Email Election Procedure Rescinded: Secrecy of Vote Concerns Council

Article excerpt


The Ecclesiastical Province of Canada, which earlier this year broke new ground and gained international attention by electing its archbishop by e-mail, has rescinded the process that made that possible.

The provincial council, meeting in Montreal this fall, also directed the chancellor of the province to prepare an amendment to the canons (laws) that would make such elections unnecessary in the future.

Last summer, Bishop Andrew Hutchison of Montreal was elected archbishop after council members voted by e-mail in a process believed to be the first such election in the Anglican Communion. He replaced Archbishop Arthur Peters of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island who retired shortly after a meeting of the provincial council.

The ecclesiastical province's laws require a new archbishop to be elected within six months, and this would have meant convening a special meeting at an estimated cost of about $30,000. The e-mail election process was devised as an alternative.

Despite being told that the process was successful and efficient, the provincial council meeting here in late September, heard enough reservations about the confidentiality of the vote and the impersonal nature of e-mail elections to rescind the protocol.

Rev. Alan Perry of Pierrefonds, Que. …


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