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post #61 of (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 04:55 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Does anyone know what the priorities will be for the board positions in the 2014 election?

Priorities for 2013 are here:
http://www.mec.ca/media/Images/pdf/B...9831164450.pdf
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post #62 of (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Steventy

Does anyone know what the priorities will be for the board positions in the 2014 election?

Priorities for 2013 are here:
http://www.mec.ca/media/Images/pdf/B...9831164450.pdf
You'll need to be an insider, with an MBA, you won't rock the boat, and you've been on at least six or seven corporate boards before. Your outdoor experience will be limited to self proclamations of avid outdoorsperson who commutes three days per week by bike to work. You also have a vague passion for gear.

Some good information is at MEC Members for a Democratic Co-op. http://www.democraticcoop.ca/

I think one of the most abhorrent things about special resolution 1 is the power for the board to highlight their picks for the board in election materials. Imagine going to the polls to vote for your MP and having Elections Canada highlight who they think you should vote for.

It also looks like the MEC board is taking lessons from the Vancity board:

http://www.straight.com/news/vancity...g-undemocratic
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post #63 of (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by willis
I think one of the most abhorrent things about special resolution 1 is the power for the board to highlight their picks for the board in election materials. Imagine going to the polls to vote for your MP and having Elections Canada highlight who they think you should vote for.
I think the equivalent situation would be that the party in power highlights on the election ballots their party's candidates, and the electorate are such sheep that they unquestioningly obey what they're told to do.

In MEC, there is no independent body that would be the equivalent of Elections Canada. The incumbent directors are a like a political party (in that they expect loyalty and obedience from individual directors) that also runs the elections.

Given that 10% of Canadians are MEC members, one should not have high expectations of a public that would elect the Harper Conservatives.
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post #64 of (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 10:12 PM
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one should not have high expectations of a public that would elect the Harper Conservatives.


Sad but true. I was a member of REI before the co-op. I doubt there in the same boat.
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post #65 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 09:27 AM
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I've been an MEC member for over 20 years, but this is the first time I've voted, as a direct result of this thread.
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post #66 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 12:18 PM
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The simple fact is that MEC is in the later stages of bureaucratic pathology :-( Administrative wants have overcome customer needs and the internal culture is seeking to perpetuate itself at the expense of co-operative goals.

This sadly predictable "aging" process (not unique to MEC by any means) is made ironic with the fake nostalgia celebrated in advertisements while the direction is clearly 180 degrees away from founding principles. Don't believe that co-op status inoculates management from self-interest!

So who benefits from unfettered growth and mass-market appeal? Why, administration who can now justify CEO-like perks and benefits. Whens MEC becomes "just" another store, their market will decline and they will fail.

Anyone out there planning on starting a brash new NOT-FOR-PROFIT outward-bound equipment store with low overhead, quality merchandise and reasonable prices?
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post #67 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Trail Talk

The simple fact is that MEC is in the later stages of bureaucratic pathology :-( Administrative wants have overcome customer needs and the internal culture is seeking to perpetuate itself at the expense of co-operative goals.

This sadly predictable "aging" process (not unique to MEC by any means) is made ironic with the fake nostalgia celebrated in advertisements while the direction is clearly 180 degrees away from founding principles. Don't believe that co-op status inoculates management from self-interest!

So who benefits from unfettered growth and mass-market appeal? Why, administration who can now justify CEO-like perks and benefits. Whens MEC becomes "just" another store, their market will decline and they will fail.

Anyone out there planning on starting a brash new NOT-FOR-PROFIT outward-bound equipment store with low overhead, quality merchandise and reasonable prices?
To elaborate on your excellent points:

My perception was that the management always chafes under the cooperative framework, seeing so much money changing hands and believing they deserve a much larger cut of it and feeling they could get that larger cut if it wasn't a coop. And all that money wasted on membership matters like elections! This attitude is on view more in the relentless pressure from management for expansion, because of course the bigger the organization the more opportunities for them and the higher the pay.

Probably, but not necessarily, there is some correlation between people so oriented and successful business skills. So, what you need is a member-oriented and cooperative-focused board that steadfastly limits management influence over the board and the organization. The board is supposed to represent the interests of the member/owners. This is why you want a board that provides vision and guidance, and not so much hands-on business expertise.

As to starting another coop, my guess is that MEC, in the words of Kevin O'Leary, would squash you like a cockroach. You would also be up against something MEC didn't face, which is the Internet. The Internet is my personal outdoor gear "coop" and swap meet.

If you divide MEC's sales by the # of members, you get the average purchases per member per year. Simple. It's something like $85. Perhaps a pair of pants. New members buy lots more than longer-term members, so that's part of the reason for endless expansion geographically and of the product lines. How much each of us spends each yper on relevant outdoor gear, compared to that $85, shows MEC's market share among its members. Unimpressive, I'd say.
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post #68 of (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by the743


I'm quite glad that other people have noticed this too. There's a grassroots campaign waiting to happen... It's just, how do we get it started?
Mark Latham is helping coordinate people pushing for member democracy in co-ops and credit unions, especially in the Vancouver area. Current priorities are MEC, Coast Capital Credit Union and Vancity Credit Union. To get involved, you could email him: mark[at]votermedia.org.

