Naturist Association Thailand was busy throughout the second day of the INF congress in New Zealand to decode the power struggle between the different member countries.
One battlefront was simple to decode - it was about if the countries, who contribute most money to the INF, should also have more voting power than the countries who have less members and therefore contribute less money. When it came to a vote, this battle was comfortably won by the rich countries, although a second vote showed that 16 countries against 8 countries favored the more democratic "one culture- one vote".
Another battlefront was more confusing .It was about if it should be possible to suggest a candidate to a position on the board on the day and time the voting is about to take place - when another candidate has followed the bylaws and submitted all the papers needed three months in advance and in the three official languages of the federation. This was how the current Vice President Jean Peters was elected two years ago - carried to office by a secret agreement between the most vote heavy nations to field him instead of the lawfully fielded candidate. The Spanish motion to either scrap the rule that candidates must be announced 3 months in advance - or forbid last minute nominations from the floor - was met by a claim from the legal advisor that this was against European law. He could not show which law made it illegal but most members accepted his statement and the motion was taken off the agenda without being subject to a vote.
The whole debate heightens the expectation that a conspiracy is brewing prior to Saturday's voting for President - a position which Sieglinde Ivo is currently holding and for which she is running for reelection. With the current rules, another candidate is possible to emerge during the election process tomorrow.
Countries in favor of a more aggressive style of leadership than Sieglinde Ivo are suspected of having a younger candidate up their sleeve.
As for the position of Treasurer, no candidate has been announced in advance. That makes it possible for some countries to field the current Treasurer. Rolf Beat Hostettler for reelection for another term, while other countries might want to field a younger candidate.
The battle field is much about what role different nations want the INF to play. Some countries seem happy with the organisation being what it is today, an organisation selling INF passports and stamps which gives access or discounts to certain naturist clubs, while others want the organisation to lead the battle against for instance facebook and google's attempts to restrict naturism and peoples right to be nude and lead the promotion of naturism as a positive, healthy lifwstyle.
Naturist Association Thailand believes the INF should be a vocal and visible promoter of naturism and nudism, assisting its member federations in fighting this battle in each country.Throughout the conference, NAT has been speaking repeatedly about the need to enhance the online marketing of naturism and increase the visibility of the INF. It was therefore a big disappointment for ud when a motion to discuss a comprehensive fundamental concept of what the INF is here for was withdrawn by the proposing nation Switzerland. Consequently, the only discussion about what INF is and should do was cut short even before it began.
Tomorrow Saturday may bring another chance to have this discussion as the Australians are fielding it in their proposal for changes to a more vigorous organisation - all fully supported by NAT - but who knows... this may be sabotaged as well.
If so, the voting in of a new leadership team will be the only chance for a new direction of the INF. At least for the next two years.
Meanwhile, on a lighter note, the delegates ended the day with a great BBQ served by the hosts who have been doing a great job in organizing everything.