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Abyssinian Breed Council
Protocol for Putting Proposals on the Breed Council Ballot

Over the years the Abyssinian Breed Council has evolved a protocol for putting proposed standards changes on the ballot. Proposals for the breed council ballot can arise in a number of ways. The Board of Directors can propose a question be included on the ballot. A breed council member can propose a change to the standards. Anyone else can suggest a change or ballot question be put on the breed council ballot. Technically, it is up to the breed council secretary as to when and how a given question or proposal should be put on the ballot (unless mandated by the Board of Directors, at which time there is no choice). However, given the historic precedence over the past many years, the following protocol is used:

First, any proposed standards change is discussed at the semi-annual breed council meetings for at least a year or two. This is done for a couple of reasons. There are often different mixes of breed council members at the various International shows and Annual meetings so that there is a wide range of opinions as part of the debate. It gives the breed council much time to absorb the proposed change, refine the wording, and continue the discussion outside of the breed council meetings.

On a sufficiently extensive proposal, the breed council secretary appoints a committee to hash out the idea, the wording and bring it back to the next meeting.

In any case, proposals (especially breed standards changes) are not usually put on the ballot without ample time for everyone to get their opinions across, the wording to be well refined, and the item to be debated. This process generally takes one to two years!

Once we have a proposal ready for the ballot, votes are taken at two consecutive breed council meetings and, if the votes are in favor of the proposal, the proposal is submitted to the Breeds and Standards chairperson for review and suggested changes to the wording. If the wording changes are fairly cosmetic, the proposal gets on the ballot; otherwise it goes back to the breed council to make sure the wording changes are acceptable. This latter can be achieved with a single vote.

The ballot goes out for distribution at the end of November to all breed council members of record on August 01 of that year. Breed standards changes that receive 60% of the vote cast are then reviewed and ratified or vetoed by the Board of Directors at their February Board meeting. Any other proposal is advisory only! The Board of Directors CANNOT change a breed standard without the change receiving 60% approval of the breed council members voting.

Although, the above may appear to be a bit cumbersome, we have a large breed council and a very stable breed standard. This assures that any standards changes are slow and methodical. It has served us very well over all the years I have been on the Abyssinian Breed Council.

Respectfully submitted
Norman Auspitz

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Last Updated: August 6 2003