Author Topic: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics  (Read 205552 times)

LCMS87

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #90 on: December 04, 2012, 12:28:58 PM »
I find your correlation between lists and a reduction in interest in election to be specious.  Do you have any evidence that someone actually declined to permit himself or herself to be nominated simply because he or she might end up on a list?

Even if so, perhaps this leads to a good vetting of candidates  If someone is truly so cowed by the political process one might experience when being considered for a position, then how well suited would that person be to actually handle the pressures of a tough decision once elected?

Mike

&

<snip>

I'm still skeptical that nominations and elections are that much more political than in the past.  I simply think that publicly-posted lists end up spilling the politics that used to be corralled up in smoke-filled rooms.  That may actually be progress.


I tend to agree with Dcs. Meyer on this, Mike, except that it goes both ways.  It seems to me that what has happened for a number of convention cycles is that there has been a nearly clean sweep by either the Jesus First endorsed candidates or the United List candidates.  I was nominated in the last cycle, did not show up on anyone's list, and--like almost everyone else who wasn't endorsed by the United List--was not elected.  (The only exception I'm aware of is VP Paul Maier, both an incumbent and a very well known name due to his books and speaking, not to mention his father's prominence in the Synod.)  I should note that the results meant that I could serve out my final term as circuit counselor, so I was involved in extra-congregational service to the Synod nonetheless.

I have no idea how the United List or Jesus First lists have been formulated.  I didn't pursue endorsement, but neither did either party contact me in any way to determine where I stood.  Dr. Hartwig, as Secretary of the Synod, sent me notification a month or two ago that I had been nominated in this cycle.  After consideration I decided not to return the forms.  I'm not saying that it was solely because of the influence of lists, but I did have a feeling of what's the sense of taking the time to fill them out and send them in the way elections have been working among us.  I'm not politically active with either party, and that's where the name recognition comes from that moves a nominee to the top of the ballot.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 12:34:10 PM by LCMS87 »

LCMS87

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #91 on: December 04, 2012, 12:59:44 PM »
Of course, my previous post doesn't address what we should or can do about the effect endorsement lists have.  I doubt that either side of the Synod is willing to  unilaterally cease using a tool that has proven very effective for them in the past.  And the fact is that the nominee information is so sketchy that without a list a delegate may be just as likely to select a candidate who reflects his views by drawing straws as by studying the brief information provided for each nominee.  (Here I'm talking about offices other than that of President.  In that election I think the system we have provides a reasonable amount of information.)

Mike Gehlhausen

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #92 on: December 04, 2012, 01:23:21 PM »
I tend to agree with Dcs. Meyer on this, Mike, except that it goes both ways.  It seems to me that what has happened for a number of convention cycles is that there has been a nearly clean sweep by either the Jesus First endorsed candidates or the United List candidates.  I was nominated in the last cycle, did not show up on anyone's list, and--like almost everyone else who wasn't endorsed by the United List--was not elected.  (The only exception I'm aware of is VP Paul Maier, both an incumbent and a very well known name due to his books and speaking, not to mention his father's prominence in the Synod.)  I should note that the results meant that I could serve out my final term as circuit counselor, so I was involved in extra-congregational service to the Synod nonetheless.

I have no idea how the United List or Jesus First lists have been formulated.  I didn't pursue endorsement, but neither did either party contact me in any way to determine where I stood.  Dr. Hartwig, as Secretary of the Synod, sent me notification a month or two ago that I had been nominated in this cycle.  After consideration I decided not to return the forms.  I'm not saying that it was solely because of the influence of lists, but I did have a feeling of what's the sense of taking the time to fill them out and send them in the way elections have been working among us.  I'm not politically active with either party, and that's where the name recognition comes from that moves a nominee to the top of the ballot.

Thanks.  I can see your point.  I'm still trying to digest whether it matters though.  I'm not certain non-political types who were not well-known did that well in the past either versus an insider with strong views.  It's just that the kingmakers made the decision in the back rooms rather than the process being front-loaded by lists.

Of course, my previous post doesn't address what we should or can do about the effect endorsement lists have.  I doubt that either side of the Synod is willing to  unilaterally cease using a tool that has proven very effective for them in the past.  And the fact is that the nominee information is so sketchy that without a list a delegate may be just as likely to select a candidate who reflects his views by drawing straws as by studying the brief information provided for each nominee.  (Here I'm talking about offices other than that of President.  In that election I think the system we have provides a reasonable amount of information.)

