Friday, April 8, 2016

No Voting For Me...

It is voting for the Board time again at Honest Weight. I definitely won't be voting for one person who is running for the Board, Better Call R. Saul. I know he is Honest Weight's Wobblies' Miss Honest Weight of 2016 because he wears the union label. I know he is the Miss Congeniality of 2016 of Honest Weight Board member Ned Depew because he found it expedient to appoint yet another lawyer to one of the Board's four empty seats because it meant the Board didn't have to send a form to the New York State Liquor Authority. I don't know why the other four members of the Board supported appointing Better Call Saul despite the fact that he finished below two others who had garnered more votes in the Special Membership Meeting election of last year. Was it because the Orange Brigade that controls the Board wanted to appoint one of their own? Was it because the Orange Brigade wanted to give Better Call Saul an advantage in the upcoming election? Was it because the Board was advised by lawyers that it was simply easier to appoint a lawyer rather than to follow the messier democratic process? Regardless of the reason this Board's action shows to me that the recent Board is as little committed to the direct democracy Honest Weight loudly proclaims that it is on its wall as the previous Board was when it appointed John Serio, who also finished behind another candidate, ironically the same one, who had more votes than Serio did.

Because of the current Board's lack of respect for direct democracy I am going to abstain from the upcoming Board elections. I am glad that this Board has finally brought into the light what went on under the previous Board and under the reign of the Leadership Team. I am glad that we now know that $75,000 dollars in bonuses (some claim the amount was higher, others lower) were paid over three years to the LT (which three years they don't note), that $200,000 dollars was spent on rent on the old store location that members were told we would not be paying after January of 2013 (though it was known that we were still renting the old store), and that $500,000 dollars was spent enriching advisors pushing corporatisation in order to eliminate the member labour programme, one of the few things that continues to make Honest Weight a kind of "coop". The old Board and the LT did all of this despite the fact that the store was, according to the same Board and LT, having financial problems and was not meeting managements sales goals. Shades of vampire corporate capitalism. I am, in other words, glad that the current Board is apparently trying to clean up the mess the previous Board and the LT left them. Despite this, however, I cannot in good conscience vote for a group of people who fail to live up to the direct democracy claims displayed prominently in the store.

I have to say that not voting also has other perks. I won't miss going to a membership meeting in which questions asked of the candidates make the questions asked of American presidential candidates seem intellectually impressive and challenging by comparison. I won't miss the fact that questions taken from the audience on pieces of paper are not only dumbed down but, the difficult ones in particular, are censored. I won't miss voting in elections where incumbents have an unfair advantage and are generally re-elected. Shades of American oligarchy. I will be happy that I won't, to paraphrase George Carlin, be in any way responsible for what comes bureaucratically after at Honest Weight.

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