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Dear Parrots magazine,

Importance of democracy

Formal organisation of Bureaucracies i.e. the Budgerigar Society (BS) inevitably leads to Oligarchy, under which organizations originally idealistic and democratic eventually come to be dominated by a small, self-serving group of people who achieved positions of power and responsibility. This can occur in large organisations because it is physically impossible for everyone to get together every time a decision has to be made. Consequently, a small group is given the responsibility of making decisions. People in this group would become enthralled with their elite positions and more and more inclined to make decisions that protect their own power rather than represent the will of the BS Membership they are supposed to serve. Bureaucracy and democracy do not mix, despite any protestations and promises that they would not become like all the rest, those placed in positions of responsibility and power often come to believe that they too are indispensable, and more knowledgeable than those they serve. As time goes on, they will become further removed from the rank and file of the BS Membership.


Therefore, organisations wishing to avoid this situation (Oligarchy) should take a number of precautionary steps. As a result the Budgerigar Society General Council should make sure that the rank and file remains active in the organization and that the leaders are not granted control of a centralised administration. As long as there are open lines of communication and shared decision making between the leaders and the rank and file, an Oligarchy cannot easily develop.

It would appear that the Chairman believes that the only way to change the democracy of the Budgerigar Society is to become a member of the General Council (Chairman’s Comments in the “Budgerigar”) and demonstrates my point perfectly, that the General Council believes that the rules should only be changed by the General Council. An example is that; grudgingly the BS general Rule 19(b) (i), only permits the BS membership to submit resolutions once in every three years, as opposed to BS Rule (b) (ii) which permits the General Council to submit a resolution every year. This way of thinking makes it clear that the General Council are not going to allow the BS Membership their democratic right to be involved with the most fundamental decisions, if they can be suppressed.

Therefore, individuals are deprived of the power to make decisions that affect their Membership in areas that are important to them. Consequently, withdrawal into apathy is a responses, which is what we now have within the BS Membership. Therefore, to stimulate the membership and allow them to feel that they have a major role to play in the running of the Society, General rule (11f) must be abolished and therefore allow the BS Membership their right to elect the Budgerigar Society Chairman.

Therefore it is no use the BS General Council asking members to be more involved with the Society if they themselves are suppressing their basic fundamental Membership Right. Consequently it is the duty of the General Council to put these wrongs right.

Ray Fox This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




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