Reforming the election process

I have written four full chapters on the different ways condo managers, directors and lawyers game the election process. I am sure I haven't heard of everything so there may be a fifth chapter sometime in the future.

The Condominium Act is silent when it comes to the election process. It merely says that elections must be held. The election process, the handling of the proxies and ballots, what the proxies must look like, the rights of candidates to canvass the other owners is left unsaid.

Some condo owners are outraged to find that:

in their condos, candidates are not allowed to post election material, meet owners in the lobby or mail room nor are they allowed to knock on doors to canvas for support.

the proxies have the incumbents listed in prime ballot positions.

the proxies state that unless an owner states otherwise, a failure to indicate a choice on a proxy would be considered a positive vote.

the Chair picks scrutineers that are the incumbents' friends or relatives.

the scrutineers are not instructed in their duties.

the registration desk remains open and proxies accepted after the meeting had started.

the Chair refuses to announce how many ballots and proxies were counted and the total votes that the candidates received.

the owners are not allowed to ask the candidates questions prior to the election.

The Chair openly enjoys jerking the owners around.

The list can be almost endless.

Reforms will not come from the industry
The property managers and the lawyers have no interest in reforming the present condo election process as they are the ones who control and benefit from it. They change the "rules" at their pleasure.

The courts can change the process but only by fixing one deceitful practice at a time. Besides, it is far too expensive to use the courts to fix all of the games that are played.

The Condominium Authority Tribunal
We'll have to see if they will intervene or if they will pass election abuses on to arbitration or the courts.

Re-write the by-laws
This is the surest way. A condo needs a by-law package that clearly describes the election process that must be followed.

The problem is that the owners need to elect a majority to the board that has an interest in honest and transparent elections. Only the board has the power to put a by-law package on the agenda of an owners' meeting so it can be discussed and the owners vote on it.

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