[CCWG-ACCT] Recommendation 11, 2/3 board threshold, GAC consensus, and finishing

Andrew Sullivan ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
Tue Feb 2 16:14:53 UTC 2016


On Tue, Feb 02, 2016 at 04:24:58PM +0100, Kavouss Arasteh wrote:
> The issue was discussed and many participants clearly mentioned that their main concerns was not to empower GAC to participate in an IRP dealing with GAC advice as objecting SO/AC but could agree to retain 2/3,

I am not exactly sure which "the issue" we're talking about here,
because it seems to me there are multiple interlocking issues:

    (a) the threshold at which the Board will need to
    vote/agree/whatever if it is to decide not to accept GAC consensus

    (b) exactly how the board concludes that some advice from the GAC
    is in fact GAC consensus;

    (c) whether the GAC gets to be part of the decision-making at
    ICANN or remains merely advisory;

    (d) if GAC is part of the decision-making, whether it gets to
    participate in decisions affecting board decisions about GAC
    advice taken under item (b).

Here's what I think is going on:

On (a), we had previous proposals for the existing threshold (50%+1)
and a higher threshold (2/3).  Some have asserted that the 2/3
threshold is the GAC's position at Dublin, but in reviewing the
materials I cannot find the proof of that.  The 2/3 level was put in
draft 3 subject conditions on (b).  Some of the comments on draft 3
have argued that without changes at least to (d), the draft 3 proposal
is no good.  Others seem to have argued that anything above 50%+1 is
not allowed (I think this is a position that has been attributed to
the GNSO lately).  And finally, you propose to split the difference
and set it at 60%, which with the current numbers of the board
assuming all are present means just one additional vote.

On (b), draft 3 set the mechanism at the historical meaning of
consensus that the board could use in making its determination.
Previously, that had appeared controversial, and it was the adjustment
to language that, it seemed to me, cause the "US Thanksgiving
compromise" to be reached.  That compromise was apparently not
durable, but nobody now seems to be arguing that the board's criteria
for considering something "GAC consensus advice" ought to be anything
than full consensus with no formal objection.  I hope we can leave
this alone, but I think Malcolm's line of argument basically goes to
this item.

(c) is something that only the GAC can say, and it's vexing (as Becky
pointed out) that we don't yet seem to have an answer from the GAC.  I
think at bottom it is this change to which Robin regularly objects, at
least if I understand her arguments.

(d) is the issue that Becky's proposal is designed to solve.
Basically, her proposal is that, if the GAC decides to issue advice
that would trigger (a), then it's not allowed to invoke its ability to
do (c) as well.  This has nothing to do with the threshold in (a).
Instead, it's a branching function: which path does the GAC choose?
Since only the GAC has the ability to choose one or the other, the
rules only apply to the GAC; but I think they could in principle apply
to any body that had this ability.

> Based on that assumption I could agree to take Beck's proposal as an alternative ,

As you see from the above, your proposal and Becky's are not
alternatives, but are mutually independent lines of argument.

Best regards,


Andrew Sullivan
ajs at anvilwalrusden.com

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