MEC ballot criticized as undemocratic - Page 6 - ClubTread Community

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post #76 of (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 03:42 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
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I am sorry I could not attend. I am wondering if there were any more interesting speakers from the floor on this issue.

One thing that SgRant has suggested before is how the democracy in MEC governance could be improved by their being a forum for members to communicate with each other. This would go some way to counteract the top-down flow of information that the MEC board apparently prefers. I say it's apparent because MEC itself hasn't taken any steps to provide any kind of discussion forum.

I e-mailed Longshadow about a month ago asking whether he was interested in hosting a new forum on Clubtread that could be for MEC members discussion, but have not had any response (not surprising since it was unsolicited rambling from a stranger). I don't know if any one else wants to take this up with him.
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post #77 of (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 06:00 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Coastal,

That's a good idea to have a MEC forum on Club Tread. Then the MEC BOD wouldn't have censorship control over it and MEC members could discuss MEC matters freely. I would bet that almost everybody that subscribes to CT is a member of MEC. Is CT ready for 3 million + members? Actually that number might really be more like 30 thousand, the amount of MEC members that bother to vote in it's elections.

Over the last couple of years CT has got better at having civil discussions without having them turn into flame wars. This is due directly to the members keeping discussion on the polite side. As well, CT has a good flow for communicating over a long period of time. I can't think of a better venue for discussion regarding MEC.

Peter
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post #78 of (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 08:05 PM
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I think it's important for MEC to host an MEC member forum, and that it be moderated as fairly as possible.

However, it's just as important for there to be an independent forum. The reason would be that if MEC were tempted to do politically-motivated censoring on the MEC site, the presence of another site to expose that censorship would either prevent the censorship, or make it public. That's why I started making copies of everything I posted, and the responses, on MEC's Facebook site.

So there have to be two MEC forums.

If Longshadow hosted an MEC discussion, he would have to decline accepting any advertising or business from MEC. That is asking a lot, because MEC is the player in this game with the cash.

At minimum, there should be a special resolution next year (with the now required 500 supporters) to force MEC to provide the members with a forum. When enough people get sufficiently pissed off, an independent site will coalesce. I think it's a clear indictment of MEC's true attitude toward the members that there is no MEC forum. Yet the chair of the board says he thinks MEC members are intelligent. He didn't claim they were informed, however.
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post #79 of (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 11:44 AM
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by prother

Coastal,

That's a good idea to have a MEC forum on Club Tread. Then the MEC BOD wouldn't have censorship control over it and MEC members could discuss MEC matters freely. I would bet that almost everybody that subscribes to CT is a member of MEC. Is CT ready for 3 million + members? Actually that number might really be more like 30 thousand, the amount of MEC members that bother to vote in it's elections.

Peter
It was in the low 30 thousands in the 2012 election.

It was in the very low 20 thousands for the 2013 elections.
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post #80 of (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Summit Wind

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by prother

Coastal,

That's a good idea to have a MEC forum on Club Tread. Then the MEC BOD wouldn't have censorship control over it and MEC members could discuss MEC matters freely. I would bet that almost everybody that subscribes to CT is a member of MEC. Is CT ready for 3 million + members? Actually that number might really be more like 30 thousand, the amount of MEC members that bother to vote in it's elections.

Peter
It was in the low 30 thousands in the 2012 election.

It was in the very low 20 thousands for the 2013 elections.
It could well be that, if CT hosted a distinct MEC member discussion, the need for CT to not accept money from MEC in the form of advertising etc. would be more than offset by the increase in hits on the site.

I think the huge decease in member participation was an indictment of the board's new control of the nomination process. Wait until next year when they start using endorsements again.

The MEC board chair's (same as the president of the board) pay was $57,000 last year. The other directors had varying amounts down to about $35,000.
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post #81 of (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 08:36 PM
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Wow 30 thousand voters in 2012! down to only 20 thousand in 2013? No wonder that the MEC BOD can push what ever resoluutions that they want through. We are truely a society of lemmings.


