By John L. Aaron
During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act – George Orwell
The 2011 USACA national elections will be held in March 2011. The 2011 USACA national elections will be held no later than November 30, 2011. The 2011 USACA national elections will be held on October 15, 2011. The 2011 USCA national elections will be held the first week in November 2011. The 2011 USACA national elections will be held on December 19, 2011. The 2011 USCA national elections will be held on March 17, 2012. The 2011 USCA national elections will now be held on April 14, 2012. Did I skip over into 2012? If so, please accept my apologies. All of the preceding scheduled dates are known to be true statements issued in one official form or another by USACA and/or its President, Gladstone Dainty. But can they all be true, if they all pertain to the same thing; the constitutionally required 2011 USACA national elections?
Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter, are all holiday celebrations that are noteworthy moments of fun and frolic for many, each with its own significance. Halloween involves Trick or Treating by children (and some adults), costumes, masks and general pranksterisms, Thanksgiving is an occasion for being grateful for all that we have, and as usual Christmas is a time to spread good cheer and glad tidings amongst Christians. The New Year celebrations bring a sense of hope, resolutions, and an eternal spring of prosperity. Then there is St. Patrick’s Day coming up on March 17th, a day welcomed by more than just the Irish, as the air of a fresh spring dawns upon us after winter, and the advent of Easter; a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The aforementioned dates and holidays span the period of time the American cricket stakeholders have been stretched awaiting a prolonged Compliance review process and elections.
Are there any similarities between the holidays mentioned and the USACA compliance review process and the organization’s national elections, now slated for April 14, 2012? Well there might be; Halloween is the holiday for tricking and not necessarily treating, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ and the delivery of goodies by the jolly fat fellow, and exactly 100 years ago in the early morning hours of April 15 – the Titanic sinking off the coast of Newfoundland.
It was a known fact since March 2008 when the current USACA board was elected, that the next USACA national elections would be held three years later, in March 2011. That would be at least one thousand and ninety-five days after the last ballots were counted in 2008. Why then did the current USACA administration give its members so many conflicting promissory dates? Is it the honorable thing to do or is it a hoax with an agenda that quickly unfurled itself, seriously challenging the Rocky Horror Show, for Best Comedy Show of the year, or the truth behind the jolly fat fellow, or the legendary myth that the Titanic was unsinkable? Sorry Louise, there is no Santa Claus, the Titanic was sinkable, and USACA elections are coming. Really? Maybe.
The Compliance Review Process
According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, the word compliance in part means, 1. a: the act or process of complying to a desire, demand, proposal, or regimen or to coercion. b: conformity in fulfilling official requirements.
Which of the foregoing nouns or verbs apply to the current compliance request(s)? Again, you be the judge.
The USACA national elections were scheduled against the backdrop of a compliance process, that many believe was manipulated and used to perpetuate an agenda that is afoul of the majority of USACA leagues led by hard-working honest volunteers, passionate about a sport and no doubt wanting the sport of cricket to take root in the USA. Such member leagues and volunteers I am sure are 100% in favor of a compliance process that’s fair, transparent, and honest in its deliberations. However, the USACA leadership, or at least those still usurping the power of their office past the deadline and claiming to have the organization’s best interests at heart, has to be honest with themselves first before asking the leagues to do the honorable thing and abide with the results of the compliance process and the compliant and non-compliant league listing that emerged; a production of Robert Chance, Esq., and a ideologically divided USACA board, a process that was clearly based on inconsistencies, favoritism, and conflicts of interest.
To be compliant is to exhibit honor in an environment which has a common goal, such as the USACA cricket community, however, such compliance must be governed by a set of guidelines applicable to all participants, and that clearly determines compliance or non-compliance. The USACA compliance process was incongruent with the organization’s Constitution, and clearly set the stage for subjective interpretation by the deciders, especially in regard to the three additional leagues added by the USACA board to the original compliant list of 12 leagues recommended by attorney Robert Chance.
One must ask the question, how can members of a board who may be seeking re-election themselves, decide on which leagues are eligible to vote and which are not, when clearly a transparent system was not in place? Is it a conflict of interest? You be the judge.
In any given modern democracy, honor is a trait not unfamiliar to those practicing the truth, except when practiced among those with a hidden common agenda, and then the truth becomes inconsequential to reality, as in honor that’s not found among thieves.
The honorable thing by any organization that manages volunteer sub-set groups is to seek ways to motivate, encourage and acknowledge compliance by such groups over a period of time whereby the opportunity is given to be compliant within the established guidelines, and clearly understood by all. In the case of USACA’s recent effort to determine which member leagues are compliant and which are not, it is now clear who was conducting and determining the outcome of the compliance process. The communication surrounding the process was as confusing as the proposed electoral process and dates were discouraging.
