is a breach of purdah, the Returning Officer will alert the relevant person. If the breach is serious and/or no action is taken to resolve it, the Returning Officer will become the sole admin of the account.
Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn:
- Similarly to X (formerly Twitter), members standing for election may be named in the description of the post, but their accounts cannot be linked: except posts declaring the outcome of the election. Posts will also not include event posters that contain the name or image of YF members standing for election. Event posters that include the name/image of external speakers and YF members not standing will continue to be permitted.
- Group photos that include YF members will be permitted, as long as they are not intended to promote or express support for any particular candidate/s.
- All Networks with these accounts should give admin rights to the YF Chair as Returning Officer if they have not already done so.
- If there is a breach of pre-election rules, the Returning Officer will alert the relevant person. If the breach is serious and/or no action is taken to resolve it, the Returning Officer will become the sole admin of the account. Please note that any perceived breaches must be reported to the Returning Officer.