[CCWG-ACCT] The GAC made me do it

Paul Rosenzweig paul.rosenzweig at redbranchconsulting.com
Sun Feb 21 00:19:22 UTC 2016

Exactly right Andrew. . The best complete rebuttal I have seen. . Well said. 
Paul Rosenzweig
Sent from myMail app for Android Saturday, 20 February 2016, 11:37AM -05:00 from Andrew Sullivan < ajs at anvilwalrusden.com> :

>Hi Steve,
>On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 10:23:27AM -0500, Steve Crocker wrote:
>> With respect, this is not the right way to frame the issue.
>I don't understand why, and you haven't actually made an argument as
>to why.  If some potential participant -- GNSO, ccNSO, ALAC, GAC, or
>Council of Martians and Other Planet-dwellers -- decides not to be
>part of the Empowered Community, that changes the number of
>participants and changes the way that majorities need to be
>calculated.  For instance, suppose that both the GAC and the ALAC
>tomorrow announce that they don't want to be part of the Empowered
>Community after all.  In that case, surely you wouldn't still require
>four SOs and ACs for action against the Board, because the threshold
>could never be met.
>> All of this quite convoluted  discussion and negotiation seems to be
>>based  on a  fear of  the  extraordinary power  of the  GAC to  apply
>>pressure on  the Board.
>I don't know what the state of mind of others is, but the argument I
>offered is not based on fear.  It is based on the request of the GAC
>that their unusual function in ICANN discussions be maintained.  The
>GAC wants to be able to inject its observations at a point in the
>process different to any other SO or AC.  If it wants to use that
>power, it implicitly decides that it isn't like everyone else, and so
>it doesn't get treated like everyone else.  If the GAC wants to be
>treated like everyone else, it gets to choose to do that, too. 
>> As the recent IRP ruling made clear, the Board cannot justify an
>>action by pointing to the GAC and  saying, in effect, the GAC made me
>>do it.
>Of course, but that has nothing to do with how the GAC's participation
>in the Empowered Community mechanism.  The choice about whether to do
>that lies entirely with the GAC.
>> To say it more compactly, if there is a reason to spill the Board, it has to be because of what the Board has or has not done, not because of anything the GAC did or did not do.
>Correct; but that's not what's at issue here.  What is at issue is who
>participates in determining that reason.  The GAC is offered a choice
>as to whether it wants to participate, or whether it wants its views
>to be treated in an extraordinary way.
>> But what about the GAC’s special role, you might ask?  Well, to
>> start with there is really less to its special role than it might
>> seem.  As I said, the obligation on the Board is to engage in
>> meaningful discussion.  That’s perfectly reasonable
>It is indeed perfectly reasonable, but as you acknowledge it is in
>fact different than the way the other ACs are treated.  Much of the
>community is arguing that, if the GAC wants to be treated differently,
>then its participation needs to change too.
>> , and, if we want
>> to explore how to level the playing field, perhaps the right thing
>> is for the Board to treat the other advisory organizations with the
>> same deference.  I’m not suggesting we attempt to make that change
>> at this particular moment, but I am suggesting we separate the
>> issues.
>But we're not building a process about how some _other_ arrangement
>would work.  We're talking about how to handle things given the
>current roles of SOs and ACs.  If ICANN wants to reorganize itself in
>the future (there's a whole work stream coming up, I understand) and
>change the arrangements then, it would then be worth talking about how
>to adjust these rules too.  For instance, if other ACs get to give
>special-consideration advice to the Board, I'd expect them also to be
>excluded from the decision-making process later.
>Right now, the goal is to come up with a stable, practical, and
>legitimate process given the _current_ roles of the SOs and ACs.
>That's what the unamended proposal does.
>> the ills we deal with is the accumulation of special cases and
>> inconsistencies.  This serves no one and is simply poor governance.
>I agree; and yet the current proposal from the Board would create a
>special case, because it would treat different kinds of actors the
>same except in some circumstances.  It seems to me that the simplest
>arrangement is one under which, if an SO or AC wants to participate,
>it participates on an equal footing as all the others.  That makes it
>easy to know who might be in and who might be out.  Why isn't that the
>right way to frame this issue?
>Best regards,
>Andrew Sullivan
>ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
>Accountability-Cross-Community mailing list
>Accountability-Cross-Community at icann.org
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