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It’s China (Updated … and Updated Again)

That’s the latest word from Borobudur.  Here’s a message from Mu-Sick, who is there, and it sounds pretty authoritative to me:

Of the 4400 or so participants at Interhash 2012, only 2374 voted. A strict procedure was set up for voting Friday and Saturday night, which included arequirement for every vote to be cast in person by the participant, theparticipant’s registration number on the ballot (which was then cut off whenthe vote was cast), indelible ink placed on each voter’s index finger, and the vote stub cut off the IH wristband. Of the 2374 votes cast at IH 2012 Borobudur, Indonesia, 59% (1401 votes) went for Hainan. There were 125 votes for Fiji and 848 for Brussels. Since Hainan won over 50% on the first count, there was no second count to determine how many that voted for Fiji would have gone to Brussels or Hainan as their second choice. Hainan will host IH2014 in March 2014.

One Facebook commenter said she hoped this wouldn’t create a great schism in the hash, but as I recall we already had a great schism: it happened after the 2010 vote, when Java edged out Mombasa for IH 2012, and the Africa bidders and their supporters decided to hold their event anyway.  They declared it a second InterHash and scheduled it for the same weekend as Java.  Two weeks later, they backed down, rescheduling it for an earlier weekend and giving it another name, but still … it was a schism, and the Mombasa event was a de facto alternate InterHash.

When I attended IH during the days of GM-only voting, there was a widespread perception that the system could be abused to ensure desired outcomes.  Indeed, I was a voting GM when Cyprus appeared to pack the room with phony GMs pledged to vote for Cyprus.  Maybe that’s what it took to finally pry IH from Asia’s firm embrace … I honestly don’t know … what I do know is that at the time many of us campaigned for a rule change allowing all IH attendees to vote.

Now that all IH attendees have the vote and Asian venues are winning all the bids, people are saying they warned us, that they told us the result would be what’s happening now.  I don’t remember any such warnings, but hey, in hindsight I suppose the Asian onslaught was predictable.  Still, if Westerners made up the majority of Cyprus attendees, how is it that IH returned to Asia next time around, and once it was back in Asia, how in hell did Goa and Cardiff ever manage to get the nod?

It is what it is.  I still think allowing all IH attendees to vote is the fairest method.  I don’t think a “different continent” rule is going to get traction.  I think what’ll happen is what happened this year: one official InterHash and one de facto competing InterHash on another continent.  We are in the age of multiple InterHashes.  You can see it as a great schism and protest against it, or you can accept it as the new reality.

Higgins always said Brussels would hold a world event in 2014, regardless of the outcome of the vote in Java.  I wish Hainan well, and based on the great things I’m hearing about the Java InterHash, I’m sure they’ll put on a great event too.  And so will Brussels.  I can maybe afford to go to Europe; China is beyond my budget.  I, for one, will have to accept the new reality and make hard choices.  But really, was it ever different?

Update (5/29/12): Lost of discussions on the boards, Facebook, ect (but not HashSpace — why is it hashers refuse to use the forums on HashSpace?) about IH voting and bidding. I’m off to the Gypsies in the Palace 1000th, the Northern California coast, and the wine country for a few days; when I get back I’ll summarize some of the discussion here. Meanwhile, on on to San Francisco!

Update (6/9/12): Got an email from Mu-Sick today telling me that after the vote in Kuching, the Africa event organizers rescheduled the Kenya event so as not to conflict with IH 2012.  At the time many IH attendees reported that Kenya and Indonesia would be held on the same weekend, but that was apparently sour grapes; after the vote Kenya organizers rescheduled their event for the weekend before Indonesia and announced it as a prelube.  I’ll stand by my great schism comment, however … from the average hashers’ point of view, Kenya was an alternate InterHash … not many of us can jet off to Africa for a prelube and then fly halfway around the world for an IH in Indonesia the very next weekend.

© 2012, Flying Booger. All rights reserved.


About Flying Booger  Hash House Harrier, man about town.


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4 comments to It’s China (Updated … and Updated Again)

  • Ra

    The official vote count was 2313 good ballots with Hainan getting 59,58% and Brussels 34.5% and Fiji 125 votes (5.4%).

