Is the IBMA a Democracy?

With all the controversy surrounding the IBMA Awards Show this year, it makes me have to ask, “Is the IBMA a democracy?” It appears that it is because the governing body is chosen by an election, voted on by the membership. So, if we surmise that the IBMA is a democracy, then decisions should be based on the wishes of the majority, right? How then can a decision be made to make significant changes to an IBMA function, such as the awards ceremony, based on the wishes of the minority?

Obviously one has to ask what the actual wishes of the majority were. Well, we don’t know that answer because the membership wasn’t asked. Further, the elected representatives didn’t ask their constituents either, so the decision was made to make a change to the awards ceremony without any imput from the membership. Now, things are starting to sound less like a democracy and more like totalitarism.

For many years now, decisions have been made by the IBMA leadership with little or no imput from the membership and I think that it is about time that practice stops. You simply can’t conduct business behind closed doors and expect to continue to have the support of the membership. Sometimes, just the appearance of things being “shady”, whether there is any true basis for it or not, is detrimental to the health of the organization. From now forward, I think all decisions made by the leadership of the IBMA must be approved by the majority of the membership before it can be implemented. At the very least, each representative should consult his or her constituents before any votes are cast, in order to better represent the wishes of those constituents.

The IBMA, for the most part, has been a positive for our industry. But it’s now up to us……..the majority…… make it a better organization.

  • string_theory

    You completely misunderstand the idea of a functioning democracy, whether the USA or the IBMA. A democratic institution does not consult all its members for a majority vote on all decisions. Instead, we elect representatives we trust will responsibly balance the desires of the majority with the rights of minorities and (critically in this case) the charter of constitution of the entity in question. If you don’t feel represented, why not cite some examples of times you took a point of view to the IBMA board and were turned away or ignored. This episode with the awards and David Crow was handled well by everyone except the band, who won’t say who made the decision to add something to a program that had been negotiated in good faith and in consultation wtih the board.

  • Lynyrd Banjovy

    Perhaps you’re right, I don’t understand what a democracy is but here is Webster’s definition of a democracy:

    >>a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections