Dear Trials Riders of New Zealand
Recently Mr Vito Ippolito, President of the FIM, wrote to us to say what a success the FIM rulechange for world champs rounds has been. I refer to going “non-stop” of course. His letter was forwarded to us by MNZ Convenor, Jim Henderson. It stirred up a bit of email traffic, for which I am partly to blame. I think we can say that the issue is neither dead nor buried. Jim Henderson stated in a subsequent email that:
“I would be prepared to step out on a limb for you, the riders, if it was obvious that a huge majority of you wanted the status quo. I myself can see some advantages of staying ‘stop allowed’ [and conversely I would hope that you could see some advantages in non-stop] but I need a mandate from you before I would stay stop allowed indefinitely.
The type of mandate that I have asked for is a petition. It would not be hard to do but it needs to come from you. If you are sure that NZ needs to stay stop allowed you must be prepared to organise and put your name to paper to state the case. I am not going to organise a vote. Local body election turnout may give you some clue as to why I would not do this. I am writing this letter now because you have NZ champs in 2 weeks and that could be a starting point for a petition.”
It seems MNZ intend to change our rules so that all MNZ trials events are run non-stop, unless the FIM go back to stop rules, which seems unlikely. Or if we organise and do something about it.
This seems odd to me: MNZ promote themselves as being our organisation. Still, I will organise a poll so that this question can be “knocked on the head” and we can get back to the business of having a great time getting sweaty and dirty on our bikes.
I won't organise a petition because I sense that many would not put a signature on a paper which expresses political opinion. A vote will achieve the same result while protecting innocent and guilty alike. It's friendlier that way, and if Trials isn't the friendliest little sport in the world what is? I also believe that a poll would get a higher percentage return, and who would say that this ancient method of finding out what people think is unfair?
It would be unfair if the vote were tampered with. I have asked Mr Andy Anderson of Manawatu Orion club to be our electoral officer. Andy is a thoroughly decent bloke. He’s also a police officer, which I think puts any question of his honesty or accuracy out of the picture. I certainly won’t be trying to influence him!
Here's the drill: I now ask the organisers of each club to circulate news of this to their members, print it in your club newsletters, take copies to your trials, make sure everyone knows. You know who you are, please do so. It's not too hard. Everyone has until Friday the 13th of December to either email Andy or write to him, expressing either a simple “stop” or “non-stop” opinion. I think it is important for local organisers to encourage voting except for those who really really don’t care one way or the other. Poor turnout is the death of democracy.
In order to check eligibility it will be necessary for everyone to identify themselves and their club to Andy and to say if they are current MNZ members or no, and if they have ridden a champs event this year. After polling closes Andy will get in touch with local organisers to make sure that everyone from that club is who they say, so that everyone only votes once and really are trials riders. Then he will release the results, should be done by Christmas. The only statistical divisions I propose are to sort the champs riders from the club-only riders, and the MNZ licenced from those without. It is understood that a good percentage of South Island riders are without licence, but IMHO that doesn't mean they shouldn't be heard. Andy will only divide the poll into Champs/Nonchamps riders and MNZ/non MNZ riders. Exectly who voted for what will remain his secret. If there is no challenge to the validity of the poll he will destroy his records before the first champs round next year.
Easy! I hope everyone will get behind this so that decisions can be made with some real data rather than the big fat opinions of the vocal few, such as myself.
Yours with feet up …………. Sidey
Please see voting form attached.