[bc-gnso] Draft GNSO Council letter to the GAC

Marilyn Cade mscade at cox.net
Sat May 16 02:36:17 UTC 2009

I  have been at an IGF meeting in Geneva, with limited ability to  
spend time on other than essential items. I responded earlier that I  
would propose that the
BC councilors abstain from a vote, given that there is not a clarity  
of consensus on this.

I saw Phil Corwin's response to my comment, and I think it is actually  
consistent with the spirit of my comment. I advised that the BC  
elected councilors
should abstain.  Clearly, the councilors of the BC have taken no  
consultation with the BC membership on this letter. Hence, I proposed  
an abstention.  That allows
the elected councilors to state that they cannot take a position,  
since they have not undertaken consultation.

My views on the growing attitude of the Council that  they are in  
charge of governance of the SO are documented already, so merely  
reference them here for
informational purposes.  This is a really signficant issue and one  
that really has to be addressed. The policy council is the policy  
council. IT IS  NOT the governance mechanism
for the SO. A separate approach, that is not inclusive of the policy  
councilors/policy council should address the adm/management  
coordination functions.

However the growing tendency of the Council to initiate views,  
opinions, to draft letters, and to lobby actively in the dinner they  
have with the Board/Senior
staff, sometimes from the feedback I get without any accountability or  
acknowledging when they are speaking as individuals, and do not have  
guidance from the membership is of increasing
concern. At the same time, the Board is increasingly disconnected from  
where the broader stakeholders are on larger non policy issues.  
Clearly, the Policy Council shouldn't
be the answer to that larger problems and serious concern.

The elected policy oouncilors do a lot of hard and difficult work for  
us. I certainly want to recognize that.  However, I do not think that  
the BC Councilors can or should support this letter. There are many  
the lack of consultation alone is rationale enough.

However, it isn't reasonable to suggest that the councilors not make  
some kind of response to a vote. They need to vote yes, no, or  
abstention. They might need to vote earlier to oppose the generation  
of positions
that not founded in consultation with members..   However, when  
situations develop where there not consultation,  abstention allows  
them to provide a statement.  That seems
the appropriate response in this instance.

Now, should the councilors have alerted the membership earlier?  
Perhaps. Who knows, since the councilors didn't describe the  
circumstances of when this topic was posed... Perhaps we should be  
part of the solution and ask out
elected councilors to post the agenda, with annotations on what they  
propose to do about each item. That would put the responsibility on  
the councilors to advise members, but put the responsibility on  
members to comment.
This will take some management to get enough members interacting to  
make guidance meaningful, but it could be a useful strategy to support  
the elected counclors, so that they are not 'out there' having to  
guess what the
members want/think.

I can understand that there are sometimes exigent circumstances to  
draft a letter to the Board. There MIGHT be a process where a 72 hour  
turn around is needed for
constituency feedback. In such an instance, I would expect the  
secretariat of the constituency to post urgent emails,at a minimum,  
and for members who provide mobile numbers, perhaps
an SMS or text could be sent that there is an urgent feedback situation.

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