Who We Are
The directors of Vote World Parliament are presented here
in the order in which they became involved.
Jim Stark was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 1943. He graduated from Laurentian University in 1967. In 1977, he founded Operation Dismantle, a national nuclear disarmament organization, where he served as President and CEO until 1985 (see Cold War Blues or The Canadian Encyclopedia). In the following decades, he and his wife Earleen Devine owned and operated a small business called Life Profiles, taping or writing the life stories of seniors (for their children and families). In 2004, Jim founded the non-profit NGO “Vote World Parliament” (or “VWP”) and has served on the Board ever since. Jim has written ten of his own books, both fiction and non-fiction (all available on Amazon) including “the book” on the VWP initiative, entitled World Democracy through a global referendum.
Earleen Devine was born in Shawville, Quebec, Canada in 1953. She received her Honours BA in Art History and Criticism from the University of Western Ontario in 1981. In addition to working in Life Profiles, Earleen has completed two of her own books, Second Breath (fiction – http://amzn.to/ACqtsp) and Aphrodite’s Touch (poetry – http://tinyurl.com/coja3wj), and is currently working on a new novel (Skeleton Dance). Her primary responsibility in Vote World Parliament is that of researcher. Earleen is the mother of a daughter, Thea, and a son, Martin, and lives in Shawville with her husband Jim.
Raj Shekhar Chandola was the first person, after Jim Stark and his wife Earleen, to join the Board of Vote World Parliament, way back in 2006. A graduate of Delhi University (Honours History), he did post-grad work at Lucknow University (Journalism; Mass Communication). Raj eventually joined City Montessori School (CMS), Lucknow, as a peace educator, where he headed the peace Education Department for fourteen years. During his tenure, he organized a school-wide referendum using the VWP ballot wording, and got back many thousands of votes, 95% of them “yes” votes. Also during his tenure, CMS received the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education in 2002. CMS also received the Nuclear-Free Future Special Achievement Award in 2004. Raj also started the Indo-Pak Children’s Penfriends’ Club “Aao Dosti Karein” (Come Let’s be Friends), and facilitated exchanges of more than 20,000 letters between Indian and Pakistani children. He was also Assistant Convener of the annual International Conference of Chief Justices of the World. When he passed away, Raj was serving as Advisor to Dr. Jagdish Gandhi, the Founder-Manager of CMS. He will be greatly missed by his colleagues and friends in India and around the world, and by his colleagues and friends at VWP. We at VWP send our heartfelt condolences to Raj’s wife and family.
Unity Elias G. Yang unity was born in 1974 in Oku, North West Province of Cameroon. He studied physics and computer sciences at the University of Buea, and later studied law in the University of Yaounde for two years. In 2002, he was accepted into the National School of Administration and Magistracy in Yaounde, where he obtained a diploma in financial and material management. He currently works as a stores accountant in the Ministry of Public Health, and Chief of Service for Studies, in the sub-department for the follow-up of land revenue in the Ministry of State Property in Yaounde. He is currently writing a book on a global state and a second book on the Third World, and he is continuing with his law studies at the university.
Ted Stalets was born in Pana, Illinois. He received a masters degree in mass communications from the University of Illinois before spending a corporate career with the music company – Baldwin Piano. From the time of his first Radio Shack TRS80 computer in the late 1970s, he has developed a deep respect for the evolving computer revolution, and more recently, the Internet revolution. An avid futurist, Ted has developed several hundred websites featuring various emerging technologies geared toward the non-technical person. He served as literary agent for Rescue Plan for Planet Earth (since retitled as World Democracy through a global referendum). Ted developed a portable voting booth for the global referendum initiative, allowing the ballot form located at our home page to be multiplied many times over – throughout the Internet. He has recently coordinated the ability to make the voting ballot available on smartphones across the planet – in 65 languages. Ted serves as president of Vote World Parliament and lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dave Christensen was born in Ashland, Wisconsin in 1921 and grew up in Illinois and South Dakota. Dave passed in the summer of 2014 and will be sorely missed by VWP and the Board. He attended college in Mankato, Minnesota, and after World War II received Masters and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago where, in 1946, he and his wife, Carol, were active in World Republic, an organization seeking world government. After thirteen years at Florida State University, Dave joined the Geography Department of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in 1961. He served as Chair of the department and also as Assistant Dean and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. He also served on Carbondale’s Planning Commission for eighteen years, four years as chair. Dave was an ardent internationalist and through the years researched, taught or traveled in sixteen countries. Dave’s avocations included woodcarving, writing poetry and writing “letters to the editor.”
