[EM] Public elections are the ones that matter.

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Sun Nov 13 17:32:14 PST 2005

At 08:17 AM 11/13/2005, Dave Ketchum wrote:
>Doing delegable proxies for public elections means selling and getting a
>law to fit - worth pursuing.

Yes, I'd agree. However, it will be very, very difficult under 
present conditions. Creating independent DP organizations should 
theoretically be much easier, would be safer (i.e., it is not 
necessary to entrust government itself to an untried and unproven 
technology or technique), and would not have to deal with certain 
very knotty problems until the organizational maturity existed that 
could handle them.

>Doing them for corporations:
>       Does Robert's Rules have anything helpful?
>       Is there any law that forbids what you want?  If so, work on the law.

The "law" that "forbids" it is the law of the persistence of power 
inequities. Delegable proxy will redistribute power from those who 
currently enjoy a power excess; they will see this as a threat. 
Guaranteed, they will oppose it, and, within the existing structure, 
they have excess power. That does not guarantee that they will 
succeed, but.... it does give them a leg up. I've seen tremendous 
effort exerted to overcome entrenched corporate management, all for 
nothing. In California, there was a proxy battle, an effort by an 
attorney who had noticed that the California State Automobile 
Association was essentially in bed with the insurance industry and 
was acting in the interests of that industry, not precisely in the 
interests of motorists. In spite of having, I'd say, substantial 
justice on his side, he lost. Of course, this attorney and his slate 
of candidates may have had their *own* agenda....

CSAA, like many similar corporations, sends out proxy solicitations. 
Most members, I think, don't understand the implications, and, 
naturally, want to be helpful.... Existing management has, through 
this, almost unopposable power.

>Then write up a bylaws change and have a stock owner submit it to an
>annual meeting for hoped-for adoption.  Might even get the board to back
>adoption - assuming they see it as useful.

Might work. More likely not. What's in it for the board?

(A truly enlightened board might recognize the value to the 
corporation of having a collection of owners who had, perhaps, "pride 
of ownership." But I think that the fears would generally overpower 
this recognition.)

>Mention of nonprofits turns me off - for my stock I would like more
>flexibility than I have now as to proxies, but I would WANT a proxy paying
>enough attention to vote intelligently.

Don't know what this has to do with nonprofits. If a shareholder 
wants his or her interests represented by a nonprofit, Warren Beatty, 
or anyone, for that matter, it's his or her right. But the 
shareholder does not need a change in law or corporate bylaws to have 
this right. All the shareholder has to do is name the proxy suggested 
by that organization or person (or to name that person himself or herself).

Shareholders *have* the right to do this, but don't generally do it. 
Instead, small ones anyway, they just sign those forms sent to them 
by the nice people at corporate headquarters....

This is a variation on my constant theme: we don't need *them* to 
change, *we* need to change....

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list