Last week he wrote this article in the Vancouver Observer: "We want our co-ops back" http://www.vancouverobserver.com/blo...ur-co-ops-back

And then there's Democracy Watch, which so far is addressing society's largest democracies.
http://democracywatch.ca/
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post #69 of (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 09:40 AM
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“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”

? Eric Hoffer, The Temper of Our Time
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post #70 of (permalink) Old 04-25-2013, 11:36 PM
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Special Resolution #1 passed at 91%

Special Resolution #2 failed at 54ish%

Special Resolution #3 fail at 33ish%
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post #71 of (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Summit Wind

Special Resolution #1 passed at 91%

Special Resolution #2 failed at 54ish%

Special Resolution #3 fail at 33ish%
Interesting that without new stores and broadening the product line, MEC would be shrinking. Can't have that.

Best part of the agm was the food.
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post #72 of (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Summit Wind

Special Resolution #1 passed at 91%

Special Resolution #2 failed at 54ish%

Special Resolution #3 fail at 33ish%
Absolutely no surprise. I bet 91% of those who voted for Resolution #1 have no idea what's in it.
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post #73 of (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 07:36 AM
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Wonder hot much there new corporate digs being built on Great Northern Way adjacent to VCC Skytrain station is costing.

Cheers!
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post #74 of (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by burnabyhiker

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Summit Wind

Special Resolution #1 passed at 91%

Special Resolution #2 failed at 54ish%

Special Resolution #3 fail at 33ish%
Absolutely no surprise. I bet 91% of those who voted for Resolution #1 have no idea what's in it.
I personally know 2 people, who aren't idiots, who voted YES on Special Resolution #1. They read what MEC said about it, but they said they couldn't find exactly what Special Resolution #1 is about.

When they found out EXACTLY what they voted for, they were horrified, as many things in that omnibus bill were completely against their values and ideals.

A Mark Latham stood up and spoke. He asked Bill Gibson, the MEC Board Chair, if he thought that the 91% of members who voted knew what they were looking for. Bill Gibson's reply was (paraphrased), "I don't not know, as I haven't polled each and every single one of them. I do have faith in the intelligence of our members to make the right decision."
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post #75 of (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Summit Wind

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by burnabyhiker

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Summit Wind

Special Resolution #1 passed at 91%

Special Resolution #2 failed at 54ish%

Special Resolution #3 fail at 33ish%
Absolutely no surprise. I bet 91% of those who voted for Resolution #1 have no idea what's in it.
I personally know 2 people, who aren't idiots, who voted YES on Special Resolution #1. They read what MEC said about it, but they said they couldn't find exactly what Special Resolution #1 is about.

When they found out EXACTLY what they voted for, they were horrified, as many things in that omnibus bill were completely against their values and ideals.

A Mark Latham stood up and spoke. He asked Bill Gibson, the MEC Board Chair, if he thought that the 91% of members who voted knew what they were looking for. Bill Gibson's reply was (paraphrased), "I don't not know, as I haven't polled each and every single one of them. I do have faith in the intelligence of our members to make the right decision."
Yes, I remember him saying that. Given that the board offers the members only information SUPPORTING the board's resolutions, and only information AGAINST resolutions put forward by members and which the board opposes, then Bill's position is that members are smart enough to figure out that there are no valid reasons to oppose the board's resolutions or valid reasons to support the other resolutions. That is outrageous bullshit. The membership approval on all the board's resolutions for the last few years is invalid on this basis.

For instance, this Harperesque omibus Resolution #1 contained about 100 material changes. I went through it, word for word, comparing the old and new versions. Some changes concern officers of the coop and others concern MEC notices to members being binding after being posted in MEC's website for 2 days. I don't even know what the former means, and as for the latter, what member is going to go through the entire MEC website every two days to see if any fast ones are being pulled?

Or, a few years ago, the board proposed a resolution to suspend, on a one-time basis, the rule preventing directors and employees to move between the board and the staff within 3 years. The board went on at great lengths as to why this suspension of the rule was a good idea. They said nothing about why it might not be a good idea. If the rule was such a good idea to begin with as to be a rule, then why would it not make sense to also mention why it might not be a good idea to suspend it at all? Like, for instance, will directors do a good job of controlling management when they might hope to land a plum job in MEC's management?

But I suppose Bill thinks the members are intelligent enough to know all that. What an incredibly arrogant way to dismiss criticism. At the same time, 91% membership approval of the resolution hardly supports the conclusion that MEC members are terribly smart. As I said before, MEC's members are much the same public who elected the Harper government.

You know what this is? It's good old-fashioned bullying. And the vast majority of MEC's members don't have a clue they're being manipulated.
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