Is Mountain Equipment "Co-op" still a co-op?
Co-ops are democratic organizations controlled by their members (see fundamental principles of co-ops). Look at the evidence that MEC has become an undemocratic organization controlled by its entrenched board:
In 2012, the board persuaded unsuspecting MEC members to give it the power to disqualify any member from running in board elections. Supposedly this was to improve the quality of candidates, but that excuse can easily be used to eliminate candidates that challenge the board.
In 2013, the board used that power to prevent former MEC board member Anders Ourom from running. Anders has often spoken up in past MEC AGMs. It's notable that in 2015, when Anders did not put his name forward to run, board experience is now considered sufficient to qualify: "...the minimum qualifications (experience sitting on a board or ...)".
In 2014, 27 MEC members wanted to run in the board election. The board blocked 2 of them, and the board chair claimed that this power increased the board's accountability to members (on page 2 of the minutes).
This year, 23 MEC members wanted to run, and the board blocked 7 of them.
As the notoriously corrupt Boss Tweed used to say: “I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating.”
With such a censored ballot, it's no wonder that MEC's voter turnout remains below 1/10 of 1%. Russell Brand was right on target in this video: “It's not that I'm not voting out of apathy. I'm not voting out of absolute indifference and weariness and exhaustion from the lies, treachery, deceit of the political class”.
Of course, Russell was talking about UK national politics. But don't look to MEC for democratic governance.