• Electoral Process

    Any 35+ year old Guild member of Madame Cum Laude status may be nominated for Grande Madame by a group of 10 Madames or other MCLs. (It helps to be a parent…)

    Vice Madame must be 27 years of age & of Madame status or higher, and, though named by a GM nominee, must be seconded by at least two other Madames. A VM can also be nominated independently by 10 Madames or MCLs. Incumbent GMs & VMs do not need to be nominated to run for re-election. The position of IWG Vice-Madame can be voted on separately or as "one ticket" with the GM Candidate.

    GM/VM Nominees and their platforms must be sent to the Guild Scribe for submission to the sitting Privvy Council by the 1st day of Spring of an election year and will be posted the following April 1. Voting will take place between June 1 and August 12 via the web, write-in ballot and hand-in ballot at assigned Guild hostels.

    The term for GM & VM runs 4 years per election with a maximum of 2 terms. Local Madames & Regional Reps (Privvy Council Members) have two year terms with no limitation. Regional Reps, Local Madames & Dames can be removed or replaced at the Local level regardless of term, based on necessity for retirement or disciplinary action.

    One wench = one vote.

    In addition, and Guild Locals or Hostels that have been in existence for two years or more will also need to vote for their Regional Representatives, Local Madames and Dames.

    Impeachment Criteria :

    Abuse of Power
    Continued inability to make decisions which benefit the majority of the Guild
    Breaking of Policies

    A Guild Local (or Charter House) is comprised of any group of Wenches in a particular region numbering more than 10, with an established Hostel on a Faire/Festival site, administered by a pre-elected Local Madame. A Guild Sanctioned Hostel can be formed by a group of as little as 3 (preferably 5) or more Wenches, (provided said Wenches have a physical place to convene, like a crafts booth or tavern on a Faire/Festival Site or private residence) administered by a Wench of Jade status or higher.)

    To obtain a Sanction for a Guild Hostel, the Wenches wanting to operate the Hostel must contact the Guild Scribe with a petition that includes: the names, ID#s and addresses of the Hostel members, the physical location of the Hostel, written permission of the building owner for the use of the building for occasional Guild purposes, the contact name and information of the building owner and/or the person in Faire/Festival management allowing the Guild use of the Faire/Festival's tavern/pub/what- have-you, a suggested name for the Hostel and, finally, a brief description on what madness they plan do there. Upon approval of the Local by the Guild Scribe and GM, the Hostel administrator (known as the Dame) will receive a Guild Sanction (to be displayed proudly on the Hostel wall) and the full support of the Guild in matters of protocol, policy and tomfoolery. The Hostel can also obtain a nicely Painted Guild Shield for display* or paint their own (badge shaped, no more than 12"W x 18"L) to alert fellow Guild members that there's a sanctuary here.

    To obtain a Charter for a Guild Local, the same information as listed above is sent to the Scribe, but is then forwarded onto the Guild Privvy Council for a vote taken by at least 4 available members, the GM, the VM and the Scribe. If accepted, as based on membership population in a region, a Local Charter / Number is issued and the Charter is sent for the Charter Applicants to sign and display. The physical location (Hostel) of the Local is then called a Charter House, for lack of a better name. If a Charter House needs to move or change locations (due to on-going Guild Local activities before/after the run of it's "Home Show"), notice needs to be sent to the Scribe for communication purposes. The Local may also create it's own Guild Banner for parade or display purposes (no larger that 3'W x 5'L, with the Guild Logo occupying the upper half) so long as they register the design (and any additional motto) with the Guild Scribe for the Chronicles. (Free design assistance from the Guild Scribe is always readily available…)

    A Guild Local must be administered by a Local Madame and her Lieutenant Madame, with an assigned Arbiter (of Hussy status or more) or Dame to break voting deadlocks.

    A Guild Region is determined by Member population in proximity to a major Faire/Festival. Some regions are as small as several counties and some as large as several states. (For example, Canada is it's own Local AND Region…) A Guild Regional Council is comprised of the Local Madames in that Region, who in turn elect among their number a Regional Representative to the Privvy Council. For reasons of economy and sanity, the Privvy Council will convene electronically via e-mail, fax & phone till such a time as a National Wench Guild Conference my be planned. (Any volunteers?..) Regional Guild Meetings may take place during Faire Invasions or other gathering opportunities (like conventions, etc.) , as decided by the Regional Members. (A list of Regional Himbos to serve chilled drinks and back-rubs can be obtained from the Guild Scribe for certain bribes to be named at a later date…)

    Notes: Only ONE Guild Local (Charter House) can operate jurisdiction on a particular Faire/Festival site at any time, though up to 3 Guild Hostels can operate within a Charter House, provided a Local Madame is presiding to arbitrate. Visiting Guild members are subject to the jurisdiction and protection of the Local Madame. Sometimes bringing a gift or symbol from a foreign Local/Hostel is nice, so as to reinforce the far flung bonds that hold the Guild together… but, it's just a suggestion.

