[CCWG-ACCT] Voting weights in community mechanism

Nigel Roberts nigel at channelisles.net
Thu Jul 30 07:49:16 UTC 2015

On 07/29/2015 11:18 PM, Kavouss Arasteh wrote:> Dear All
 > I do not understand what legally means the abstention of non 
participation . The voting results is always counted based on those who 
participate in voting .
 > Those who do not participate SHALL NOT be counted as Abstention.

Dear Kavouss

Just as a little light relief from all the heavy lifting going on at 
ridiculously short notices . .

I just want to mention, in passing that requiring someone to "vote their 
abstention" is one of those cross-cultural issues that can cause immense 
(though usually harmless and amusing) misunderstandings. Just like "to 
table an item". (Anyone who was at the first ever meeting of what became 
the GNSO/ccNSO will remember this).

In accepted electoral practice, at least in the Commonwealth, it is 
NEVER required to participate in voting to feature as an abstention. 
(i.e. to "positively abstain").

The definition of "abstention" is precisely "one who abstains from voting".

Someone who abstains from voting is everyone who (otherwise enfranchised 
in the voting procedure) chooses not to, or fails to participate in the 

Thus there is a mathematical sum which should not EVER be proved false 
(but see later).

That is

A + N + B = E

where A = ayes, N = noes, B = abstentions, and E = the electorate

"Counting the abstentions" (as I see regularly happen) is actually a 
nullity, since abstentions are DEFINED as those left over from E after 
counting A and B.

And yes, I have been in many ICANN and CENTR meetings where this is 
often  done, and where, apparently,

E - A - N - B > 0

which is a complete absurdity (i.e. it seems some people voted neither 
aye, nor noe, and neither did they abstain).

It IS fairly usual in small committee meetings to call for the three 
categories in turn simply to help with record keeping, but the chairman 
really needs to be awake that the number of abstentions counted is 
actually the correct number, as it is entirely deterministic, and 
woe-betide him or her if they miscount, as the Secretary will become 

With all good wishes


PS: In public elections we also have a long tradition of intentionally 
spoiling a ballot paper.  This is NOT an abstention, since the (often 
amusing) voter did participate, but their poll was simply invalid.

See http://i.imgur.com/3GwiY.jpg

> This is alphabet of voting and the issue must be mentioned in each of voting procedure as follows:
> X% of those participating in voting and Vote.
> Last night I  verified more than 20 convention, constitution,charter , agreement ,covenant and ..... All do not count non voters as abstention
> Regards
> Kavouss

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