[bc-gnso] Elections

Marilyn Cade marilynscade at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 3 11:02:21 UTC 2009

Several interesting points are raised in the posting from Liz Williams below.I have some sympathy for some points raised, and do not support some others. For example, for over 27 years of my professional career, I worked for a multi national corporation; represented said company in numerous industry groups, coalitions, and organizations. Today, I am the owner/operator of a micro enterprise, that provides advisory services and policy analysis, and some other forms of strategic planning to large companies. However, my company is a SME. Maybe a M-SME. :-)  My point isthat many of the SMEs in the BC might be able to 'identify' with large businesses, but they are not actually large businesses, and there is a rationale for the separationof the two seats allocated to the BC. 
Originally, and perhaps this history is a little useful, the Board did not intend to givethe second seat to the BC. In fact, I was engaged in a quite detailed debate with the then CEO and staff who were even favoring giving the seat to the Small Business Administrationrepresentative of the US, who was very enthused about such a role. I protested thisto various Board members, and spent a lot of time with ICANN General Counsel and CEO, detailing why the BC should assume this role. 
Philip Sheppard, also an officer at that time, supported the analysis of the BC membership that is the basis of the analysis that appears on the BC site, noting the number of SMEs, and large corporations.  The Board and CEO were persuaded, and althoughothers objected, we were given two distinct seats, for two distinct categories of business. 
I think that we have to remember that we are blessed to have two seats on the nominating committee and that one is to come from small business and one fromlarge business. We should not run the risk of losing the second seat by playing fast and loose with the principle behind the two seats. I was engaged in the negotiations to get the BC two seats, and this is a privilege that others [constituencies] do envy.  We could easily lose the second seat. 
I do not agree that an SME should take the seat that is intended for large business. Indeed, a candidate who last year was representing small businesses for that seat on the NomComm, really can't just reappear now as the large business seat holder, without creating concern and perhaps challenge to the right of the BC to have that second seat. 
I am aware, as a former elected officer, that there is the option to 'second' a willing member, when no candidate is available. However, I strongly object to the officers approaching someone engaged in an active election and offering them a different seat than the one they were standing for. 
That step however, was entirely unknown to the membership so did not affect the vote of any member. In fact, we are learning about it only now, from Liz, who has volunteered this information to us.  Of course, theoutreach should not have happened, and really, the offer deserved to be declined as inappropriate.
I am aware that we have a volunteer who is qualified from large business.  I see two options:The officers can accept Rick's volunteering and appoint him to fill the large business seat, or theycan reopen a nomination period for nominations of representatives from large businesses, and hold a second election. 
As to the communication I posted in my nomination and endorsement of Mike Roberts, that wascertainly an option available to all three candidates. And the candidates could have requested a call with members to explain their interest and expertise to fill the small business seat. I think it is important not to discredit the election of the small business representative in any way. 
I can understand that there was probably concern by the officers about filling the seat. But they should notbe recruiting a SME to fill the large business seat. IF it were absolutely necessary, they should come to the membership for agreement.   
Once there were no nominations,that should have been announced to the members, and a second opportunity opened for nominations. That can still happen. Or the Officers can accept Rick Anderson's volunteering. But candidates who fit the SME qualifications don't magically turn into large businesses -- as much as even I might hope for such status for myown small business. 
So, I oppose having an SME -- even myself -- fill the seat for large business in this situation.  
Finally, I am under the impression that all votes are confidential, so I don't think that they can be made public.  I am not detecting that Liz is stating that she thinks there was election fraud, or anything of thatsort, and while the turn out was low, the BC doesn't have a minimal number of members who must voteon any decision, whatever it is. 
I, like others, greatly appreciate the work that volunteers do for the BC. WE all benefit. And certainly, I appreciate the work that was done on the NomComm last year by both Phil and Liz. In no way is that my point.   
If there need to be more detailed criteria written out for elections such as this, and more guidance to the officers, I would certainly volunteer to work with others, and the secretariat, to develop such guidelines. ICANN staff could even be part of assisting in developing election process guidelines. It is often good to document procedures in any case. And we have now learned that we need more detailedprocedures. 
For instance, just to give an example of the kind of procedural details that can be helpful: if there is no nomination put forward,close to the close of a nomination period, a renewed call for candidates should be made. If the nomination period closes without candidates, the secretariat can, after advising the membership, open a second nomination period of X days. If no candidate then emerges, the officers can announce that they intend to select a qualified member of the constituency with a request that they volunteer. 
No contacts should be made with nominated candidates to encourage them to change their candidacy in any way.  Candidates must establish how they fit the required criteria. 
In my view, these two elections need to remain separate. SO, I don't support the idea of a 'runner up' being given the secondseat. That loses the distinct nature of the two seats, which I advise against. 
I am confident that the secretariat has fulfilled his duties with intregrity and thoroughness. I would ask the officers to advise the members how they plan to proceed on either accepting Rick Anderson and 'seconding' him to this position,or opening an election limited to only qualified large business representatives for this role. 
Marilyn Cade 

