[Internal-cg] consensus definitions

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Wed Jul 16 16:09:13 UTC 2014

An addendum to this note: GNSO voting is structured into two "houses," contracting parties and non-contracting parties (users, essentially). No policy can pass the GNSO Council without getting some votes from both houses and (I think, but am not sure) from each stakeholder group. 

Thus, one could have "consensus" according to the rules below but a policy might not pass because its support is not adequately distributed across the different stakeholders. 

I would suggest that we assess consensus in a similar way on the CG. 

-----Original Message-----
From: internal-cg-bounces at icann.org [mailto:internal-cg-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf Of Alice Jansen
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 11:16 AM
To: James M. Bladel
Cc: Internal-cg at icann.org
Subject: Re: [Internal-cg] Early draft for a charter

Dear Coordination Group Members,

Please find below the descriptions/guidelines James is referring to (see p. 9-10 of GNSO WG guidelines at http://gnso.icann.org/council/annex-1-gnso-wg-guidelines-26mar14-en.pdf - or p.42-43 of the GNSO Operating Procedures

The Chair will be responsible for designating each position as having one of the following designations:
- Full consensus - when no one in the group speaks against the recommendation in its last readings. This is also sometimes referred to as Unanimous Consensus.
- Consensus - a position where only a small minority disagrees, but most agree.
- Strong support but significant opposition - a position where, while most of the group supports a recommendation, there are a significant number of those who do not support it.
- Divergence (also referred to as No Consensus) - a position where there isn't strong support for any particular position, but many different points of view. Sometimes this is due to irreconcilable differences of opinion and sometimes it is due to the fact that no one has a particularly strong or convincing viewpoint, but the members of the group agree that it is worth listing the issue in the report nonetheless.
- Minority View - refers to a proposal where a small number of people support the recommendation. This can happen in response to a Consensus, Strong support but significant opposition, and No Consensus; or, it can happen in cases where there is neither support nor opposition to a suggestion made by a small number of individuals.

Best regards

On 7/16/14 3:07 PM, "James M. Bladel" <jbladel at godaddy.com> wrote:

>The GNSO wrestles with this issue (consensus levels) in its policy 
>development process. We have developed some descriptions/guidelines 
>that differentiate between "unanimous" vs "consensus" vs "strong 
>support, with opposition".
>Perhaps on of the Staff folks could post these to the list for the 
>group's consideration?
>Thank you--
>James Bladel
>jbladel at godaddy.com
>> On Jul 16, 2014, at 13:30, "Daniel Karrenberg"
>><daniel.karrenberg at ripe.net> wrote:
>>> On 15.07.14 20:53 , WUKnoben wrote:
>>> I think the group has to be clear about the various consensus levels  
>>>everybody has in mind when talking about "consensus". In addition it  
>>>should be transparent on whose behalf CG members speak and - if at 
>>> participate in consensus calls. It could be helpful to mention it in 
>>>the  charter.
>> This is a hard problem in general. In our specific case I would go 
>> for the pragmatic approach: "No outspoken disagreement by anyone NTIA 
>> cannot ignore." This is easy to check if we liaise closely with NTIA.
>> Daniel
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