[CCWG-ACCT] [WP1] New section - ICANN Community Assembly

Malcolm Hutty malcolm at linx.net
Mon Jul 27 20:16:44 UTC 2015

> On 27 Jul 2015, at 19:05, Seun Ojedeji <seun.ojedeji at gmail.com> wrote:
> - A community forum should indeed be a forum and open to all those interested and not for representatives.
> - Such forum should hold during 1 of the ICANN public meetings to remove any cost implications

I agree with this. Why are we trying to define the precise numbers of representatives on the Community Forum (and, inevitably, running into immediate conflicts, as this thread has shown)? 

Let's step back a bit and remind ourselves what this Forum is for.

The powers of the Sole Member will be exercised when SOACs cast sufficient votes to pass the threshold defined to exercise the power. The decision-making by each SOAC as to how to cast its vote will take place entirely within each SOAC, each according to its own rules and procedures. While desirable in most respects, this has the unfortunate side-effect of splitting up consideration of whether the Single Member should exercise its powers into silos, with no apparent mechanism for members of the various SOACs to address members of SOACs other than their own. This could lead to some SOACs declining to vote in support of the exercise of a Community Power for no better reason than that they don't understand why a different SOAC is asking for it to be exercised. 

The Community Forum exists for one reason ONLY: to build a bridge across those silos, enabling the community to deliberate more collectively: specifically, to help people from one SOAC to talk to people from another SOAC before they decide (back in their own SOAC) whether to support exercise of a Community Power.

The Forum is not a decision-making body. It casts no votes. It isn't even the venue where votes are cast. It is just a mechanism to allow people to talk to each other before they go away and decide, in their own groups, how to cast their group's own vote.

This being the case, why would we want to limit who can speak in Forum? Surely, everybody should have an opportunity to be heard. That's what bottom-up multistakeholderism is all about, not creating more spurious positions for individuals to hold.

If we really think it essential to force each SOAC to attend, then we should say that directly: we can provide that the CMSM powers cannot be exercised until a quorate Forum has been held (and can define *minimum* attendance levels from each SOAC). But I don't see any justification for excluding anyone from participation in the Forum. 

Does anyone want to argue that this CCWG would have been better if participation had been closed? If not, what possible reason is there for closing the Forum, which doesn't even have to reach a collective decision?


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