First the law firm of Robert Chance was selected by an individual or individuals on the USACA board and certainly not by the board in a meeting. That process started the distrust and skepticism among some members of the board and ultimately the member leagues. Not exactly a transparent backdrop, especially where sensitive information was being solicited. To add to the confusion, Robert Chance, the attorney in charge of collecting the compliance data said that he would make recommendations to the USACA board on each of the responding leagues. It is still not clear if his conclusions for recommending or not recommending leagues would be made public. It would be interesting to see his and the board’s reasons behind the punitive action of denying more than two-thirds of the USACA membership the right to exercise their fundamental right to vote on April 14, 2012.
At a teleconference of the USACA executive members and Mr. Chance late last year, President Dainty clearly stated that any compliance response by the leagues was optional and was in no way connected to the upcoming elections, or the right to vote, a point he reiterated over and over again. Understandably so, it was assumed that the organization’s president was being honorable in his directions, although he was reluctant to articulate such a position to the USACA membership at-large. We now know that promise was far from the truth, as the compliance review process quickly became an apparent hidden political tool with an obvious agenda.
For many of the USACA member leagues the information contained in the compliance request may very well have been a foreign language, since most of the leagues are involved in recreational cricket and are structured simply on a not-for-profit basis, albeit not registered as such. Many of the leagues involved in cricket tournaments barely make ends meet to accommodate the annual cricket tournaments involving the weekend-warrior teams participating. Many of them are subsidized by patrons of the sport who enjoy the game. None the less, every USACA league should have completed the Compliance Review process to the best of their abilities. It was an important first step in a fully-compliant organization. It was the honorable thing to do, by all involved. It certainly would have caused the “virtual/phantom” leagues to scatter like cockroaches when the light in the room was turned on. According to many, it certainly was not turned on in 2008.
According to Merriman-Webster the word hoax means; to trick into believing or accepting as genuine, something false and often preposterous. Ironically, it is believed to be derived from the word hocus, as in hocus pocus – another Halloween staple? Regardless, the word may also be used to describe bamboozle, con, dupe, fool, deceive, hoodwink, misguide, misinform, mislead, snow, sucker, or simply trick. Any of the preceding synonyms may have been used to describe the outcome of the USACA compliance review process. Why?
A diluted USCA board met on October 22, 2011 and adopted after the fact; the law firm of Robert Chance to complete the compliance review process. A belated action, that’s not without precedent by USACA. Suddenly the Compliance Review process emerged as the benchmark for eligibility of voting in the USACA national elections. Whew! What happened here? Were the member leagues hoodwinked, mislead, suckered, deceived, duped, conned, bamboozled, fooled, or simply misinformed deliberately, creating a sense of complacency, before forcing a compliance review process and an ever-shifting of the electoral timeline; one fraught with confusion and conflicting dates between November 30, 2011 and now April 14, 2012.
Where is the honor? Where is the transparency? Where is the integrity? Where is the truth?
If only USACA would have put some serious thought into the whole compliance process, it may very well have been a best-seller with the leagues. Most leagues only bought it because it was on the compulsory reading list mandated by USACA, and the text to be used as part of the final exam.
When one considers the sudden self-righteousness of USACA, one must question why the organization did not have the visionary leadership to use the intervening three-year period to encourage, motivate and seek compliance from its member leagues, more so against allegations of several “virtual/phantom” leagues voting in the last election. Ironically, one board member who delivered several proxy votes to the last election has since claimed some of those leagues were then non-compliant under the USACA constitutional compliance guidelines. One has to wonder why admit the wrong-doing and conspiratorial action now?
The upcoming USACA elections are now being billed as the next Rocky Horror Show, primarily by the conflicting Compliance Review process and the open-ended arrangements published this week on the USACA web site.
With the national elections originally scheduled for three years after March 2008, with USACA on a constitutional technicality extending it to November 30, 2011, who would have thought the national elections (without the completion of constitutional regional elections) would now be scheduled for April 14, 2012, almost 13 months later. However, it will be exactly 100 years to the day after the Titanic sank at 2:27AM on the morning of April 15, 1912.
Before you start drawing any conclusions, history is very unlikely to repeat itself here, without someone removing the ballast water tanks from the hull of the behemoth that is USACA. It may require divine intervention. Whether you are Muslin, Hindu, Christian, Mormon, or an atheist, your basic faith should drive you to believe that the big dark stone blocking the entrance to the growth of cricket in this country, will be rolled away eventually and a perpetual light will shine upon the sport, after so many years of hoax, horror and very few, if any, honorable men still claiming to be standing on the self-righteous side of poor governance of the sport by USACA.
Look for the USACA board to hurriedly arrange regional elections from among the 15 leagues identified as being in compliance; and as a continuation of the travesty of justice doled out on so many, by so few, to acquire total station domination of the sport in this country.