Friday, March 20, 2015

@MEC ramps up suppression of member #democracy

Is Mountain Equipment "Co-op" still a co-op?

Co-ops are democratic organizations controlled by their members (see fundamental principles of co-ops). Look at the evidence that MEC has become an undemocratic organization controlled by its entrenched board:

In 2012, the board persuaded unsuspecting MEC members to give it the power to disqualify any member from running in board elections. Supposedly this was to improve the quality of candidates, but that excuse can easily be used to eliminate candidates that challenge the board.

In 2013, the board used that power to prevent former MEC board member Anders Ourom from running. It's notable that in 2015, when Anders did not put his name forward to run, board experience is now considered sufficient to qualify: "...the minimum qualifications (experience sitting on a board or ...)".

In 2014, 27 MEC members wanted to run in the board election. The board blocked 2 of them, and the board chair claimed that this power increased the board's accountability to members (on page 2 of the minutes).

This year, 23 MEC members wanted to run, and the board blocked 7 of them.

As the notoriously corrupt Boss Tweed used to say: “I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating.”

With such a censored ballot, it's no wonder that MEC's voter turnout remains below 1/10 of 1%. Russell Brand was right on target in this video: “It's not that I'm not voting out of apathy. I'm not voting out of absolute indifference and weariness and exhaustion from the lies, treachery, deceit of the political class”.

Of course, Russell was talking about UK national politics. But don't look to MEC for democratic governance.


Anonymous said...

Looks like MEC is going private!

Anonymous said...

MEC sucks now. I have been a member for a very long time (I still have my original paper member card). I am this close to mailing it back to them and surrendering my membership (if such a thing exists).

There is a real cult undertone to MEC now...can anyone confirm if they require their employees to take Landmark Seminars?

Mark Latham said...

Updates: The Globe and Mail has published two articles:

2015-10-16 MEC governance changes spark dissent among long-time loyalists

2016-10-16 Mountain Equipment Co-op eases board-applicant rules