We can reform all our large voter organizations, including democracies and corporations, by starting with reforming our co-ops (including financial co-ops such as credit unions). Most large institutions lack effective democratic control by voters. Even though citizens of democracies can vote, corporate shareowners can vote, and co-op members can vote, those voting rights are ineffective if voters lack the information, insight and nomination rights necessary to elect the best leaders. This paper outlines how we can better implement the fundamental co-op principle of democratic member control, even when co-ops grow very large. Later we can apply these ideas to our democracies and corporations.
This paper proposes rules to improve the democratic accountability of co-op leaders to members, organized in nine topic sections. To contrast these proposals with existing rules, I cite examples from three Canadian organizations where I am a member: Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), Vancity Credit Union, and the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA).I welcome your comments!