This is more where I am at.  I see the lists as a symptom of politics rather than a detriment themselves.  They can be a useful form of information, but they also lead to greater polarization.

In the next few months, I am certain that DayStar will tell us why they think DP Maier is preferable to President Harrison.  That may be a good thing.  A good honest critique is always helpful to someone willing to improve himself (or herself), and I believe President Harrison is such a person.

Mike

mariemeyer

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #93 on: December 04, 2012, 04:19:04 PM »
A final thought on why I think about lists the the way I do.

The first time I was nominated to a synodical committee I was still in my thirties - a stay at home mom with little or no experience in synodical matters. I have no idea who submitted my name. My inclination was to think someone had made a mistake.  My husband convinced me to fill out and return the nomination form.

For some unknown reason, my name was approved and I was up for election. Even stranger was that my name appeared on the "conservative" and the "liberal" list.  Although it was nothing short of humorous I had more votes than any other candidate for any office.

My reaction? This process is for the birds.  In my mind the "conservatives" supported me because I was Herman Otten's sister and the "liberals" because I was the daughter-in-law of "Ade" Meyer of the ALPB.  It had nothing to do with me.  My husband thought there may have been a few persons who thought I was qualified.  In any event, I determined to speak out against lists.

Marie Meyer

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #94 on: December 04, 2012, 05:15:07 PM »
Mrs. Meyer,

I love it when we agree. I would like to see lists disappear. All except my own, of course, the Totally Sanctified List (TSL) - see upstream. But my list is different. There are no political or theological agendas. It is strictly economic.

If I seem to be flippant about these matters, it is only because I have reached a point of bemused detachment having seen too much of a side of the Synod that I wish did not exist.

D. Engebretson

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #95 on: December 04, 2012, 06:03:40 PM »
My reaction? This process is for the birds.  In my mind the "conservatives" supported me because I was Herman Otten's sister and the "liberals" because I was the daughter-in-law of "Ade" Meyer of the ALPB.  It had nothing to do with me.  My husband thought there may have been a few persons who thought I was qualified.  In any event, I determined to speak out against lists.

I have to admit that one of my frustrations with the election process is that it does not seem to concern itself with qualifications or experience.  Some offices/positions demand more than others, but they all require more than mere presence.  Even at the lower levels where I exist elections reflect less the ability of the candidate than the fact that either no one else wants the position or you are simply the least offensive choice available.  I'd like to think that I'm qualified, for example, as a circuit counselor, but I suspect that I was not elected because a lot of people knew what was required and saw that in me. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Dave Likeness

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #96 on: December 05, 2012, 10:08:23 AM »
Since the Presidency of J.A.O Preus, we have seen
Synodical Presidents remain in office for about 10 yrs.
Bohlmann, Barry, Kieschnick served about a decade.
This means that President Matthew Harrison can
look forward to at least the same amount of time.

So it looks from the heartland that President
Harrison is a slam dunk to be re-elected in 2013.
All the other political activity is an exercise in
futility. 

Mike Gehlhausen

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #97 on: December 05, 2012, 10:23:41 AM »
Since the Presidency of J.A.O Preus, we have seen
Synodical Presidents remain in office for about 10 yrs.
Bohlmann, Barry, Kieschnick served about a decade.
This means that President Matthew Harrison can
look forward to at least the same amount of time.

So it looks from the heartland that President
Harrison is a slam dunk to be re-elected in 2013.
All the other political activity is an exercise in
futility.

To be fair, the Synodical presidency is far from the only office up for election.

The makeup of the CTCR, the BOD, the Boards of Regents for the seminaries and so on all dramatically affect the direction of the LCMS.

I too think that President Harrison will be strongly re-elected.  I also have not seen or heard of any concerns the DayStar side of the LCMS has had with President Harrison.  It hardly seems that he has tried to clamp down on worship styles or discipline or anything. 

So I do find it interesting why DayStar would put DP David Maier forward rather than applauding President Harrison and pushing the point that they hope the Koinonia Project will provide an opportunity for a fair hearing of their views.

As I said, I can only think that we will learn more about this thinking in the months to come.

