Do We Really Believe In The Democratic Process?…or, Why Is Nobody Running Against Peter Morales?

It’s election season, but I don’t feel like talking about U.S. national politics (although I’m still absolutely fascinated by the whole Todd Akin thing, so I might write about that later), so I’m going to continue in bridge-burning mode and ask some questions that I think need to be asked during this, the beginning of the UUA election season.

Question 1…why is nobody running against Peter Morales for President of the UUA? No matter where you stand on Peter’s presidency, aren’t there issues floating around the UU-universe that deserve a full airing in a presidential campaign? But on an even more fundamental level, isn’t it important to the democratic process for Peter to have to answer for his time in office (so far) and articulate what he sees that he would bring to a second term? [Lest you think that I’m picking on Peter, those who know me in the non-blogging world might remember that I brought up the same issue while Bill was in office.]

Question 2…why does the Board get to decide who’s going to be nominated to run for Moderator? [before you start, I know that there is a way to run by petition]  Isn’t that a little self-serving; as they can choose to run someone who is not going to challenge their basic assumptions (i.e. the usefulness of policy governance in the UUA).

There are other questions about our democratic process (mainly about money), but these are the biggest that I can see.



12 thoughts on “Do We Really Believe In The Democratic Process?…or, Why Is Nobody Running Against Peter Morales?

  1. Democratic process, hah! Why do so many of our congregations have a nominating committee that gives the congregation a slate of candidates resulting in a ballot much like one in the one-party Soviet Union. We can vote but have no alternatives. Sorry. That’s not democracy. When the label on it was Soviet “Communism” we recognized that.

    • I think you can have nominating committees on the local level and still have a great diversity of opinion. That doesn’t mean that I disagree with you. On the national level, I think nominating committees have to be looked at very carefully.

  2. Nobody is running against Rev. Peter Morales for President of the UUA because it seems to be a UU “tradition” that, once s*elected. . . the President of the UUA automatically serves two terms. This is reflected in the fact that the UUA recently changed their “election” rules so that, in the future, a UUA President will serve only one term but it will be a term of six years. In short, the UUA lopped off two years from the President’s traditional eight year term of office. . .

    God knows I have seen numerous examples of misuse of the democratic process in Unitarian Universalism when it is used at all. . .

    No *really* U*Us. . .

    God does in fact *know* what a pathetic sham U*U “democracy” can be.

  3. BTW Kim, are you aware that nobody was supposed to run against Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman back in 2008? It had all been carefully arranged that Rev. Hallman would be the first female president of the UUA until Rev. Morales decided that he wanted to be the first token Latino president of the UUA. . .

    Maybe *I* should run against President Morales again this year just for fun!

    • I know you’re not going to believe me Robin, but it is a myth that nobody was supposed to run against Dr. Hallman. There were at least two groups of people who were trying to get two others to run. And if the story I get from other well-place people that I know is true, there were five people (outside of Peter and Laurel) who seriously considered running. For whatever reason, they decided not to. But it is a stretch to say that there was a cabal to make it so that Dr. Hallman would become President.

    • I get you Bart. That was what I thought. Yet, as someone who thinks that UUs have a horrible relationship and attitude towards money, being cheap is no excuse for letting someone be anointed to an office just because he won election 4 years ago.

      We could talk about campaign finance in the UUA, but that would take me into places I don’t feel like going right now.

  4. Money … a rational decision-maker may suggest to potential candidates that the best time to run a campaign is when it is contested. Even if a person had objections with Rev. Morales’ policies, it would be hard to defeat an incumbent.

    However, the election landscape changed now that a denominational-level nominating committee will be selecting which candidates GA delegates will vote on for President (yes … there is a possibility of nomination by petition but that will probably be a long-shot low-probability path to election).

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