All over Strataland, you can hear the wails of distress as desperate proxy vote hoarders look into the abyss of the new laws and the introduction of electronic voting.
On November 30 in NSW, proxy harvesting as we know it will end and individuals will be seriously restricted in the number of votes they can beg or borrow from people who can’t or won’t attend AGMs.
Needless to say, some power junkies are already planning to confound the new laws, probably by sharing blank proxies among their cronies and chosen committee members.
If you have already read this in print, there is an
update including links to software packages HERE.
However, Innovation and Better Regulation Minister Victor Dominello could block any potential rort with the stroke of a pen, literally, by requiring that the same hand that signs the form should also write the name of the proxy.
Of course no one is going to run proxy votes past handwriting experts before every AGM. But the possibility of scrutiny after the event should keep most of the bastards honest.
So far, so negative. The really important news is that the new laws will encourage and allow more involvement, especially by absent investors, reversing years of disengagement caused by proxy farmers and their wily ways.
Owners will now be able to participate by phone or Skype and vote electronically. But that presents both a challenge and an opportunity to software providers to create an easily usable app that takes advantage of the new laws.
Strata communities want and need a simple and secure program that leads us into that promised land of open discussion, free and fair votes and informed decision making.
My ideal electronic voting program would probably be web-based, and include:
- A page where owners could suggest items for the next AGM
- A space where the committee could post a notional agenda, for discussion, explaining their thinking behind some of the items.
- The facility for all of these issues to be freely debated without fear or favour.
- A secure page that would carry the final agenda and allow only registered, eligible lot owners to vote on the agenda items.
- Another page where candidates for election could tell other owners what they would bring to the committee.
Now, this is going to horrify Trumpish demagogues and control freaks who believe there’s already too much democracy (because they, and only they, know what’s best).
But we’ll be on the lookout for any software packages that seem to fit the bill and report back on flat-chat.com.au.