Former Canadian national team captain Jason de Vos was pleased with Saturday's CSA vote. (Getty Images)Oh, you can't always get what you want
But if you try sometime, you just might find
You get what you need!
Never before were the immortal words of the Rolling Stones more fitting.
Today, at a special general meeting held in Ottawa, the delegates of the Canadian Soccer Association voted in favour of governance reform that will bring the CSA out of the dark ages and into the light.
The 2012 compromise framework, explained here
, was approved unanimously by the delegates. There was an important amendment made to the framework, which will eliminate ALL provincial board members, including presidents, from sitting on the CSA board by 2015.
That will once and for all end the debate about the conflict of loyalty that exists when provincial presidents attempt to serve on the board of directors for both their provincial association, and the CSA. It is impossible for those individuals to effectively govern under those circumstances, despite their best intentions.A long, hard journey
While today's vote was a major milestone for Canadian soccer, it didn't come easily.
The first vote, to pass the 2010 AGM framework, failed. Quebec, Alberta and Nova Scotia all voted against the framework, which was enough to see it fail to reach a two-thirds majority.
The second vote took place after an important amendment was introduced. Ontario proposed to phase out all of the provincial representation on the CSA board over a three-year period. That amendment was approved, but when the time came to vote on the amended framework, the same three provinces voted against.
Now, before you light your torches and gather a lynch mob, take a step back and consider something.
In any negotiation, there is give and take. You go in with a laundry list of things you want and are willing to fight for, but you understand that you are unlikely to come away with everything you ask for.
This is where you have to compromise, and accept some concessions in order to gain success in areas that are of significant importance.
Everyone in the room today knew that we had to make a compromise; such was the importance of governance reform. Was it exactly what we went in there looking for? No. Did the amendment allow a compromise to be met? Absolutely.
And here is an interesting point. While Ontario brought the amendment for the 2011 framework, it was QUEBEC that brought the amendment for the 2012 framework. And once the amended framework was presented, EVERY province voted in favour.
Many people saw Quebec as being staunchly against governance reform, and painted them as the province that was holding back the process. Yet in the end, they were willing to compromise to make this work. Best interests of the game
What today underlines is that in order for the CSA to move forward as an organization, everyone has to be willing to do what is in the best interests of the game in Canada. For some people, giving up their positions of power and control will not be an easy thing to do.
Ultimately though, the success or failure of the game in Canada will be down to the people who are involved, not their titles.
It shouldn't matter if someone is the president, a board member, or a volunteer; if the CSA surrounds itself with good people, who work together as a team to move the game in the right direction, they will benefit tremendously.
Because there are plenty of good people already at the CSA.
It is not an evil empire, filled with individuals who are drunk on power. The vast majority of board members - and all of the staff - are honest, hard-working, dedicated individuals who deserve the respect of the membership that they serve.
But, as often happens, their reputations are tarnished by the actions of a very small number of individuals who do not act in the best interests of the game; who instead choose to use their position of influence to dictate and control.
That has to stop, and today's vote in favour of governance reform is the beginning of that process. There is plenty of work still to come, but finally Canadian soccer is moving in the right direction.
Follow Jason de Vos on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/#!/jasondevos
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