Jerry Tetalman tetalmanis the co-author of One World Democracy: A Progressive Vision for Enforceable Global Law. He is the current California President of Citizens for Global Solutions, an organization dedicated to building peace, justice and freedom in a democratically governed world. He is also a co-founder of the World Democracy Movement, an organization dedicated to the formation of a global democracy. He first became politically active in high school, where he protested against the Vietnam War and registered for the draft as a conscientious objector. Jerry has a MA in Psychology and has been a successful businessman dedicated to the pursuit of social justice and the abolition of war.
Lic. Francisco Plancarte y García Naranjo Francisco Plancarte
* Abogado de la UNAM (México 1964 – 1969).
* Maestro en Derecho Comparado de la Universidad de Nueva York (1969- 1970).
* Abogado corporativo por cuarenta años en el Bufete Plancarte,
* Consejero Nacional de la Barra Mexicana y Presidente del Capítulo Jalisco.
* Miembro de la InterAmerican Bar Association. Ensayo publicado sobre la Revisión de la Carta y Transformación de la ONU.
* Fundó Planetafilia en 2001; y es su representante en el Comité Mexicano para la 62ª Conferencia DPI/NGO de la ONU.
* Promotor de la Alianza Mundial para la Transformación de la ONU (WATUN) y socio en México de Vote World Government.
* Miembro del Consejo del World Federalist Movement y del Consejo Consultivo de Democratic World Federalists.
* Socio en México de la Campaña para el Establecimiento de la Asamblea Parlamentaria en Naciones Unidas (UNPA).
* Conferencista en la Universidad de Sapporo en Japón y panelista en la 61ª Conferencia DPI/NGO, UNESCO sede París (2008).
Kelvin Paul Scholz was born in Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil. As a child, he moved with his family to the city of Curitiba, Paraná, where he currently resides. He graduated high school at the College of Military Police of Paraná, and is now a student of law in the University Center of Curitiba. His participation in Vote World Parliament was encouraged by the dream of seeing all peoples of the world united in a common goal of peace and sustainable development. His career is aimed to diplomacy and international trade. Kelvin Paul é um jovem brasileiro nascido em Joinville, Santa Catarina. Ainda pequeno mudou-se com sua família para a cidade de Curitiba, Paraná onde reside atualmente. Formou-se no nível médio no Colégio da Polícia Militar do Paraná e no momento é estudante de direito no Centro Universitário Curitiba. Sua participação na VWP é estimulada pela busca da união de todos os povos da Terra num objetivo comum de paz e desenvolvimento sustentável. Seus projetos de carreira estão apontados para a diplomacia e o comércio internacional.
Dr. Eugenia Almand is Secretary of the Provisional World Parliament, Executive Director of the Institute On World Problems (registered 501c3 in Virginia, USA) and Deputy Secretary General of the World Constitution & Parliament Association. Dr. Almand is a bilingual teacher with MA in Computer Education from California State University, Northridge, California, and numerous bilingual/multicultural teaching certificates. Dr. Almand is fluent in English, Spanish and French, with considerable knowledge of Esperanto and Japanese. In March 2007, IOWP awarded Dr. Almand the Juris Doctor to reflect thirteen years of international legal research work, including study and instruction as a seminarian in international and world law for the Institute in a half-dozen countries. Dr. Almand in 2009 completed the co-editing of Emerging World Law, Volume 1, published by the Institute for Economic Democracy. Dr. Almand is author or co-author of fifteen of the current 52 world legislative acts of the Provisional World Parliament.
