It is interesting to watch all the political news these days. I really enjoy watching the satirists exploit the antics of politicians on late night television. Of course once the show is over so is the laughter but you do still sometimes enjoy the residual effects of a good comic examination of current affairs.
My strata corporation is ripe for comic exploitation if there was a body outside the owners watching the antics of my particular strata council members. Unfortunately, there is not, so rather than humour I’m specifically left feeling somewhat exhausted by volunteer bullies who hide behind their own bloated sense of relevance co-opted by property management, lawyers and yes even the government.
The government has just done some work on the Strata Property Act ostensibly to make it a better piece of legislation. Interestingly enough the government did not bother to consult with the public so in this regard one could say the government too has a bloated sense of relevance. The Act itself is very specific and covers everything it needs to. The problem with the Act is this: the government created legislation it will not enforce; the Real Estate Council protects its members at the expense of the public and volunteer owners earnestly believe they are omnipotent in power. The only victims in this whole mess are individual owners because their interests seem to be lost within the special interests of the aforementioned.
Strata Council members must be accountable to their agendas and actions if they are not in the interests of every owner. At present courts allow Council members who behave badly to stand under the “volunteer umbrella”. This needs to stop. Owners who contravene bylaws receive reprimands and fines but Council members who do the same go undisciplined. Just because one volunteers to sit on Council does not mean one should. Perhaps more owners would consider participating in the maintenance and governance of their asset if there were criteria and terms imposed so one or two individuals didn’t run the show. Perhaps more owners would participate if an outside body monitored the actions of Councils based upon feedback in much the same way Residential Tenancy Branch protects the interests of both tenants and landlords. Where apathy doesn’t rule the day neither then will bullies.
Bullies are everywhere to be sure but it is in every person’s interest to participate in any attempt to expose and transform the behaviour . Most bullies do not think for one minute they are bullies and as I have mentioned before, apathy is a breeding ground for ongoing playground politics between owners and owners with their own agendas. In our particular playground it is not my lunch box being pillaged rather my rights, clearly expressed within government legislation, being beaten to a pulp by the very bodies supposedly protecting me: the government, the Real Estate Council, the justice system and my own neighbours.
My Council believes that I will eventually back down if they continue to pass themselves off as a formidable opponent. They are wrong. Tyranny has no place in a democracy and where Strata business is concerned, silence is definitely not the best option. I’m going to work very hard at securing myself and other owners a firm, knowledgeable, and “means business” playground supervisor. Bullies watch out!
In the meantime, comedy appeals to the general public because serious subjects are easier to exploit with humour. At least people might think about serious dialogue after being jarred by a good laugh. With the antics of the characters in my corporation I bet I have enough material to take a show on the road.