[bc-gnso] Ballot for a new BC Charter -- concerns about moving to a vote/with only a 7 day window for the vote

Marilyn Cade marilynscade at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 13 16:20:16 UTC 2009

I have two urgent questions about the proposed changes to the BC Charter, which are addressed to the three officers.
First, my statement of concern:  I am surprised to see that this version is presented for a vote, and also a vote that is one half the normal time of discussion/voting. Our normal vote period is 14 days. 
I fully appreciate that everyone is pressed for time and resources. However, it is distressing to see a vote called for a charter draft that most who have been actively participating, expected to be a discussion draft, for final changes. That was certainly what was the 'outcome' of the last BC call, according to my notes and understanding. While I have not had a chance to fully review the proposed draft, I am concerned about how to propose the changes that may still be needed.  It seems to me unfair to present this draft as an open vote, without honoring the expectations of those who are actively engaging on providing input, to make further proposed changes in the draft. 
I have taken a look at one or two of the areas that I had originally objected to as 'subjective' and subject to interpretation, and based on this initial 'quick look', I see significant problems still remain in some areas: 
See 8.2.4, which discusses the right of the list administrator directly, or upon the request of one member of the Executive Committee to challenge or even suspend a member for 14 days, as the "administrator sees fit". The range of items that could lead to suspension include content that is repetitive or goes beyond relevant information or is overly lengthy. 
Item 8.2.5 addresses elections and seems to suggest that there is a 'returning officer' for the election. This seems to be problemmatic, since the officers are themselves subject to election. What is needed is a factual description of the steps that are needed to be undertaken. 
Item 15. This is now redrafted to propose that the previous officers will continue as caretakers to hold the new elections for the new executive committee. This is new, and probably well meant, but presents some challenges.  If any of the previous officers are standing for election for new posts, they need to completely recuse themselves from involvement, and other previous officers can be seconded to fulfill such roles in the interim. 
Question to the Officers: Can the officers advise of how changes can be submitted to the present draft version? Question to the BC Members: Should we be calling for a 'provisional' charter, until we are able to work through the changes that are the significant variance points? 

I do want to express my appreciation for the mark up of this version of the DRAFT BC Charter.  However, I had also asked for the marked up version for the previous draft, when all the substantive changes were added in. It would still have been helpful to see how much additional language was added to the original charter. Otherwise, we are left to do a line by line 'hand' comparison. 
Short voting period for something this important to the future of the BC: I am surprised to see this, especially since so many of the BC members are associations who need to take consultation with their own members. This time frame seems quite problematic. 
I understand that the Officers are noting that the Board wishes to have approved charters by Seoul. But, I am sure that it will not be well received if the charter is approved by some members, and openly opposed by others. There has to be a better approach. 

Our goal should be to have a BC Charter that has wide understanding, and broad support from the members. If we are able to remove subjectivity from the language throughout, and establish a stable and predictable, and neutral basis to the way that decisions are made, and then interpreted, we will have a charter that will help us to attract other associations and companies as members.  I 

I have a request as well for more information which I understand that the Officers have: I understand that ICANN staff provided a minimally marked up version of a Charter, based on the existing charter, quite some time ago, to the BC officers. I would ask that the Officers provide that draft and all relevant correspondence with staff to the full BC membership as 'background resources'.  That might be helpful to determine what language can be reverted to, if it is not possible to reach agreement on some necessary changes. 
I will continue my review of the new version of the BC Charter, and will post further comments later. 
Marilyn Cade 

From: secretariat at bizconst.org
To: bc-gnso at icann.org
Subject: [bc-gnso] Ballot for a new BC Charter
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 14:08:40 +0200

Ballot on revised BC 
At the request of 
the BC Officers and with reference to the message below, I have today opened a 
7-day voting period for the newly revised BC Charter. 
majority approval vote means the new Charter will be adopted. A 
majority non-approval vote means the Charter will not be 
A ballot form is 
attached. Each member organisation has one vote. The vote should be placed by 
the principle BC contact for the membership organsiation or by notified proxy. I 
will apply weighted voting when I receive your ballot form. All ballots 
will be acknowledged.
The voting period 
closes at midnight in your time zone on Monday 19 October 2009. Ballots cannot 
be accepted after this time.
We would like to ask 
all members to cast their vote in favour of the attached revised BC 
A definitive PDF 
version is attached.
A Word version 
showing recent track changes is also provided for 
The Charter 
accommodates necessary changes for the re-structured GNSO in which the 
stakeholder groups provide representatives to the GNSO 
As such the BC will 
move from a situation in which its three GNSO representatives were also BC 
Officers, to a separation of these roles.
There will be a new 
executive committee with a chair and two vice-chairs in addition to the two 
representatives to the GNSO Council.
The Charter also 
includes other changes recommended by members and ICANN staff based on learning 
since the last Charter.
The officers have 
done their best to accommodate all member perspectives given the diversity of 
those perspectives.
The Board has 
requested Constituencies complete work on Charter revision by 
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