Rick Smith – the Unity Candidate

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One of the key questions which is being asked at the moment in Sydney about our two prospective candidates for next week’s election as Archbishop of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney is which man will best unite the Diocese? While in one sense we’re obviously a fairly unified bunch (often it feels like Sydney contra Mundum!) it is noticeable that one candidate has a far wider and deeper level of support amongst key figures throughout the active committees of the Diocese.

The WhyRick team have just released their last round of information, including a glossy brochure [pdf]. Here’s a copy for your perusal…

What’s fascinating is the table on page 3. Of those members of diocesan committees who have nominated one candidate or another, three quarters have gone with Rick. Notably that includes 31 out of 38 Standing Committee members who oversee the monthly administration and policy of the Diocese, three quarters of the key Property Trust members and all 9 Mission Board members who nominated. Reflecting on the wider Anglican political scene (both domestic and foreign) and who has the confidence of members to take the Diocese forward in those tricky waters we note that 29 out of 35 reps nominated Rick.

I’ve heard it mentioned around the traps that the nomination of Rick is really just an “inside job” of a few elites in the Diocese. Well if that’s the case then this is a fairly widespread (almost exhaustively comprehensive) conspiracy! Could it just be that Rick Smith is the unity candidate? We’ll see for sure next week at the Election Synod.

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  1. Andrew Reid

    I’ll be praying for the election synod and rejoicing that you have 2 such high quality candidates to pick from. I maintain great respect for the Coptic Orthodox system of selecting a pope, where they hold elections to get to a final 3, then draw the name from a glass bowl like Tattslotto. They believe it leaves the final word to God.

  2. Roger Gallagher

    Hi David,

    Do you have any comment on the allegations by the Glenn supporters in their latest email that the statistics contained in the Why Rick brouchure are flawed due to “double counting” “sampling bias” & a “skewed sample”?

    1. David Ould

      Hi Roger. Happy to copy what I wrote on a facebook thread addressing that issue earlier today.

      The article he links to suggests that the figures are being deliberately misused. It’s a bit of a straw man – the Rick brochure claims no more than it actually claims! Of those members of the committees listed who actually nominated, the (large) majority in general nominated Rick. I knew immediately that some people would be in more than one group, but to suggest that there is “double counting” going on actually misunderstands the argument being made. To steal a quote from the article “anyone with basic training in statistics would have understood the argument and not read more into it that was being communicated.” The article then goes on to make it’s own major faux pas, equating “diocesan leadership” with being a synod rep. One could call this a “limited perspective” and not a “proper context”. Yes, the nominators mentioned (in toto and those that nominated Rick in particular) come from less than the entire scope of the diocese, but that’s the way with diocesan involvement, some parishes are naturally more involved and some individuals are also more involved. We normally give great thanks for those who step up and give of themselves in this way. What the WhyRick table sought to do is analyse how this particular (and important) population have nominated.
      The bottom line is this: the table being argued about showed one thing – that of those board and committee members who were able to and elected to make a nomination, the large majority chose Rick over Glenn. It’s not saying more than that but it’s also not saying less than that. It’s not a “bias”- the population in question is clearly defined and there is no actual “sample” since this is an analysis of that entire population, not a sampling process like the opinion polls we get in the newspaper. And they are key people. They’re not the only key people but that was never claimed, but they are nevertheless key people who’s opinion is important since they have, not least, experience of the kind of work either candidate will be heavily involved in if elected.
      So let’s be clear about what this article from Glenn’s nominators is actually doing – it’s representing the WhyRick article as making claims it never made.

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