I just received my ballot to vote for new members of the Council and Nominating Committee. And the positions actually seem to be contested, so the vote matters. The ballot helpfully pointed me towards the 2011 WHA Spring Newsletter as a source for more information about the candidates.
Alas, the candidate biographies are just that--prose versions of the professional vitae of the candidates, with no hint of why any of them want to hold WHA offices. We get their academic affiliations, their publications, the length of time they have been members of the WHA, and sometimes a bland statement of their desire to serve. The candidates truly are an impressive group of women and men. I am sure they have specific ideas for the future of the WHA. I wonder why the WHA did not ask them to include such information in their biographies? As is, I have no reason to vote for or against any of them. I probably won't send in the ballot at all.
This is particularly disappointing because the WHA is making a very serious attempt to explore the future of this scholarly organization. In 2010 a "Next Fifty Years Committee" issued a report [PDF] with recommendations. They invited member reaction and received many thoughtful comments, which they compiled and shared.
So where do these candidates stand on such issues as the shift to digital publication, expanding the WHA membership, lobbying, supporting graduate students and independent scholars, etc.? It would be nice to know.