OMA Council, the governing body for 42,000 doctors in Ontario, meets to debate the first ever vote of non-confidence in the Executive Committee of the Ontario Medical Association.
Six motions follow: one for each member of the Exec asking that each one resigns immediately.
First ever. Unprecedented. Unheard of.
Speakers at the OMA often quote Einstein,“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” Will OMA Council do something new?
Special Council Meeting
Council meets to debate the performance of the Executive Committee.
But people will twist it into a debate about individuals and personal integrity. Others will shame their colleagues for being divisive and petty. Still others will focus on forensics designed to assign blame.
Council needs to focus on one thing: Based on performance to date, do the doctors of Ontario believe that the leaders of the OMA can effectively serve the membership?
After dozens of council meetings, I expect the following:
A. The Board will anesthetize council with long speeches and a detailed review of all the hard work done to date.
B. The Board will pre-emptively respond to all known and suspected grievances.
C. Members of the Exec will offer heartfelt apologies for past performance. They had the best intentions.
A few Exec members will speak with passion, defending their honour. They will get angry and demand a point of personal privilege that anyone dare impugn their character.
A few will get choked up and share personal details. Emotions are powerful: Most doctors are softies.
D. Movers of motions will get a rigid 2 minutes to speak. They will try to read a long list of grievances, while council struggles to follow along.
Genuine but nervous, they will have a tough time convincing council, slotted against Board members with media training and decades of practice.
E. The Board will invite every living past President to attend. These polished statesmen/women will call for stability in uncertain times.
They will rebuke the divisive and rebellious doctors who dare to question the personal integrity and character of the Board.
F. Those who speak against the motions will continue the theme and talk about individuals, integrity and character. They will dismiss results or performance as unavoidable, an Act of God given the evil government.
They will say, This kind of meeting is exactly what the government wants!
If we expel the Exec, government will cheer.
The government is the enemy, not the OMA.
A Rift in Council
One group will denounce the motions as divisive, disruptive and a nasty attack upon good people who were trying their best.
The No camp will use moral language to attack the wisdom and professionalism of the movers. The No camp will make a natural appeal to emotion while questioning the integrity of their opponents at the same time.
Those in favour of the motions will say that Exec members are really great people, but doctors expect good outcomes, not just good intentions.
The Yes camp will appeal to reason. Do they have any choice? It seems hard to deliver an effective appeal to emotion or morality without sounding insincere or mean.
Humans are not logical. Morality and emotion trump reason. If the Yes camp has only reason, it will fail.
Hopefully, the Board grasps the importance of this special council meeting. If it were legal, a huge majority of doctors would stop paying their mandatory dues.
There have never been so many groups organized against the OMA:
Concerned Ontario Doctors,
the Coalition of Ontario Doctors,
Doctors for Justice,
the group who organized the special council meeting.
The OMA must win the trust of members, and then win the respect of government, as soon as possible. Right now, the OMA has neither trust nor respect.
The OMA must do something really special, something outstanding, to demonstrate that it deserves trust and respect.
Maybe it could offer all the members their dues back?
Maybe the whole board could stand for re-election, immediately?
Maybe the Exec could resign?
Fancy moves like a Special Committee to protect the Board will not win trust or respect.
Council almost never goes against Board advice. If Council supports a vote of non-confidence in the Executive Committee, it will be a first. It will be something new. Whatever happens, let’s hope the Board pays attention and does something different really soon.