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  1. #1
    Phil Hackett HC/PCPL with Pride Guest


    Should they be run on democratic lines under a members participatory system, where each member gets a vote to elect the committee and officers, any major changes to the body, sets out in a constitution just what the committee can change, and what they can not.

    Or should they be run under a patronage system, where the committee and officers emerge from some process unknown to the members and in perpetuity. Making all decisions for the membership, with only soundings ever taken from them to facilitate the decisions making process.

    Your thoughts and views as ever people are most welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    They should be run on democratic lines, and are supposed to be, but even then a clever bit of fudging can turn things the opposite way.
    All voting should be done through the ballot box, and not by a last minute block vote so the meeting can be closed and the bar opened.

  3. #3


    I've been part of organisations (as both member and manager) of both types of set-up, democratic and autocratic, and there are pros and cons for both.

    Democracy is the fairest set-up but autocracy is much more efficient. Things move on from being discussed to actually being done, rather than leading to yet another meeting that goes nowhere. Even with democratically run clubs there is usually one dominant officer who has the last word making it an autocracy in all but name.

    Autocracy need not be intolerant and oppressive if the manager(s) are fair minded and have the best interests, rather than self interests, of the organisation, at heart.

  4. #4
    Ron 'The Hat' Clay (ACA-Life Member) Guest


    Some of the earliest single species associations were not run on democratic lines at all. I am thinking here of the early carp associations.

    The Monk will be able to confirm that one of them was run as a "Benevolent Dictatorship". I was a member of one of the early carp groups.

  5. #5
    Phil Hackett HC/PCPL with Pride Guest


    Ron you blabbed around the question and didn't answer it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    In God's County: Wiltshire
    Blog Entries


    From my experience I think that the smaller clubs/organisations can be run effectively on an autocratic basis, however when the membership starts to grow then a democratic system has to be adopted.

    Typically, a relatively small like-minded group can operate simply with one or two of its 'members' controling events.
    Larger groups, clubs or organisations face different problems, not the least of which is the disposal of (considerable?) funds generated by the members, therefore democracy should be adopted.

    Constitutional issues and/or issues that affect the membership as a whole, or indeed issues that affect the visibility of the group need to be debated, discussed and voted upon with a majority deciding.

    I fail to see how a club that requires membership dues can sucsessfully operate under autocratic criteria and even begin to satisfy the majority of the members.

    That said, if you join an organisation that has autocratic government then you have accepted the principles by paying your dues and becoming a member.

    Personally, I would not be interested in joining any group, club or association that is run along autocratic lines.

    Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers.

    Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher's salary. ~

    Patrick F. McManus

  7. #7
    Wolfman Woody Guest


    Committees should be elected democratically and they should consist of an odd number of members, 3 is too many.

    Committees are bodies that keep minutes and waste hours.

    Most anglers that would join a club are not interested in the management side anyway, they joined it to use the facilities, that's all. Anyone that is interested in the management side had better be watched as he's cooking up a conspiracy.

    If more than 2 members are ever found talking together, disperse them as they too are cooking up a conspiracy.

    If you want help or information from the members use the "mushroom method", keep them in the dark, feed them a load of sh*t, and something will come through.

    Trust no-one. Keep friends close and enemies even closer. Keep your back to the wall.

  8. #8
    Big Swordsy :O) Guest


    For fishing clubs...Autocrasy rules! as long as they are my rules!

    No seriously, commitees that are elected can be a waste as people who are popular but inept can be voted into power(See HM Govt for examples)

    better is the patronage system that utilises both experience and aptitude over popularity and personality.


    The commitee should still reflect the popular opinions of its members and should always keep an eye open and its ear to the ground rather than bull-doze measures through that have little popular following.

  9. #9
    Ron 'The Hat' Clay (ACA-Life Member) Guest


    Sorry Phil I got side-tracked by a business matter.

    As Graham says, democratically run organisations can take time to reach decisions, too long in many cases. Some benevolent dictatorships whave worked well in the past.

    Woody would have made a good Obersturmbannfeurer in the SS.


  10. #10


    Let's put it this way, if the design of the FM home page was decided by debate followed by a democratic vote we would still be without a home page this time next Christmas.

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