Mike

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #98 on: December 05, 2012, 10:39:32 AM »
My "prophecy" (more like a guess) is that the ballot will have these names:

Matthew Harrison (United List)
Herb Mueller (United List)
David Maier (Day Star) - unless he wisely declines and then it will be somebody else not on the Totally Sanctified List

And the winner is........<drum roll>...................Matthew Harrison by the largest margin in living memory.

Remember that I correctly predicted a 12-0 season for Notre Dame so I am on a roll this year.

In point of fact, prior presidential elections have little to do with this one because of BRTFGGSDFREDF (or whatever that thing was) restructuring. For better or for worse, electing a president prior to the convention almost assures that the incumbent will be elected.

Dave Likeness

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #99 on: December 05, 2012, 10:47:39 AM »
Chaplain Gard, I am asking the moderators to move
your 4th paragraph to the Fantasy Island  thread.
If they beat Alabama, then you will have some
street cred.  If Notre Dame loses to Alabama , then
the luck of the Irish has vanished.

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #100 on: December 05, 2012, 10:59:46 AM »
Have no fear, Pr. Likeness, Manti Te'o will be there. All will be as it should be.

Mike Gehlhausen

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #101 on: December 05, 2012, 11:06:39 AM »
In point of fact, prior presidential elections have little to do with this one because of BRTFGGSDFREDF (or whatever that thing was) restructuring. For better or for worse, electing a president prior to the convention almost assures that the incumbent will be elected.

I'm actually not so certain about this.

As I said above, President Harrison has not made any bold moves much less any bold unwise ones yet.  However, IF the types of changes in increased discipline and/or restricted worship freedom that groups like Gottesdienst promote start to happen, I can easily see an e-mail campaign turning many congregations to vote against President Harrison.

The breakdown of synodical delegates at conventions seems to have usually fallen almost 50-50 between the conservative and moderate wings in recent decades.   My speculation is that on the whole a significantly higher percentage of congregations lean moderate than lean conservative.    Yes, nomination tallies tend to support your point, but they are unfocused with anyone being able to be nominated. Once a clear alternative candidate or two has been identified, this may change.  Rev. Harrison receiving a higher nomination total than Dr. Kieschnick last time is evidence that this can happen.

Mike


Daniel L. Gard

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #102 on: December 05, 2012, 11:18:59 AM »
In point of fact, prior presidential elections have little to do with this one because of BRTFGGSDFREDF (or whatever that thing was) restructuring. For better or for worse, electing a president prior to the convention almost assures that the incumbent will be elected.

I'm actually not so certain about this.

As I said above, President Harrison has not made any bold moves much less any bold unwise ones yet.  However, IF the types of changes in increased discipline and/or restricted worship freedom that groups like Gottesdienst promote start to happen, I can easily see an e-mail campaign turning many congregations to vote against President Harrison.

The breakdown of synodical delegates at conventions seems to have usually fallen almost 50-50 between the conservative and moderate wings in recent decades.   My speculation is that on the whole a significantly higher percentage of congregations lean moderate than lean conservative.    Yes, nomination tallies tend to support your point, but they are unfocused with anyone being able to be nominated. Once a clear alternative candidate or two has been identified, this may change.  Rev. Harrison receiving a higher nomination total than Dr. Kieschnick last time is evidence that this can happen.

Mike

There is no doubt that electioneering will happen even under the new process. I do think that, without the convention carnival atmosphere surrounding the presidential election, it will be less politicized. That, in my opinion, is a good thing. Grand Poobah Harrison is very well liked by most of the Synod it seems to me, and barring any major missteps over the next months he should sweep the elction. But that is just an opinion. We shall see soon enough.

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #103 on: December 05, 2012, 11:34:28 AM »
As to other elections, it is extremely rare when someone is elected who did not appear on one of the lists. Not being loved by UL or JF is the kiss of death. Being loved by TSL is likewise the kiss of death.

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #104 on: December 29, 2012, 11:21:33 AM »
As we close out 2012 and move into the year of the 2013 Convention, it strikes me that very little is happening on the "political" front of the Synod. This is quite unlike earlier Conventions when both sides were publicly gearing up quite early. Apart from one small blurb from Daystar, nobody seems to be pushing candidates for offices. Of course, I am limited to what I happen to see on the internet so there may be more going on than I know about.

This, in my opinion, is a very good thing. Hopefully, this means a more irenic and less politicized 2013. If so, it will be a very happy new year indeed.