Battle lines are drawn on Mosley vote

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

A series of letters and new revelations in the past 24 hours has shed light on the state of play ahead of the FIA’s confidence vote on June 3rd.

Here’s a brief recap on the latest developments.

A group of 24 clubs from 22 countries wrote to Mosley urging to resign before the vote. In a letter to Mosley they criticised him for “putting personal considerations before the interests of the FIA and its member clubs”, saying:

The FIA is in a critical situation. Its image, reputation and credibility are being severely eroded. Every additional day that this situation persists, the damage increases. There is no way back. […]

We take note of the letter sent by B. Ecclestone to all member clubs, stating his support for the FIA as the sole body governing international motor sport and his willingness to continue working with the FIA, irrespective of the result of the Extraordinary General Assembly on June 3rd.

We believe that his explanations put in due perspective the state of the relationship between the FIA and the Formula 1 world, taking away relevance to many of the arguments you make in your letter to justify your continuity. We take note of his point on the importance that the FIA be led by a credible and respected president. […]

We strongly believe that the only respectable way forward for the FIA, and for yourself, is to have an orderly transition, with an immediate agreement and your commitment to step down.

The signatories to the letter were the AAA and AATA (United States), ADAC (Germany), JAF (Japan), CAA (Canada), CCB (Brazil), KNAC (The Netherlands), M (Sweden), MAK (Hungary), MEMSI (Israel), OEMTC (Austria), RACC and RACE (Spain), TCB (Belgium), TCS (Switzerland), AAS (Singapore), AL (Finland), FDM (Denmark), FFA and FFSA (France) and FIAA (India).

According to the New Zealand, Australian and South African motoring clubs have also expressed criticism of Mosley but are not signatories to the letter.

The Russian Federation of Auto Sport and Tourism (R-FAST) has also indicated its support for the position laid down in the letter. But it has indicated it will be represented at the meeting by a proxy vote from the Belarus motoring club, which in turn may not be attending because it has not paid its membership fees, depriving those against Mosley of some badly-needed votes.

The signatories to the letter may represent some of the most active motor racing nations (Britain’s MSA a notable exception) but they only account for a small proportion of the votes in the General Assembly, estimated at somewhere between 10% and 25%, even though they claim to represent around 100m motorists. A majority of voters at the Assembly (51% or more) is needed to pass a resolution against Mosley.

There is conflicting information about exactly what role abstentions may play in the vote. Writing in Autosport recently Mark Hughes understood that an abstention would be interpreted as meaning a vote of support for the president. Joe Saward writing on believes they would be counted in support of the motion, i.e. against Mosley in this case. This is obviously a very important point and if anyone could give me a definitive answer on which one is correct I’d be very grateful.

Mosley responded to the letter from the clubs in characteristically indignant fashion. He pointed out in bold letters past occasions on which some of the signatories to the letter had opposed his policies.

This has led many to the logical conclusion that what we are witnessing is a pitched battle for undecided voters ahead of the meeting on Tuesday between Mosley and his opponents.

In his letter Mosley also tried to quietly climb down from his earlier assertion that Bernie Ecclestone is trying to wrest control of F1’s regulations from the FIA. He described Ecclestone’s letter to the clubs as: “a sudden and major change in position.”

There will doubtless be further developments in this story over the coming days. I still think Mosley should resign and I still don’t believe much of what he put in his letter to the teams the other week.

22 comments on “Battle lines are drawn on Mosley vote”

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  1. Michael Counsell
    31st May 2008, 4:50

    The Max Mosely sex scandal case is interesting regarding perceptions and laws regarding prostitution, alternative sexual practises, freedom of speech in the media, privacy rights, public relations etc.

    The actual voting is by comparison quite uninteresting and I agree with ‘alan’ that this is probably a good tactic, but I doubt everyone is coordinated well enough to pull it off that effectively.

  2. Agree I was a bit quick on my explanations as this is a F1 blog and nothing else. On top of that I am not mixed up, I am foreign and english is not my language ;-)
    The point I was trying to make is the following:

    (1) Our democraties are based on free elections and the independance of 3 powers (apologise for choosing wrong words, I’m french and not familiar “technical” vocabulary) Executive (“the government”) Legislative (“the parliament”) Justice (“the courts”)
    The law tells what “can be done” and how it can be done. The parliament makes the law, and the Justice applies it.

    The Law can be discussed, opposed, changed this is normal (and this is what Parliament is made for).

    The lawyers (advocates, judges, procecutors) make it happen… As such they must be independant and protected. Denying the law, pretenting it is corrupted was always the “excuse” for extremists…. I agree it is far from being perfect, there are corrupted “lawyers” but until we find something better (
    may be Rabi or Michael K have some good ideas they are prepared to share with us) we have to stick to this.

    FIA is an organisation with rules and elections. MM is the elected president, it is the responsabily of the General Assembly to decide what they want to do with him now. The FIA is a legal stucture obeying the laws it is fully entitled to made its own decisions.
    We might agree or disagree with these decisions, but only members have the right to make decisions. Period.
    Is is exactly like the government, you might approve or not a given decision but it the government is democratic you have to obey the decision… until you change the government, with a new election, in the hope it will be better.

    (2) What MM does in his “bedroom” is none of my business (providing nobody is hurt and no law is broken)

    (3) the matter being now (widely) public there is even no possibility of blackmailing him ;-) the blackmailing would have been a very good reason to ask for his resignation as somebody threatened cannot do his job properly.

    You can leave me a message (and anybody here can!) on my blog as I believe we are well beyond the limits of Keith’s patience ;-). thanks again Keith!

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