    Notably, with the one Hasher one vote enforced, less than 50% of the attendees voted.

    Any bidder who can motivate the majority of attenders who do not vote to instead vote for them will win any IH vote by a landslide.

    Mombasa event being scheduled a week before IN2012 was probably the biggest factor in reducing the number of voters for Brussels. The timing of that event was Very, VERY bad for Brussels. If another 400-500 supporters had attended IH2012, results certainly could have been different.

    IH2014 site was determined by 2313 of the 4800-ish people who showed up at Interhash.

    Brussels bid included the plan that they would not accept a bidder for IH2014 from Europe, Hainan could do the same thing (not allowing a China or Asia based bid for 2016)

  • Sperm Whale

    Well my fellow hashers, I also attended, if we have to learn a lesson it is that the ever popular Interhash is increasing in size especially with the Asian community & no matter how many hashers vote the majority will always vote for an Asian venue.
    I see 2 ways out, either go back to the GM’s only vote or dare I say it, spilt up.
    Individual Hashes have done this eg Bali & Bandung.
    I believe we should go back to the GM’s voting system or we’ll never get the Interhash to be shared with the world locations.

  • Grizzly

    Hash is – and always has been – self-regulating, although perhaps we are too young as a non-organisation to have gone through some sort of implosion, resulting in (shudder) regulation.

    Looking ahead, would any non-Asian group (other than Fiji) bother bidding for IH2016? (Sorry Fiji, but you may have to back up your claim of ‘bidding until you get it’.) This means that – in all probability – IH2016 will also be held in Asia.

    However! A lack of bidders also means that there won’t be a disgruntled/disappointed ‘we will hold an event anyway’ alternative for 2016. This should result in a change in the proportion of non-Asian to Asian attendees at IH2016 to at least give a non-Asian bidder a chance (c’mon NZ, you can do it!).

    Less than half of those registered had cast a vote (which is in line with previous votes *cough*exceptKuching*cough*). It stands to reason that the majority of those lapsed votes were from Asia-based hashers. In other words, an Asian hasher doesn’t equate to an Asian vote (any more than the reverse does). Had Mombassa not removed a number of potential supporters of the Brussels bid, I suspect that the vote would have been different.

    This is not an Asia vs the rest argument – the same would apply if Interhash returned to any one region time and again.

    IH2012 was good. It was VERY good. Every bit as good as IH2010 was poor. Even if every future IH held in Asia was to meet those same high standards, I’d still feel disappointed at not getting to see more of the world via Interhash (which is the ONLY way I’ve travelled).

    I’m an optimist – even without rules and (shudder) regulation, Interhash WILL be held somewhere other than in Asia before the end of the decade (and before I’m too old and decrepit to enjoy it).

  • 2014 Higgins? I think the first alternative is being held in Okinawa, Japan for the 20th World Interhash the last weekend in May, 2014. However, the more the merrier. I really thought Brussels has a shot, but from the feedback I got, a lot of people considered the committee too arrogant. Be humble my friends. If you had to put on 17+ annual events at which most of the world boycotted, hosted EuroHash III to keep it going only to be trashed by some, then founded a Nash Hash that is boycotted by most poofters in hashing (actually a good thing), but still survives and thrives to this day, then you would learn a little humility.

    On that note, some good news. Dal “Jock” Trader, the founder of the Okinawa HHH has paid and signed up for the 2014 World Interhash. For those of you who can trace your hash roots to Okinawa, most U.S. hashes and hashers, then you don’t want to miss that one.

    Personally, I am happy that Hainan won the bid in some respects as the Chinese can put on a good show – thought not sure about Hainan itself as I never hashed with them. Real friendly folks in Guangzhou, the Hong Kong area hashes and of course my favorite small hash in Macau, so you will have a lot of friendly hashers there.

    So, if you want an alternative World Interhash, be in Orlando Sep, 2012, Heidelberg May, 2013 and Okinawa May, 2014 and really enjoy a best bang for your buck, truly world event through mandatory tri-regional rotation.

    http://www.worldinterhash.com will have the details.

    Cheers and On On
    Stray Dog

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