February 01, 2021
Guest Post written by Board Chair Clayton Weir
Looking back on the uncertainty of 2020, it is clear to me that democracy and democratic participation are as important right now as they ever have been.
In the context of the co-operative movement, we have seen one of Canada’s most iconic brands sold to an international corporation seemingly overnight, and from underneath its members. However, democratic institutions do not erode overnight, but rather slowly over time as we become indifferent to them.
As Modo members, we have both a right and an obligation to involve ourselves in the democratic process of our co-op. We can and should provide input and feedback about the service. We can and should vote. And for those of us who are able, we can and should run for the board. When we cease to fully engage in the democratic processes that are unique to being a co-op, we risk going down a slippery slope of no longer being one.
As society continues to evaluate how all organizations can be more diverse and inclusive, Modo hopes to be a part of the solution. I personally feel it is important to ensure that equity-seeking groups have a strong voice within the Modo family. This is a place where running for the board and voting matters. You, our members, ultimately define the composition and diversity of our board, through the simple act of casting your vote.
The constraints of living with a pandemic have forced us to revisit access to voting, and leverage and promote new tools and strategies to enable people to vote. Our neighbours to the south saw a fantastic show of democratic participation in their federal election as 159 million people voted, despite the lockdown conditions. I believe that our electronic voting protocol makes it accessible and easy for members to vote. This is something, I should add, which was enabled through an amendment to our rules, which you, our members, voted on; underscoring the importance of your input.
Each year approximately a third of our board seats become available. This year, three Board Director positions are up for vote. I encourage you to put your name forward for one of them, if you think you can make a difference for our co-op. If you’re curious about the opportunity and want to learn more, we hope you can join us at the virtual info session on Monday, February 8th, please RSVP by February 4th if you are planning to attend (details below).
When it comes time to vote, I hope you will be able to invest some time looking at all the candidates’ platforms. Do read into their careers and backgrounds, imagine how they might contribute to a stronger and more resilient Modo, and how they might help manifest a more affordable, convenient, inclusive and sustainable member experience.
If you voted last year, thank you. If you’re planning to vote this year, thank you. If you’re thinking of letting the opportunity pass, I hope you’ll reconsider. I suspect some MEC members are wishing for a time machine so they could do the same. So let’s all vote this year. Vote for change or vote for the status quo but vote to keep our co-op strong. And vote to have your faces reflect the communities we serve and connect. Whatever your motivations and whomever you choose to vote for, please just vote.