Pat for candidate!

June 20, 2013

The news of the Irish Cycling Federation EGM rejecting the endorsement of Pat McQuaid’s candidacy for a third term as UCI president was amazing. Whatever you may think of the issue, the fact that a grassroots action was able to grow strong enough to overturn a decision made by the board is astounding. Especially since  they were under no obligation to call an EGM It’s proof positive that the powerless in fact do have power.

So now Pat’s ability to run for president lies in the hands of a few Swiss judges. Is he allowed to ask for a Swiss endorsement because he lives there, or is “international endorsement shopping” not allowed?

I’m torn on this issue. Although I usually try to be fair, I cannot ignore the fact that I think Pat McQuaid has been disastrous to the sport of cycling. So of course, I don’t want him to be the next president. I don’t know Cookson, and I don’t like the concept of “anybody but …”, but in this case I can’t help but feeling that way.

That said, I would like him to run for president again. Although I would love the Swiss judges to slap him on the wrist and explain that this cheap shopping around for an endorsement is not cricket, and although I would love to see the arrogance that oozes from it to be punished, I also would love to see an actual race for the presidency.

Ideally, an election race is a chance to exchange ideas. At the very least, it’s a time where the candidates will have to answer the tough questions from their constituents. Due to the way the UCI election is held, there are a few too many steps between the cyclist  and/or fan at the base and the race for the top, but it’s better than nothing. If nothing else, the candidates will have to unfold their plans and can be held to account when executing those plans or failing to. Without a race, the UCI will basically get a president who is free to do as he pleases. Cookson may do a very good job of it, but what’s the actual job he’s planning to do?

Therefore I say: “Pat for candidate”. Hopefully followed by a crushing defeat.

11 Responses to “Pat for candidate!”

  1. Stuart Lynne Says:

    Unfortunately it would more likely be a crushing victory.

  2. david m Says:

    nice sentiment gerard, IF the voting structure at the UCI was transparent and fair. alas, it isn’t. the system is feudal; barons deliberating behind closed doors, without any accountability to their constituents. check the complex articles relating to the election of a president, and licence holders don’t get a vote, stakeholders don’t get a vote, hell, even individual federations don’t get a vote. the outcome is decided by individuals representing groupings of federations, and guess what, those individuals just happen to be associates of the incumbent president, usually appointed to positions of power by that president. if you get your wish of pat running for president, you will not get your supplementary wish of a crushing defeat…more likely, just mcquaid for four more years. the only way to be sure of ousting him, is to prevent him from running – which puts the future of cycling in the hands of the swiss courts (or the UCI management committee, which apparently is sitting on a document so damning it could even persuade the brass necked irishman to quit while he’s ahead and quietly declare he won’t run). oh, and cookson will publish a manifesto before the closing date for candidates to declare, so for any who find it unpalatable, there is the chance to stand against him, providing they get the backing of their home federation of course, wherever that may be.


    • I covered the voting procedure before and as I said, there are several layers between the riders/fans and the people voting for the top guy.

      As for the thought that McQuaid would win the election, we’ll see.

  3. Luis Oliveira Says:

    Gerard, I tend to agree that the process is far too rigged for your (however noble) desires of fairness. So, I’m more than inclined to say, heck, down with the guy.

    But there is a way. Slain McQuaid, let Cookson run for the win and have an anti-candidate to stir things up. Might I suggest your name?


  4. Would love to see more candidates and have a number of new faces standing.


  5. British Cycling have certainly won fans and funding perhaps Cookson has the recipe for getting more bums on bikes :)

  6. Velofreak Says:

    sorry but, the question most people is asking now is; who the hell is this Cookson? any links? any info. I have no clue.

  7. Velofreak Says:

    found it. I would give a try to this cookson. and if there’s no one running for this elections, I think it will be quite an improvement. hopefully…

  8. velocodger Says:

    What if the UCI were to stick to promoting cycling, and the antidoping entities were independent of it? Or would that make too much sense?


    • That would definitely be a good thing. I’ve written about that in the past (here or a more radical approach that could be independent or not here) as have others. I would say it is likely that an independent anti-doping agency will happen eventually.


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