Prime ballot positions in condo elections

I am finding that rigging the prime ballot positions in condo elections is normal practice at some condo corporations.

Why not? The Ministry of Consumer Services put no provisions at all in the Condo Act to to prevent condo election fraud or any penalties for anyone who commits election fraud.

Form 9 the proxy form
Here is an original Form 9 which is a sample proxy form provided by the Ministry of Consumer Services.

As you can see, there are no pre-printed names on the form. It is left to the owners to fill in the names of the candidates they wish to vote for and in what order they wish to list them.

The owners write in their preferences from names that are listed in the information package or from other means.

Yet the Act does not insist that condo corporations use this form so while some condos do, many do not.

Gaming the proxy form
Here is a proxy form that was sent out to the owners of a condo corporation for an AGM in the summer of 2014. There are two openings on the board.

Only one incumbent is running for re-election. Her name is pre-printed on the proxy form with one blank line printed underneath hers for the second candidate of the owners' choice.

Negative options
“Negative option billing completely violates the fundamental principle of informed customer choice.
—Mr. Duff Conacher —Coordinator, Democracy Watch
in testimony to the Government of  Canada's  Standing Committee on Industry

I never though I would see that practice in condo corporation elections. I was wrong. It appears to be quite common.

In the above form, it is implied, alhough not quite stated, that the owners can vote for Susan and one more candidate.

However, no other candidates names are included in the AGM package as no prior meeting notice was mailed out to the owners asking interested owners to submit their names so they could be included in the AGM package.

Here are the defects in the above proxy form:
No other candidates were given the opportunity to submit their names to be included in the AGM information package.
Susan has her name printed on the form in the prime ballot position.
For an owner to vote for two other candidates, he or she has to cross out Susan's name and write in a different name or write in a second name at the bottom. There is no instructions stating that Susan's name can be crossed out or additional spaces can be added to the form.
An uninformed owner could assume that he or she can only add one more name to the proxy form as there is only one blank space included. In other words, uninformed owners may assume that they can vote for Susan and only one other candidate. (Check off only those two (2) you wish to elect.)

Obstacles for the challengers
If two challengers want to challenge Susan, they face several challenges.
They will have to try to contact all the owners to inform them that they are candidates and try to collect their proxies.
They have to show the owners how to add their names to the proxies or they may have to print and distribute their own Form 9 proxy forms.

However, if the challengers raise hell about the proxy games being played, the board may lose the owners' respect and that can backfire on Susan and help propel the challengers into office.

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