[/quote]
Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Summit Wind

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by prother

Coastal,

That's a good idea to have a MEC forum on Club Tread. Then the MEC BOD wouldn't have censorship control over it and MEC members could discuss MEC matters freely. I would bet that almost everybody that subscribes to CT is a member of MEC. Is CT ready for 3 million + members? Actually that number might really be more like 30 thousand, the amount of MEC members that bother to vote in it's elections.

Peter
It was in the low 30 thousands in the 2012 election.

It was in the very low 20 thousands for the 2013 elections.
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post #82 of (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by prother

Wow 30 thousand voters in 2012! down to only 20 thousand in 2013? No wonder that the MEC BOD can push what ever resoluutions that they want through. We are truely a society of lemmings.

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Summit Wind

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by prother

Coastal,

That's a good idea to have a MEC forum on Club Tread. Then the MEC BOD wouldn't have censorship control over it and MEC members could discuss MEC matters freely. I would bet that almost everybody that subscribes to CT is a member of MEC. Is CT ready for 3 million + members? Actually that number might really be more like 30 thousand, the amount of MEC members that bother to vote in it's elections.

Peter
It was in the low 30 thousands in the 2012 election.

It was in the very low 20 thousands for the 2013 elections.
[/quote]

Part of the handout materials for the meeting was a flashy "Accountability Report Summary", complete with a large picture of whitewater kayakers and the word "COL-LA-BOR-ATE" in four parts in huge letters. These numbers, mercifully absent the picture, can be seen at http://www.mec.ca/AST/ContentPrimary...34198674180635.

Despite decades of trying to make MEC employees engaged, in 2011 employee engagement was down 8% to 64%. So not just the members are disengaging. This is surprising, given the efforts that have gone into this, the apparent attractiveness of working for MEC, the concern members would have that MEC should be a great place to work, and MEC's frequent trumpeting of appearing in "100 Best Employers" sorts of things. Can MEC be functioning well when it appears so many employees aren't too thrilled to be working there?

The target for voter participation for 2013 was 1% of the membership. Actual was .55%.

To elaborate on the "sheep" idea...

Even on CT, few people read these MEC topics, compared to the most trivial of matters (see the hockey topics, for instance). Even fewer participate. I'm quite uneasy about having so much to say here, but it seems there's only a handful who have enough interest in this to comment.

Though MEC always pays lip service to it, MEC's lack of enthusiasm in engaging the members is quite obvious. Mostly, MEC's efforts are confined to legal requirements and marketing. For instance, are board meeting schedules, agendas and minutes posted anywhere? Hello MEC, have you heard of what can be done on a website? This voter participation level is no accident. Unless a reform slate appears, I predict it will be worse next year. Why vote when it appears the choices have already been made?

Deserved or not, MEC enjoys tremendous credibility with the members. So the vast majority of members would cut off their right arm if the board said it would be good for MEC if they did so. I don't expect many members to take a fraction of as much time as is needed to figure out what's going on with this one store they happen to shop at. How long would it take just to figure out the right answer to the Israel sourcing side-issue at MEC?

Lately Canadians seem very willing to surrender their rights to surrogate parents like Harper. I'm not sure why.

The board is using code words such as "governance" to charm the members into giving up control of MEC. "Governance" is to "disenfranchise" as conservatives use "jobs" and "the economy" as code words for "beggar the commons for private profit".

Stripping MEC members of control of MEC is like taking candy from a baby. Both parties bear responsibility for this debacle, but the onus has to be on the organization to behave itself. Publishing one-sided and incomplete commentary on fundamental rule changes is not proper behavior. It's shameful.
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post #83 of (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 10:08 AM
Hittin' the Trails
 
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I disagree that we are a culture of sheep. The real reason that there is so much apathy is that people dont care too much about how their gear store is governed. This is the same as most retail coops like the gas and grocery stores. As for why people who do vote vote in the direction the board recomends its not because they are sheep but because when they walk into MEC they can find the products they like and are satisfied at the services and community involvement they see.

