Deepening on Baha’i Elections – Day 2 of 5

A Deepening given in Hawaii to great success! 
The deepening is used to prepare voters for unit conventions and to prepare voters for Assembly elections. 
This can also be found in Ruhi Book 8.2, Section 12 & 13. Download Deepening Here: PDF    DOCX

Delegates representing the Baha’is of the world cast their ballots for the nine members of the Universal House of Justice. The voting took place at the International Baha’i Convention in Haifa on 29 April. Courtesy of BWNS

In the passage below, Shoghi Effendi emphasizes the responsibility placed on the individual
believer to make the wisest possible choice at the time of election:

“. . . I do not feel it to be in keeping with the spirit of the Cause to impose any
limitation upon the freedom of the believers to choose those of any race, nationality
or temperament who best combine the essential qualifications for membership of
administrative institutions. They should disregard personalities and concentrate
their attention on the qualities and requirements of office, without prejudice,
passion or partiality. The Assembly should be representative of the choicest and
most varied and capable elements in every Bahá’í community.”

The Universal House of Justice elaborates on this theme in the following passage:

“With a heightened awareness of the functions to be performed by the elected body,
the believer can properly assess those for whom a vote should be cast. From among
the pool of those whom the elector believes to be qualified to serve, selection should
be made with due consideration given to such other factors as age distribution,
diversity, and gender. The elector should make his choice after careful thought over
an extended period before the actual election.”

The House of Justice offers the following further guidance in this respect:

“It is expected that in the future . . . there will be very large numbers of individuals
who have the qualities which make them fit for service on Spiritual Assemblies. Of
these only a few can be elected at any one time. It is also expected that, through
training and experience in the process and spirit of Bahá’í elections, the members of
the electorate will have raised their consciousness of their responsibility to vote for
only those who satisfy the requirements that the Guardian has outlined. They will,
therefore, see it as their continuing duty to familiarize themselves with the character
and abilities of those who are active in the community so that, when the time for an
election comes, they will already have some idea of the people from among whom
they must make their choice.”

While some discussion among the believers of the qualifications and requirements for
membership is acceptable, Shoghi Effendi warns against their making reference to personalities,
that is, to specific individuals:

“I feel that reference to personalities before the election would give rise to
misunderstanding and differences. What the friends should do is to get thoroughly
acquainted with one another, to exchange views, to mix freely and discuss among
themselves the requirements and qualifications for such a membership without
reference or application, however indirect, to particular individuals. We should
refrain from influencing the opinion of others…”


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