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benny

Looking for some advice on patrol leader elections

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I'll give you candy if you vote for me.

 

I'll do my best if you vote for me.

 

What's the difference?

 

The 1st is a bribe.

 

The 2nd isn't.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Eagledad,

 

Do key chains and bumper stickers buy your vote? My point is - you should compare apples with apples, not oranges. Consider the worth of a candy bar to a 12 year-old as compared to the worth of a key chain to an adult. Would an adult change his vote for a key chain? Of course, most rational adults would not. Thus, the items that you referenced are not bribes. They are simply a means of advertisingthey make the candidates name visible. Furthermore, when politicians give these items away, they do not make their receipt conditional. On the other hand, a candy bar has a certain degree of value to a 12 year-old. Furthermore, it appears that the gift of the candy bar was conditional i.e., it was a true bribe. To make matters worse, most 12 year-olds do not recognize the real value of their vote. Many would willingly accept the short-term gratification of a candy bar and suffer the long-term consequences of selecting the wrong candidate.

 

In short, this bribe was morally wrong. No doubt in my mind. Certainly you would demand a new election if a politician bought the votes he needed by bribing the homeless and poor with cigarettes (by the way, this has been attempted).

 

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AND - If one did accept the premise that bribes were acceptable, where would it lead? The richest boy wins? As my son might say, "That's crazy talk!"

 

It's clearly wrong. Of course, whether or not there should be an election for an assistant patrol leader is another issue. Personally, it makes more sense to me to have patrol leaders pick their own assistants.

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"making a promise to perform as a leader not a kind of bribe."

 

Barry, do you honestly equate 'promise' with 'bribery'? That would be an interesting comparison to present to a youngster.

 

"Our Troop has had tight SPL elections where the candidates where making promises of good leadership. Promises? Bribes?"

 

If your boundaries for the Scout program are (correctly) the Oath and Law, where in either is 'bribery' and 'promise' equated at all? One of the definitions of the 'bribe' in my Websters is something along the lines of 'anything promised or given as illicit payment". Again, I may be from the old school where we learned the the second part of the definition..."anything given or served to persuade or induce" could not be looked upon lightly in view of the third..."to influence or corrupt by a bribe". And that is and forever will be the view I would take in dealing with Scouts regarding the subject. A 'promise' made by way of a 'bribe' is no promise at all. And although young kids do not usually understand the concept of 'ethical decision making' when they first join Scouts, every little bit we do to encourage making decisions in that light, with a little bit more understanding each and every step along the way, is a positive step, even in the face of the examples of idiocy that politicians and other adults may set for them daily. Perhaps I'm just out of step with the 'new' definitions that society attaches to wrods here and there. But that's alright with me. I kinda like the old ones.

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>>Furthermore, it appears that the gift of the candy bar was conditional i.e., it was a true bribe. >To make matters worse, most 12 year-olds do not recognize the real value of their vote. Many would willingly accept the short-term gratification of a candy bar and suffer the long-term consequences of selecting the wrong candidate.

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>>Perhaps I'm just out of step with the 'new' definitions that society attaches to wrods here and there. But that's alright with me. I kinda like the old ones.

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What is the purpose of an election? Did you take part in a process to elect the best-qualified candidate, who in turn, will attempt to make the troop better? Or, did you allow the process to be corrupted? It sounds as if these Scouts did not take part in a true and fair election that will benefit the troop. Rather, they participated in a corrupted version of the process, in which a few individuals profited. Certainly, even a 12 year-old can understand this. So, perhaps some explaining is in order, but it shouldn't take too much talking for these boys to connect the dots.(This message has been edited by Rooster7)

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Whooooaaaaaa..............

 

"...without it coming out as "well old mr. saltheart is just having a bad day, let's wait until he leaves"

 

Sure didn't mean to sound like that...and if I did, I apologize. Rarely would I purposely attempt to come across that way. But if I did, I'd let you know without you having to guess.....:-)

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>>Sure didn't mean to sound like that...and if I did, I apologize. Rarely would I purposely attempt to come across that way. But if I did, I'd let you know without you having to guess.....:-)

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Great thoughts and questions guys.

 

It seems to me that the Scout Oath was jeopardised as much or more than the Scout Law in this case.

 

There was a great deal of thought that went into the order of the 3 parts of the Oath, and they are how our lives should be prioritised.

 

1. Duty to God and country.

 

2. Duty to others.

 

3. THEN, Duty to self.

 

This was an act of selfishness on the part of all concerned.(This message has been edited by silver-shark)

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I appreciate all of the insight. I will discuss this issue with the PLC and have them determine the actions. I will recommend, however, that the election be redone in fairness to all.

 

I should point out that one of the scouts that brought this to our attention was from outside of their patrol and observed the situation so in my opinion there is no question that it happened. More than likely the scout that bribed the other scouts, and in my opinion it was a bribe, would have been selected without the bribes in the first place.

 

 

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benny,

I don't know if I would recommend new elections. I don't think the results would be different. How about recommending to the PLC the SPL & PL's get together & decide on the APL's?

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Hypothetically, say the PLC decides no new elections. Yet, the other candidates (the "losers") are not convinced that the results would have been the same. Doesn't fairness dictate that they be given the opportunity to see for themselves...shouldn't they be able to demand a new election? At the very least, I think the other candidates should be consulted.

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Hindsight is always 20/20 but follow the program. The ASPL and APL are NOT to be elected (or maybe elected by the required one vote of the SPL or PL).

 

Was the election held by a secret ballot? It should have been. If so, how would the bribery work? At our latest SPL election, one candidate ran on the platform that he would promise that more time would be spent on games. Is that bribery? What about the "citizenship" experience of learning that if one elects garbage leaders, garbage results. That my friend, is a lesson many adults could learn.

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Despite the dire consequences it may have for the geological stability of the world around us, or for "climate control" in the fiery underworld beyond, I must say this:

 

I agree with Rooster.

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