I see the annual general meeting for Radio Amateurs of Canada is coming to Hamilton, Ontario on October 5th. The AGM is being held in conjunction with the Hamilton ARC’s annual hamfest which will be held in the Marritt Hall at the Ancaster Fair Grounds in Ancaster, Ontario.
Perhaps some of us who are unhappy with the way RAC has been managed over the last few years might want to attend the AGM and during the new business session move a motion of non-confidence?
In Canadian law the passing of a vote of non-confidence in an organization governed by Robert’s Rules of Order like RAC usually means the governing body must resign. But that won’t happen at RAC’s AGM because the AGM at RAC is just a sham and not to be taken seriously.
You see the RAC Constitution makes no provision for direct input from the members at the AGM and no direct input from the overall membership unless there is a demand for a special general meeting by not less than one-tenth of the total number of full and full life members.
Of course since no one at RAC has released the actual membership number how can we know what a tenth is? This is Alice in Wonderland stuff folks. I can’t make it up.
North Korean politics is easier to understand.
So let’s be clear. The way RAC is setup is very traditional and legal. But when it comes to the way it is run things like transparency become murky to the point of obscure and there is no engagement of the overall membership in the day-to-day activities of their own organization.
This is Big Brother stuff.
We don’t know the number of members in our association. We don’t know the actual financials (The annual financial report does not reveal the numbers below the surface.). We have no real way to offer complaint or criticism.
On top of that we have elected a group of directors who have appointed an executive team and neither group understands the concept of serving the membership as opposed to governing the association.
What RAC needs right now is much less governing and true serving by dedicated leaders who understand that the power of any organization rests in the hands of the members and not the directors.
This is a simple concept that has failed to take hold at RAC and our national hobby is suffering as a result.
Here’s an example:
Contrary to what some directors have stated in public a reading of the “Objectives of the Organization” in RAC’s Constitution says that RAC’s objectives are:
- To represent and act as a liaison and coordinating body for Canadian amateur radio associations, societies, organizations and individual radio amateurs.
- To act as a liaison organization between its members and other amateur radio organizations within and beyond Canada.
- To represent Canadian radio amateurs in policy decisions regarding international issues and regulations that affect amateur radio within the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and at meetings and conferences of the international amateur radio community including the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).
- To act as a liaison organization and consultative body to municipal, provincial and federal governments in matters concerning the Amateur Service.
- To promote excellence, the state of the art, and the interests of amateur radio’s many varied activities through a program of technical, regulatory and general information within the amateur radio community and to the Canadian public.
- To maintain a tangible presence in the amateur radio community in the form of a corporate office and address.
- To maintain a “Field Organization” for public service.
Notice if you will that it is only in section two where our Constitution talks about representing the “members” when we are dealing with other Amateur Radio organizations.
In all other sections the Consitution clearly states that RAC is to represent all Canadian Amateur Radio operators.
I take this to mean whether or not they are paid-up members they get RAC representation.
A few of our RAC directors should read their constitution and get on with representing all Canadians who are licensed Amateur Radio operators and stop behaving like they’re running an exclusive club only for those who paid their $50 dues.
This is the type of behaviour that gives RAC a bad name and prompts some to claim it’s “an old boy’s club.” It does nothing to attract new members and retain existing ones.