[EM] Public elections are the ones that matter.

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Sun Nov 13 20:33:15 PST 2005

On Sun, 13 Nov 2005 20:32:14 -0500 Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:

> 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.

You and I have talked of delegable proxies before on EM.  The basic 
thought seems GOOD and agrees with something I wrote long ago.  Needs 
someone else in the act, for we clashed too much.

To be useful I believe it requires more power than other voters should 
tolerate unless government is given controls that prevent misuse.

>>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.

As I read, you see no law other than expected resistance by those who 
would, or expect to, lose power.

There are a zillion corporations - start with those that have little of 
such problems.  With success you weaken resistance.  Remember that 
successful proxies gain power by being such.

>>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.

Corporations are already in the business of keeping track of proxies.  

Seems like this would not change other than becoming a bit more complex 

AND I see no one else getting in that business.
> Might work. More likely not. What's in it for the board?

It has possibilities via changing how proxy battles are fought and resolved.

> (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.

I was responding to what I read - which seemed to suggest involving 
nonprofits because of THEIR goals, without THEM necessarily understanding 
or being concerned with STOCKHOLDERS' needs.

> 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....

  davek at clarityconnect.com    people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
  Dave Ketchum   108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708   607-687-5026
            Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                  If you want peace, work for justice.

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