Your political machine
“Politics is more difficult than physics.”
—Albert Einstein

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 built.

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 per 400
religious per 200
local labour per 100
community organizationsfive per 100

So 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 called 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.

Get involved 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 community.

Also, being involved with other political campaigns keeps your group active.

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