Board strips members’ right to run in Board election

The Board of Directors of Coast Capital has stripped members of their right to run for a position on the Board. Instead, they have given themselves the authority to craft their own policy as to who is permitted to run for election.

Not that it matters, in a practical sense. Director elections have always been a sham because of the recommendation system. As I documented in my Case Against Coast Capital Becoming a Federal Credit Union, no non-recommended candidate has ever been elected to the Board. All such candidates have been big losers…even a former CEO who ran without a recommendation! The reason is that there’s no free speech; no discussion of issues. Now the Board is making sure that nobody with their preferred set of qualifications can even get their face in front of the membership.

In order to achieve their desired effect, the Board has eliminated Rule 15.1, which gave every member the right to run for a position on the Board (subject to some non-discretional criteria, such as not having a criminal record). Now, candidacy eligibility is a matter of policy, which the Board will author themselves.

The Board’s entire disclosure/explanation of this change is this:

The amendments proposed to Rules 15 and 16 are intended to simplify these procedural requirements in the Rules.

You can see this in context in the AGSM information booklet:

Also, look at their blacklined version of the Rules. There’s no way that an average member could read this and notice that one of their fundamental rights of ownership is being taken away.

When I questioned them on this, the Board Chair denied this change. He said “Any member is able to run for the board. We have not stripped that right from anybody.” On follow-up, his general counsel said that “Members can run through the procedures described in section 16 of the Rules.” So you can ask to be an eligible candidate, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll be allowed onto the ballot. She avoided the question about the Board’s discretion to set the eligibility criteria.

This is not surprising. This is just a continuation of how they’ve eroded democratic governance and ownership rights over the past 20 years. The members have been made into fools; they clearly don’t know what they’re voting for.

For twenty years, this is how the Board has changed the Rules to gradually marginalize the membership. This is how democratic governance has been whittled away. Their goal, of course, is to enrich investors and themselves from the Credit Union’s $1 billion dollars in shareholder (member) equity, and from the continuing business profits that will never again be returned to the members through patronage dividends.

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