Democracy in theory more than in practice

Direct democracy existed in ancient Greece for about 300 years before it was stamped out. Since then the western world had a watered-down version called representative democracy. (The people vote for someone to represent them and the chosen ones make the decisions.)

Our leaders, whether they are politicians, union leaders or the condo industry have a deep distrust of direct democracy; that is why we have so little of it.

When I was in the UAW, our local president would say: "In our union, we have guided democracy" and "The local unions gets the quality of leadership they deserve."

These two statements, which were common in the UAW, showed a contempt that the leadership had for the union members and for democracy itself.

This attitude has not diminished in the last forty years as this e-mail written in January 2016 clears shows.

I see the same attitude played out at some of the condo AGMs I attend and in the e-mails I get from condo owners. The managers game the election results and the corporation lawyers write by-laws that best serve the board and then steamrolls all opposition when they chair the owner meetings.

Are you surprised that many owners do not attend the AGMs after attending their first?

We have to look at how condo owners can purge that type of behaviour from their condo communities.

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