John Dale Since childhood, I have felt a commitment to a better world. I am currently deeply interested in political and economic reform in the United States, including instant run-off voting, proportional representation, and getting corporate money out of politics. During law school at Washington College of Law, I became interested in the notion of direct transnational democracy. I came across the work of Jim Stark in Operation Dismantle, which had called for the same idea. The new term crystallized in my mind into three papers that I wrote in this period (1985-86).
• “Self-Government at the Global Level: An International Relations Concept That Can Get Us to Yes.”
• “Costa Rica’s Proposed Advisory World Referendum on Nuclear Arms Control as a Step Toward a Decentralized Global-Level Authority Function.”
• “Plebiscites, Referendums, Initiatives, and Recalls: The Direct Will of the People of States as a Source of International Law and Policy.”
Syed Muhammad Modassar Shahid hails from Karachi, Pakistan. He is 21 years old, and has an interest in literature, the arts, law, languages, but above all, humanity. He has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Karachi, and speaks English, Urdu and Sindhi. He is soon going to enroll as law student and has applied for a Master of Criminology degree. He is a member of Youth Parliament of Pakistan, Future Leaders of Pakistan, Youth Journalism and a dozen other such organizations. He is working to set a principle where there is just rule of law and that no man, woman or child should be deprived due to a shortage of money. The next phase of his philosophy involves religious harmony among all majorities and minorities. He is supporter of reformation instead of revolution because he is fully aware that power tends to corrupt. He has applied for several jobs to earn a livelihood because he doesn’t want to be a burden on his parents. His future ambition is to become a barrister at law. Favorite quote: ”Never go where a path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Jason Holborn grew up on a corn and wheat farm, has lived in three different cities, and has visited Asia. His prime interests are cinema, animals, world federation, languages and multilingualism, personal health, and conflict/violence reduction. Jason has hosted backpackers from every continent, seen several dangerous animals at close range, beaten a hardcore sugar addiction, been a quarter-finalist in the Oscar’s unproduced screenplay competition, and read over 40 books in French. Future travel goals include India, the Great Rift Valley and San Francisco. Knowledge is power, and with great power comes great responsibility.
THE ADVISORY BOARD
Chris Hamer, PhD hamer was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1944. He obtained his BSc and MSc from the University of Melbourne, and his PhD from Caltech in 1972. He is now an Associate Professor in theoretical physics at the University of New South Wales. In the 1980s he was involved with Scientists Against Nuclear Arms (SANA), and was National Secretary 1989-92. He teaches a general studies course on Nuclear Arms and the New World Order at UNSW, and has written a book on world federalism entitled A Global Parliament: Principles of World Federation. He is currently President of the World Citizens Association (Australia), dedicated to promoting the ideals of democratic world government and world federalism.
Dr. Joshua Weiss is currently the Associate Director of the Global Negotiation Project at Harvard University. He received his PhD from the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) at George Mason University in 2002. Dr. Weiss has spoken and published on negotiation, mediation, and systemic approaches to dealing with conflict. In his current capacity he conducts research, consults with many different types of organizations, teaches courses on Negotiation, Mediation, and Conflict Management and Resolution, and practices the art and science of negotiation at the interstate, intrastate, and organizational levels.
Hugh Steadman was born in London in 1942. He entered the RMA Sandhurst in 1960 and joined a British infantry regiment in 1962. His service included time in Germany, peacekeeping in Cyprus and an attachment to the Sultan of Muscat’s armed forces (Oman), where he served as a Desert Intelligence Officer. In 1970, he resigned his commission and took a degree in politics and international relations at Southampton University. Hugh and his wife, Chris, took postgraduate degrees and then established a language training institute. In 1985, they emigrated with their three young children to New Zealand, where they established The Prenzel Distilling Company. Having retained his interest in Middle Eastern affairs, Hugh is now the NZ representative on the International Forum for Justice and Peace at The Hague. In 2005, he withdrew from Prenzel to devote his time to the establishment of the Sapiens Movement Inc., an NGO dedicated to achieving democratic world government.
