Proxy voting instruments that never expire

I went to an AGM at a four-year old condo in downtown Toronto where the board was trying hard to have an insurance and standard unit by-law package passed.

They tried last year and was unsuccessful in getting the necessary 50% plus one votes they need for the by-law to pass.

For the by-law, the proxies state two things.
Any proxies where the owner has not voted NO, will be considered a positive vote.
The proxies are valid for only the date of the AGM meeting and any reconvened meetings.

What is unusual is that although last years' proxies are no longer valid for attendance purposes, or for the voting of candidates, this year's AGM package stated that those proxies will be added to this year's proxies as voting instruments for the by-law package.

This year's AGM
At this year's AGM for fiscal year 2015, once again the board failed to get the necessary 50% plus one needed to pass the by-law package.

As he was closing the meeting, the Chair, who is the corporation lawyer, stated that all the proxies will be retained for the vote on the by-law package at next year's AGM.

Why did the by-law package fail?
From what I can tell, there were three reasons. The majority of the units are rented with the owner-occupants a minority. A second reason is that management does not know how to get in touch with the owners. The Owners' Register shows the owners' unit addresses, but the units have tenants.

Finally, it appears that the directors and management didn't put in sufficient effort into identifying where the owners lived and collecting proxies from the absentee owners to put them over the 50% plus one threshold.

The use of stale proxies
This by-law package is important to the corporation and I do think that it getting passed is in the corporation's best interests but a board, management and law firm that will use stale proxies to bring this about should give the owners good reasons to be concerned about their ethics.

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