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

Greg Shatan gregshatanipc at gmail.com
Tue Feb 2 16:39:07 UTC 2016

An easy example (by analogy) of how the presumption worry is motivated can
be found in our own Fundamental Bylaw proposal.  We have attached a higher
value to these Fundamental Bylaws and the principles they express; we want
to protect them against change or repeal.  We think these Bylaws are
special and have "got it right" on important matters, and we want to force
extra consideration and support for any change.  Put another way, if you
disagree with a Fundamental Bylaw, we want to make it easier to fail and
more challenging to succeed if you should decide to challenge it.  As such,
anyone considering such a challenge would need to think twice, improve
their arguments and prepare to face a steeper climb -- or they could decide
that these castle walls are too high.    How did we elevate and protect
these Bylaws?  We have made it so that even a majority (usually a winning
number) will lose -- by increasing the vote threshold to change them. A
change to the GAC Advice voting threshold would have the same effect.

A more attenuated analogy can be found in the US justice system.  How do we
protect the presumption of innocence in a criminal case and recognize that
liberty, and not merely damages are at stake?  We make it much more
difficult to succeed.  A criminal case requires that the prosecution prove
its case "beyond a reasonable doubt," while in a civil case, we require
only a "preponderance of the evidence."  Put another way, a civil case
requires a simple majority of evidence on one side of the scales, while a
criminal case requires a supermajority.

Finally, I will say that after setting up and participating in a variety of
voting structures over the years, it has almost become second nature to see
a supermajority as a presumption that the object of that vote should be
given greater deference.  That is typically the intention when one puts a
supermajority vote in.  So going back and understanding why it would not be
seen that way to others takes a little bit of doing -- but it is
worthwhile, since persuading others is more challenging than convincing
yourself you are right.


On Tue, Feb 2, 2016 at 10:55 AM, Andrew Sullivan <ajs at anvilwalrusden.com>

> On Tue, Feb 02, 2016 at 03:17:23PM +0000, Malcolm Hutty wrote:
> > Can we agree the principle that we're only changing the voting threshold
> > and not trying to create a new presumption of obedience
> I do not actually see how the presumption worry is motivated, but I
> don't care enough about this to argue.  If it will make us go faster,
> I'm in favour; if it adds even one millisecond additional time to
> completion, I'm opposed.
> Best regards,
> A
> --
> Andrew Sullivan
> ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
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> Accountability-Cross-Community at icann.org
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