Your political machine
more difficult than physics.”
If you have a group of owners who will work with you to nominate
directors for the board, work to get them elected and continue to stay
interested and involved in the corporation's affairs, then you have
built an organization, what is known in politics as a political machine.
A machine to counter the political machine that the incumbent board has
All successful politicians have a political machine, people who help
them, election after election. It does not have to consist of many
people to be successful, often a mere handful is all you need.
Years ago, Saul Alinsky conducted a study on what percentage of people
who are affiliated to different organizations actually are active in
the day-to-day activities to make the organization function. The
numbers are surprisingly low.
|municipal politics.||one per 400
|religious groups.||one per 200
|local labour unions.||one per 100
|community organizations||five per 100
if in a building of 200 units, you have 10 owners who will knock on
doors, canvas their neighbours, cook for your group's social events,
contribute money to the cause, work a telephone bank or type some
letters or hand out leaflets, on an ongoing basis, then don't despair for you have a very
powerful political machine.
Naming your group
Your group will need a name. Some care must be taken in picking a name
that resonates with the owners but is not pretentious.
The courts have frowned on owner groups that have given themselves
names such as "The Concerned Owners". A judge resented them inferring
that all owners not belonging to their group were not concerned. A
group calling themselves "The Core Group" was similarly rebuked.
You should also avoid calling yourself a name that may make it sound as
if you are an official corporation committee or are recognized or
approved by the condominium board.
I suggest that you call yourself "Home Owners Group" or
"Owners Association"; something quite general. One group of owners
themselves "The Social Committee" as they held annual
barbecues and other
social events, completely independent of the board.
Host social events
This is extremely important, especially if your board does not hold any
social events in your condo. It takes very little to decorate a lobby
and hand out Halloween treats, organize a corn roast, an Easter Egg
hunt or a barbecue.
A monthly movie night in the Party Room is easy to organize and are a
lot of fun. All you need is a white wall, a computer and a projector.
You can use the same setup to view hockey or soccer games.
with local politics
Encourage the group members to get involved in the municipal and
provincial elections. It does not matter which candidate or political
party they want to support, let them split into three or four
sub-groups; what is important is to get the residents in your condo to
vote in large numbers. That will give the condo some voice with the
politicians if there is an issue some day that affects the condo
Also, being involved with other political campaigns keeps your group