> From: lizawilliams at mac.com
> To: bc-gnso at icann.org
> Subject: [bc-gnso] Elections
> Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2009 08:34:47 +0100
> Colleagues
> I am very disappointed with the conduct (not the results) of the  
> elections and have set out below my suggestions for a way forward.   
> The problems with the election illustrate again, despite months of  
> discussion about accountability, transparency, charter improvements  
> and policy development processes that we still haven't got things right.
> I preface my remarks by saying how delighted I am that Mike Roberts  
> has been encouraged to join our efforts -- the test for him will be  
> whether he actually joins the constituency and takes an active role in  
> its operations.
> I am most concerned about the way in which the election process was run.
> 1.  No nominee for the large business representative was received.   
> Three nominations were received for the small business  
> representative.  There was no plan from the Councillors to address  
> that - either through an appointment process or whatever that was made  
> PUBLIC before the elections took place.  I was asked for and I  
> submitted a note to the Councillors expressing my interest in  
> volunteering for the Large Business representative seat, should no  
> other nominees be received.  I don't know whether Waudo was given that  
> option.
> 2.  We are now in a situation where two candidates have lost the  
> election who could have been selected for the position as runners-up.   
> There is nothing in the By-laws that would have prevented that  
> happening, except that the nominees may not have wanted to.
> 3.  We now have a presumptive nominee (Rick Anderson) sending in his  
> nomination AFTER the fact with a statement as to why he should be  
> elected when there isn't even a nomination period open.  He didn't  
> nominate in the first place and shouldn't be given preferential  
> treatment in any "second" round, especially where other candidates  
> have spent time and effort finding nominees, submitting statements of  
> suitability, going through an election where they have to seek support  
> for their candidature.  Members will recall the fuss and bother last  
> year, over exactly this issue, when Rick protested about not having  
> his nomination in on time and he was excluded from running.
> Waudo and I have been significantly disadvantaged in the choices open  
> to us -- as a representative of WITSA Waudo is qualified to represent  
> large business interests; having worked for large corporations I am  
> qualified to do the same.  Indeed employment with a large organisation  
> is not a requirement of this post -- sensitivity to the various needs  
> of large businesses is much more important.
> Having said that, I would support Rick's candidacy because he is able,  
> highly critical of the constituency and may have some influence on  
> making positive changes.  My issue is that the process was not public  
> beforehand and candidates have not been treated equitably.
> 4.  With respect to Mike Roberts' nomination, it was very unfair that  
> neither Waudo or I were given the chance to have a detailed statement  
> of support from our nominees, in exactly the way that Marilyn did for  
> Mike.  This was a decision taken by the Secretariat which, for perhaps  
> uninformed and disinterested voters, was the information that they  
> needed to sway their vote.  My argument is not that the statement  
> shouldn't have been distributed but that each candidate would have had  
> the same opportunity.  We are now in exactly the same situation with  
> Rick Anderson receiving letters of support -- what other potential  
> candidate would be silly enough to stand in the face of a self- 
> nomination in a pseudo election by default?
> If we are to be taken seriously as representatives of business  
> interests, we need to smarten up immediately -- not sometime in the  
> future, not when a notional charter is completed, not when we get  
> around to it but immediately in every action we take.   I say this  
> across the board in our operations -- from working on the Credentials  
> Committee assessing new member applications & being involved in  
> disciplining members; in my work on developing the new charter and  
> encouraging a deliberate move to a new and broader mode of operation  
> and in our work on policy development process improvements.  On the  
> latter, no BC representative has been present on the Working Group on  
> PDP improvements for many months.
> I am also making an official request that the results of the election  
> are made public showing who voted for whom and how the weighted votes  
> were applied.
> Liz
> ...
> Liz Williams
> +44 1963 364 380
> +44 7824 877757

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