Voting is the life blood of democracy.  For both political leadership  and within organizations.

Some firms, such as IBM, encourage their stock holders to vote at the annual meeting:

To express our appreciation for your participation, IBM will make a $1 charitable donation to Opportunity@Work on behalf of every stock holder who votes.

Voting is integral to credit union design.  This is the season for annual meetings with members electing their directors.  Unfortunately actual voting is rare.  Most vacancies are filled by acclamation as the number of candidates equals the open seats.

Now CUNA has begun a campaign to encourage member voting. As reported in CU Today:

WASHINGTON–CUNA has relaunched its “Credit Unions Vote,” a campaign focused on getting credit union members to vote in the 2022 midterm election. The campaign ties civic engagement to credit unions’ ability to improve financial well-being and advance local communities, CUNA said.

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Credit unions understand that elections affect their members’ financial well-being,” said CUNA Deputy Chief Advocacy Officer for Political Action Trey Hawkins. “With the Credit Unions Vote campaign, we will reach out to America’s credit unions providing them with resources to encourage their members to play an active role in both their primary and the November election.”

An Observation:

Yes, elections do indeed affect members well-being. Especially the choice of credit union directors.

If CUNA wants to encourage member’s good voting habits, why not begin by promoting elections at credit union’s annual meetings?

That would seem a more immediate way to illustrate the power of the franchise and their well being.


2 Replies to “Irony”

  1. Chip, do you find it amusing or a sad commentary that a nationwide trade group (CUNA) is now recommending credit unions engage in robust elections where members have a choice and selection in casting a board of director ballot? What a novel concept for a not-for-profit member owned cooperative. Sadly this will fail. . . You ask why?

    Because the board of directors appoints the nominating committee. A majority of the committee are directors. “self dealing, conflict of interest, monopoly?” The directors control the pieces on the chess board. The directors nominate incumbent directors for re-election. The directors guarantee no election contest. The directors guarantee no membership voting.

    Look at the average age of a director – it exceeds the average age of their membership. Look at the racial director make up. Not representative of the membership. Look at the directors demographics. Hardly representative of the membership. As long as the directors control the pieces on the chess board they will absolutely control the chess board. Directors resign mid-term so the surviving directors can select from amongst their crony population to populate the board. . . Keep it all in the family.

    With few exceptions the credit union community has directors spending more time at all inclusive fully paid and funded and and precious little time spent reading the credit union balance sheet or income statement. Is it any wonder credit union rates on both deposits and loans are not competitive with banks? Bank elect directors elected from their customer (stock holder) base. Bank directors stand for election in contested balloting. Explains why so many credit unions are poorly performing and mediocre at best… Too much inbreeding. It’s an incesteous relationship between the CEO and the directors. . .

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