My letter generated 2 responses; one from a "David", one from a "Naomi." Both objected to my characterization of the BDS defeat in March 2012 as an "overwhelming rejection." The BDS proposal obtained the support of less than 4 percent of the membership. Among the self-selected, highly motivated 10% of the membership who attended the March General Meeting, BDS was defeated by a margin of 3 to 2.
BDS supporters are hardly the first people to try to spin a loss into some kind of victory. The "even though we lost, we won because...." meme is well documented at the Divest This! blog. BDS supporters hate to be told they have lost.
But, what about the remaining 90% of members who, for whatever reasons, chose not to attend. Can we assume anything about that? David speculates it reflects “fatigue and burn out over the drawn-out debate, the desire that the issue just go away.” That sounds like a rejection to me.
Naomi comes to a different conclusion:
I think this vote showed us how the General Meeting system of decision-making is flawed as a democratic process. About 6% of members were able to prevent the whole Coop from voting on this issue.Really? 6% stopping the referendum is bad, and 4% pushing it forward is ok? Really?
Can anyone say "sore loser"?