The dead cat strategy
“There is one thing that is absolutely certain about throwing a dead cat on the dining room table—and I don’t mean that people will be outraged, alarmed, disgusted. That is true, but irrelevant. The key point is that everyone will shout, ‘Jeez, mate, there’s a dead cat on the table!’
In other words, they will be talking about the dead cat—the thing you want them to talk about—and they will not be talking about the issue that has been causing you so much grief.”
— Boris Johnson, who ran for Mayor of London in 2008 and 2012


Also known as "whataboutism".

When there are differences between the majority on a board and a single director, especially if the minority director raises issues of unethical conduct or conflicts of interest, the majority may resort to the Dead Cat Strategy. Wild exaggerations or bold face lies will come into play to discredit the lone director.

Recently, at one Toronto condo, the majority of a board shows just how this behaviour can affect condo elections.

In a cover letter attached to the new yearly budget, and sent to all owners, the president wrote:
"This year, we are happy to report that we have a majority decision from Directors, (Nice Guy One), (Nice Guy Two) and myself to approve the transfer of  (monies) from the accumulated surplus to reduce the operating budget and lower the (maintenance fee) common expense increase to only 1.81%."

Board member (Bad Person) did not agree with this decision, she voted in favour of implementing a 5.22% maintenance fee increase. However, based on the fact we had a 3–director majority vote to apply the surplus funds, your maintenance fee increase stands at only 1.81%.

This would be alarming news for the owners to hear. The majority of owners are investors who rent out their units or rent their units on a short-term basis.

However, the president's remarks were completely false and it appears that they were made to discredit (Bad Good Person) as that director is up for re-election at the upcoming AGM.

In a rebuttal to the president's false news, in a letter to the owners, the defamed director stated:
"The letter ... stated that at the (date) budget meeting, I did not agree with the board's decision and that I voted in favour of implementing a 5.22% maintenance fee increase. This information is inaccurate. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the budget meeting and therefore, I did not and could not participate or vote for any decisions made at that time including the amount of maintenance fee increase."

The defamed director did not attend the meeting so she could not vote for a 5.22% increase or for anything else.

We will have to wait until after the AGM to see just how effective this "False News" was in damaging the director's re-election efforts.

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