What would you change about MEC that would make a real difference to the experience of the customer that would convince them to vote for changes that arent supported by the board?

One thing I think the new rules will do is make member submitted resolutions more credible. When you see a resolution suported by 7 or 16 members but not supported by the board it is easy to dismiss. However, when you see 500 members supported something it is a lot more convincing that this is a change that will benefit people.
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post #84 of (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 11:59 AM
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post #85 of (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Greg1920

I disagree that we are a culture of sheep. The real reason that there is so much apathy is that people dont care too much about how their gear store is governed. This is the same as most retail coops like the gas and grocery stores. As for why people who do vote vote in the direction the board recomends its not because they are sheep but because when they walk into MEC they can find the products they like and are satisfied at the services and community involvement they see.

What would you change about MEC that would make a real difference to the experience of the customer that would convince them to vote for changes that arent supported by the board?

One thing I think the new rules will do is make member submitted resolutions more credible. When you see a resolution suported by 7 or 16 members but not supported by the board it is easy to dismiss. However, when you see 500 members supported something it is a lot more convincing that this is a change that will benefit people.
Whether MEC would better serve its members by being less democratic is difficult to say, to say the least. We can say that MEC has arrived at where it is by being as democratic as it is/was. So to claim that it must be less democratic to maintain or improve that level of service should take far more convincing proof than MEC has so far offered. At least for me, anyway.

How do you know MEC will serve its members better with these changes? There is less proof of that than there is that the members have been served well with more democratic membership involvement.

Degrading the quality of any democracy anywhere and of any size or nature is something that should be taken more seriously than to be based on one-sided promotion. There are plenty of people around quite happy to assume control of "public" assets.

Say you're relatively happy with life in Canada. If the federal conservatives suggested making Canada's voting laws far less democratic than they are, with the reason being that these changes are needed to keep Canada healthy in a competitive global race, would you accept that?

Your reasoning about 500 supporters for special resolutions makes sense. Maybe the board should have to get the same number of supporters for its resolutions.
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post #86 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by sgRant

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Greg1920

I disagree that we are a culture of sheep. The real reason that there is so much apathy is that people dont care too much about how their gear store is governed. This is the same as most retail coops like the gas and grocery stores. As for why people who do vote vote in the direction the board recomends its not because they are sheep but because when they walk into MEC they can find the products they like and are satisfied at the services and community involvement they see.

What would you change about MEC that would make a real difference to the experience of the customer that would convince them to vote for changes that arent supported by the board?

One thing I think the new rules will do is make member submitted resolutions more credible. When you see a resolution suported by 7 or 16 members but not supported by the board it is easy to dismiss. However, when you see 500 members supported something it is a lot more convincing that this is a change that will benefit people.
Whether MEC would better serve its members by being less democratic is difficult to say, to say the least. We can say that MEC has arrived at where it is by being as democratic as it is/was. So to claim that it must be less democratic to maintain or improve that level of service should take far more convincing proof than MEC has so far offered. At least for me, anyway.

How do you know MEC will serve its members better with these changes? There is less proof of that than there is that the members have been served well with more democratic membership involvement.

Degrading the quality of any democracy anywhere and of any size or nature is something that should be taken more seriously than to be based on one-sided promotion. There are plenty of people around quite happy to assume control of "public" assets.

Say you're relatively happy with life in Canada. If the federal conservatives suggested making Canada's voting laws far less democratic than they are, with the reason being that these changes are needed to keep Canada healthy in a competitive global race, would you accept that?

Your reasoning about 500 supporters for special resolutions makes sense. Maybe the board should have to get the same number of supporters for its resolutions.
If the consevatives tried to make things less democratic than i would be up in arms because it could have a large effect on my life. MEC becoming more or less democratic will have very little effect on anyones life hence the voter apathy we see. My point above was that people werent sheep. They just dont care.

I would argue that board resolutions do have the support of members do to the fact the board is elected by the membership therefore further signitures would not be required.
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