[bc-gnso] Elections

waudo siganga emailsignet at mailcan.com
Thu Sep 3 15:33:05 UTC 2009

Dear Colleagues - I have been having limited acess to my mails so
I think that first of all it is only proper to congratulate Mike
Roberts, albeit belatedly, for being elected our Small Business
rep on Nom-Com 2009/10. I have only quickly skimmed through the
mails and agree with some points raised by Liz and Rick. Marylin
has given us a very useful background and explanation of the
situation. My expectation is that the discussion will move the BC

Kind Regards,
On Thu, 03 Sep 2009 12:43 +0100, "Liz Williams"
<lizawilliams at mac.com> wrote:


Thank you for the background on the small/large distinction.
What would be helpful was if that was made clear in our own
Charter -- I think it's a good idea to separate out the two now
that I know the background.

With respect to your suggestion about "accepting the nomination
(of Rick Anderson -- I am anxious not to be personal here but it
helps to clarify).  I would suggest that your latter suggestion
of a whole new election is a good one.  We do need to ask
ourselves more broadly though about why a nomination wasn't
received in the first place?  Are our big business members not
interested; was the position (which is very time consuming)
something that our large business members couldn't deal with?

Lastly, I am most certainly not suggesting that the Secretariat
did anything other than run the election correctly.  However,
making votes public is certainly within the spirit and the intent
of being more transparent in what we do.


On 3 Sep 2009, at 12:02, Marilyn Cade wrote:

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 is
that 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 separation
of the two seats allocated to the BC.

Originally, and perhaps this history is a little useful, the
Board did not intend to give
the 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 Administration
representative of the US, who was very enthused about such a
role. I protested this
to 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 although
others 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 from
large 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, the
outreach 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 they
can 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 was
certainly 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 not
be 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 my
own 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 that
sort, and while the turn out was low, the BC doesn't have a
minimal number of members who must vote
on 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 detailed

For instance, just to give an example of the kind of procedural
details that can be helpful: if there is no nomination put
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 second
seat. 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: [1]lizawilliams at mac.com
> To: [2]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
> elections and have set out below my suggestions for a way
> The problems with the election illustrate again, despite months
> discussion about accountability, transparency, charter
> and policy development processes that we still haven't got
things right.
> I preface my remarks by saying how delighted I am that Mike
> 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
> Three nominations were received for the small business
> representative. There was no plan from the Councillors to
> 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
> 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
> election who could have been selected for the position as
> 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
> nomination AFTER the fact with a statement as to why he should
> elected when there isn't even a nomination period open. He
> nominate in the first place and shouldn't be given
> treatment in any "second" round, especially where other
> have spent time and effort finding nominees, submitting
statements of
> suitability, going through an election where they have to seek
> for their candidature. Members will recall the fuss and bother
> year, over exactly this issue, when Rick protested about not
> 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
> large business interests; having worked for large corporations
I am
> qualified to do the same. Indeed employment with a large
> is not a requirement of this post -- sensitivity to the various
> 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
> making positive changes. My issue is that the process was not
> beforehand and candidates have not been treated equitably.
> 4. With respect to Mike Roberts' nomination, it was very unfair
> neither Waudo or I were given the chance to have a detailed
> of support from our nominees, in exactly the way that Marilyn
did for
> Mike. This was a decision taken by the Secretariat which, for
> uninformed and disinterested voters, was the information that
> needed to sway their vote. My argument is not that the
> shouldn't have been distributed but that each candidate would
have had
> the same opportunity. We are now in exactly the same situation
> Rick Anderson receiving letters of support -- what other
> candidate would be silly enough to stand in the face of a
> 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
> future, not when a notional charter is completed, not when we
> around to it but immediately in every action we take. I say
> across the board in our operations -- from working on the
> Committee assessing new member applications & being involved
> disciplining members; in my work on developing the new charter
> encouraging a deliberate move to a new and broader mode of
> and in our work on policy development process improvements. On
> 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
> are made public showing who voted for whom and how the weighted
> were applied.
> Liz
> ...
> Liz Williams
> +44 1963 364 380
> +44 7824 877757


1. mailto:lizawilliams at mac.com
2. mailto:bc-gnso at icann.org

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