General Election / 2018 Renewal of ISHMap

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Rectification of some incorrect information

Prof. Matthew Edney, using ISHMap’s e-mail list and other forums, circulates messages with confusing and incorrect information. In particular, he insists that in 2017 he was elected chair of the society.  Please note that the planned annual general meeting in 2017 had to be postponed and NO such meeting was held. In fact, only NINE people met in Brasil - and this is what they call a general meeting of an international society.

However, the membership was NOT informed in advance, and even members who participated in the conference could not attend that forum. That meeting was NOT held in accordance with the Constitution. The small group met at the time and in the room arranged by the Society because the Chair did not cancel the meeting. On the contrary, in his message to the membership Prof. Török asked members to meet and discuss society issues. Unfortunately, because of his sudden and serious illness he could not be present. 

Note that Prof. Edney, who states he represents the society, was actually not elected, but APPOINTED - by a single former Trustee and Treasurer, Dr. Leif Isaksen. Not by chance, his counter-productive activity caused all problems and led to the present emergency. Furthermore, one must consider that Prof. Edney was elected a Trustee of the society in 2012 and served FIVE consecutive years. According to the Rules (By-Laws) he could NOT be nominated or elected in 2017. (ISHMap Rules 3.4 ’An elected member, who has served for 5 consecutive year shall not be eligible for re-election until after an interval of one year.’)  Prof. Edney should have stepped down for a year - how Prof. Török, the founding chair of ISHMap, did it in 2015.

Prof. Edney and Dr. Junia Furtado, as former Trustees of the society, were kept informed about the internal problems of the society. Their assistance was asked by the chair in early 2017, but they have NOT even replied messages. Despite their ignorance and minimal activity in society matters now they say they would like to renew ISHMap – but why they did not do so earlier as responsible Trustees is not explained. Anyhow, they accepted the appointments from Dr. Isaksen, who alone controls the society's former accounts - and who earlier denied the cooperation with society’s officers.

Any information about that informal meeting, held on July 9, 2017 in Brasil, was communicated not earlier than NOVEMBER 17, 2017 - coinciding the time when the new issue of the journal Imago Mundi was published with an ISHMap page promoting incorrect information. Prof. Török and other Trustees of the society, who were unable to attend the meeting in Brasil, find this whole situation not acceptable. Members of the society were not given the chance to even learn about the internal problems and they were ignored disregarding they were in good standing or not.

Note that Prof. Török was properly nominated and re-elected by an AGM in 2016 - but he has no intention to stand for another election. On the other hand, he thinks that the chair of a scholarly society should be ELECTED democratically by the  majority of the membership. Many agreed and think that what happened was unfair.

We ask for the support of the whole membership, everybody who was ever a member of ISHMap, and the international scholarly community and propose an action plan: the renewal of the Society.

Why an online general election?

The 2018 renewal process we suggest here is based on an ONLINE ELECTION, which would guarantee both membership validity for 2018, and the right to vote for all those who renew or register for ISHMap. This is the way how the constitutional and personal issues can be solved and the future of the society can be ensured. In the present, unfortunate situation we all should consider that we need one society - where members elect officers and they take the lead.

A general election held in anywhere is a remote place for some members and those who can attend, although they may have voting right, can not participate in the election. If leaders of the society are elected by a limited group of people who are regular conference goers they have the power to keep offices. This policy must be changed. Members must be respected and given the right to decide on society matters. We are convinced that that on online election is a fair solution. Anyone who is against this solution is not a democrat - but a disciplinary plutocrat who wanted more power and control.

As the online election is open to anyone who would like to vote - or to be elected – this solution would serve the interest of all who is involved and concerned about the the future of the field. Prof. Edney - or anyone else , should he/she renewed his membership - can stand for the online election in early 2018. Anyone will have the majority of votes, he/she can serve as a legitimate officer thereafter - and the renewal process can be continued by a new leadership.

ISHMap Renewal Team