Methodically plowing through an online list of Canadian business and trade associations, I’m amazed, as always, by the things that I’ve never heard of or thought of. In this case, the associations whose functioning and purpose provoke more questions than answers.
Bait Association of Canada
Is it just worms on hooks or does it stretch to tempting, if regrettably allergenic, dabs of peanut butter on spring-loaded contraptions? Does it advocate on behalf of bait producers, distributors, retailers, users, or consumers (whew), or all of the above? Does it pursue tricky political accommodation or obscure regulatory change? Does it bait members with imaginary threats to energize its fundraising? Is sushi on the menu for its annual dinner?
Central Ontario Tractor-Pullers Association
Why are Tractor-Puller Associations organized regionally? Are there so many tractor-pullers that they can’t be accommodated within one association? The mind boggles. Or is it that tractor-puller advocacy, education, and fellowship needs vary so significantly from one part of the province to another that they can’t, umm, pull together?
Ontario Coloured Bean Growers Association
Who decided to dispense with the disambiguating hyphen? And while we’re on ambiguous names, what about the Fishermen and Scientists Research Society? Who’s researching whom? Or what?
Sea Cadets Vindictive Corps
Is there a Forgiving Corps? Does this entry even belong in this database, sea cadets not being an association in the standard sense? And while we’re on misplaced entries, did they include ZAP—a pest-control franchise—merely to get an entry under “Z,” thereby completing the alphabetical roster?
“Industry Canada assumes no responsibility for the accuracy, currency or reliability of the content.” – Site footnote
Whether accurate, current, and reliable, or not, the list is, at least, egalitarian. I mean, where else would the Rotary Club of Washago & Area rub shoulders with the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada? But now that I’ve lost confidence in the integrity of the data, I find other points that puzzle me.
I understand the mission of the Canadian Healthcare Anti-fraud Association (although it seems pretty specific, not to say overly focused: I mean, are there really a bunch of organizations working on this?), but what the heck are the members of FogQuest really up to?
I understand who the members of the Canadian Bookkeepers Association are, but what am I to conclude about the members of the Canadian Bison Association or, stranger still, the Canadian Electricity Association? Anyone could be excused for thinking that different people had named each of these associations, with no regard for naming conventions, as unlikely as that seems.
And, by now, you could be excused for wondering why I was looking at such a list.
A while back, a helpful marketer sent me a link to said list, completely confident that it would include organizations (whether associations, federations, chambers, councils, boards, coalitions, institutes, cooperatives, clubs, or societies) whose members would be interested in my technical manual on proposal development. And so I plowed through it, with a degree of care that decreased in direct proportion to how far along I was in the alphabetical listing.
Although I found no new markets, it wasn’t a complete waste of time. I did get some new questions. I did gain a new insight into marketeering. And I did coin a new phrase.
Endogenous confidence: A belief in one’s rightness that is “not attributable to any external or environmental factor.”
Or, indeed, based in reality in any way.