Monday, March 5, 2012

Baha'i Election Primer

Updated: March 11, 2012
With fiat currency (paper money) life-time expiring causing increasing political and economic chaos, the April, 2012, elections for National Spiritual Assemblies (NSAs) and the 2013 election of The Universal House of Justice (UHJ) in the Baha'i Administration may have enhanced importance for the well-being of the Baha'i community. While the unique principles of Baha'i Administration and its election process may serve as a model to replace political corruption in numerous countries around the world, efforts to promote these lofty principles are severely hampered by the reality that most major NSAs and the UHJ in the Baha'i world do not need elections of any kind, Baha'i or other, since NSA and UHJ members generally serve life terms, terminated only by death, disability or crime. As highlighted in "Universal House of Fear", Baha'is face the potentially embarrassing question of why their major NSAs and UHJ resemble an entrenched elite wielding power for life with a heavy hand which may be seen as similar to, if not exactly the same as, third-world dictators or leaders for life in some other religions. As reported in "Bondage by Baha'i Election", Baha'i voters do not appear to evaluate who might be best qualified at election time, but rather simply vote for whoever was elected previously, even if that original voter choice occurred many years or decades ago. Hence, a Baha'i election primer might be useful to Baha'i voters. This article summarizes some key guidelines for voters and agenda items for the upcoming national (2012) and international (2013) conventions and elections, including a ballot check-list.