Torbjörn Tännsjö is Kristian Claëson Professor of Practical Philosophy at Stockholm University. He has published extensively in moral philosophy, political philosophy, and bioethics, with books defending utilitarianism (Hedonistic Utilitarianism), populist democracy (Populist Democracy: A Defence) and respect for autonomy in the health care system (Coercive Care: The Ethics of Choice in Health and Medicine). His most recent books are Understanding Ethics: 2nd revised edition (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP/Columbia UP, 2008) and Global Democracy: The Case for a World Government (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP/Columbia UP, 2008). A link to his last book can be found at http://voteworldparliament.org//about/books/ and his home page is http://www.philosophy.su.se/personal/tannsjo.htm.
Lucy Law Webster has been an active world federalist since 1947 when she started a chapter at Princeton Day School. Later, at Wellesley, she organized a New England Council of Student Federalist Chapters, and served as the National Chair of the United World Federalist Student Division. After graduating, she was invited to become the Secretary General of the World Student Federalists based in Amsterdam. In 1982, Lucy started a 14-year period in the UN Secretariat, mainly as a Political Affairs Office in the Disarmament Department where she edited two publications, drafted speeches, and prepared UN documents. When she left the UN due to its mandatory retirement age, she worked as Director of Economists for Peace and Security, where she now serves on the Board. She is currently the Executive Director of the Center for War/Peace Studies and the senior Vice President of the Council of the World Federalist Movement. Lucy has an MS in International Relations and an MA in Global Political Economy and Finance.
Albert Armstrong After high school in the beautiful community of Shawville, Québec, Canada, Albert Armstrong attended Kemptville Agriculture College, beginning in 1961. In 1965, he was employed by Hydro Québec as an electrical mechanic, and remained with Hydro until retiring in 1998. During those years, he was president of Minor Hockey, president of the Shawville Junior B Hockey Club, president of the Shawville Curling Club, played Senior Hockey and coached all levels of hockey. He and his wife attend the Shawville United Church, where he is a Trustee and a member of the Board of Stewards. Albert was a town councilor in Shawville for ten years and mayor for 16 years, a position he still holds. He was also a director of the Shawville Recreation Association for 25 years. His family includes his wife of 43 years, Gwen, their three daughters, three son-in-laws and five grandchildren. “Life is good,” he says.
Bhawani Shanker Kusum, born in 1947, completed a Masters in social sciences from the University of Gujarat in 1968. Inspired by the Gandhian philosophy of “sarvodaya” (“universal uplift” or “progress of all”), he quit his government job and worked for “partyless” democracy under the leader ship of Jay Prakash Narayan (J.P.), the eminent socialist thinker and Gandhian. He was nominated by J.P. as one of the six members of the National Committee of the Non-party Students and Youth Army in 1977 and mobilized the youth of India for the “Transformation of the Society” (a nonviolent campaign against the corrupt political system). He coordinated the Knit India March with 200 youth on bicycles to establish ahimsa (a Buddhist, Hindu and Gandhian doctrine expressing belief in the sacredness of all living creatures and urging the avoidance of harm and violence) and other Gandhian values under the leadership of reverend Humanist Baba Amte in 1984 (south to north) and 1987 (east to west). He engaged in the rehabilitation of 1,000 leprosy-affected people by making them self reliant. He served as NGO delegate for Asia Pacific in the UNAIDS Program Coordinating Board. He is presently working as Secretary and Executive Director of Gram Bharati Samiti (or “Society for Rural Development”), a national NGO, and National Coordinator of Intersect Worldwide (an international network of NGOs). He was recently elected as NGO Observer for Asia Pacific in the Clean Technology Fund Committee of the World Bank.