    When a Hostel reaches 10 members, and there is no other Guild Local operating on the same Faire/Festival site, it may apply for Charter House Status.

    The Privvy Council is augmented by up to 2 Advisors that the elected GM brings with her into her official office and 1 advisor/assistant for the VM. Also, occasionally, members of other Guilds will hold "Ambassadors" seats on the Privvy Council as "Guest Advisors", depending on issues of which they may be of some service through personal expertise. Some IWG members serve as "liaison officers" in some of the other Guilds in turn, tho one cannot hold office in two guilds at the same time.

    It should also be noted that all Guild Sanctions and Charters (and pretty much everything else dealing with the IWG) are issued through the auspices of Lundegaard Productions and it's proprietor Lars Elling Lunde, co-creator, "tireless" administrator & Scribe of the International Wenches Guild. Lundegaard Productions holds all the copyrights to Guild artwork, logos, materials and "intellectual property", though it also holds the bag on a Faire/Festival site if the fewmets hit the windmill, so to speak. In line of responsibility after the GM & VM stands The Scribe and he will do his utmost to further the harmony, fun and health of the IWG and all it's members. Even if he is just a male.

    * The Guild has several skilled sign painters available, several Guild Members, to paint Guild Shields for a reasonable fee. Contact the Scribe for info.

    Grande Madame - Leading force of the IWG. 4 year term, 2 term limit.
    Vice-Madame (Madame of Vice) - Chief trouble-maker and Right Hand of Mom. 4 year term, 2 term limit.
    Grande Prive - The final advisory body of the IWG. The Supreme Court of Cootchie, so to speak. Consists of 12 Wenches: senior MCL Charter Members, retired ranking MCLs, GMs or VMs. No term limits.
    Privvy Council (Regional Representative) - Primary advisory body of the IWG. Comprised of Regional Representatives from around the world, "elected" and occasional guest advisors. 2 year term, 4 term limit.
    Regional Council - Regional policy body, comprised of all Local Madames in the particular Region. 2 year term, no term limit, but vote can happen at any time.
    Local Madame - Locally elected representative and voice of reason on the ground level. Runs the local Charter House and elects/ can be elected to Privvy Council.
    Lieutenant Madame - Local Madame's second in command (Local Vice Madame, essentially) Will run the roost when Local Madame is otherwise occupied.
    Dame - Administer/Mommy of Guild Hostel. She runs the house, answering to the Local Madame and providing comfort/support to local and visiting Guild Members.
    Drill Sergeant (Walk-Mistress) - Organizes, runs and otherwise shepherds a Wench Walk; maintains protocol, minds stragglers, distributes lipstick, assigns crowd control, polices alcohol/drugs, sets song-list, charts course and keeps tune/rhythm. Jade rank or higher. Gets red sergeants bars.
    Madame Singer - Leads Wench Walk if the Sergeant can't sing. Normally lead singer. Leaves non-musical duties to the Sergeant. Can be Hussy or higher.
    Guild Scribe - Primary administrator and chronicler of the IWG. Life-time commitment.
    Battle Bitch - Mercenary Guild members of the IWG. Normally assigned crowd control or security on Wench Walks.
    Notes of Order

    It is preferable that a controversy or grievance among Wenches be settled at the local level AFTER HOURS. However, if an issue cannot be effectively resolved, appeals can be brought up the chain of authority first to the Local Madame, then the Regional Council, the Privvy Council, Scribe, VM, GM and finally the Grande Prive. But, please, try to work things out amongst yourselves first. And play nice.

    Disciplinary Action
    If a Guild Member sees fit to behave in such an inconsiderate, foolish manner as to embarrass and disgrace the International Wenches Guild, she has 3 Strikes: Warning, Suspension & Expulsion. On the Local level (particularly on a Faire/Festival site), a decision on disciplinary action must be made by a Quorum of 3 ranking Members (Local Madame, Lieutenant Madame, Dame, Arbiter, and local or visiting MCLs/Madames) After all, the IWG is about fun, but NOT a shield for drunken debauchery and irresponsible behavior in public. If a member wanted that kind of life, she'd join the League of Dionysus and get it over with.

    Reasons for disciplinary action:

    Unreasonable Insubordination
    Breaking a REAL law (Theft, Larceny, Assault, Murder, Soliciting… YES, Soliciting…)
    Narcotics Possession/Dealing
    Public Drunken Behavior
    Nudity in front of Faire/Festival Management
    Under-Age Alcohol Drinking
    Public Sexual Displays higher that PG(-13)
    Continued Bearing False Witness** (spreading of malicious untruths that cause disharmony amongst the Guild)
    ** As an alternative to expulsion, the Order of the Biddy may be awarded. The recipient will only wear a red letter B- instead of her A+ until the order is rescinded for good behavior. In some cases, it could become permanent…

    If a Guild member quits, returns her pin, and THEN wants back in, she has to be voted back in by a majority of the Privvy Council. Meanwhile, her ID# may be re-assigned.

    Article by Dawn M. Ferchak and Lars E. Lunde
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