[council] Voting rules for the combined WHOIS task force

Marilyn Cade marilynscade at hotmail.com
Thu Jun 16 01:35:56 UTC 2005

I'm just back from Geneva, and have missed some email. 

I am very concerned at the recommendation and oppose taking a vote on this
topic prematurely.

Overall, I do not support your suggestion as described below, Bruce, and
want to have a more robust discussion on this topic than we have had to
date. I do not consider the Council ready for a vote because we haven't
considered the broad issues of TF work/participation and we should not be
voting on this. 

We can take a two phase approach.

We can limit our immediate discussion to this particular TF, and in that
case, I have a proposal about treating them somewhat as a "special case". 

First, the TF is a unique situation, since it combined three TFs. Thus,
while I prefer for each constituency to have one vote on TFs, but to allow
multipole participants, per the constituency choice, I can accept, FOR JUST
THIS TF, the idea that each constituency has three votes, and they can cast
them as they see fit. One individual can cast them; three individuals can
cast them.

As to "speaking" on a TF, I am not in agreement at all on limiting the
"speaking" on the TF. First, we need to understand that TF members work, or
should be working, or don't need to be there.  Thus, to limit who speaks
when more than one person is doing work on a TF is demeaning to the
integrity of the TF's ability to self manage itself. 

While there may have been a problem at one point, this for this TF,  even
when there are differences of opinions, the group is self governing, and is
trying to get work done. The chair is doing an excellent job of managing the
working process of interaction and the  minutes and the MP3 recording
document that. 

The Council should not interfere in the working of the WHOIS TF by
micromanaging who speaks, and how many people get to speak, per
When it has been a problem, the chair can ask for an officlal position from
a constituency, and give the constituency time -- until the next call, for
instance, to submit that official position. In the meantime, we need to
recognize that TFs are there to do analyses, consider issues, research
options, understand impact of plicy changes, develop draft policy. To
handicap the work of a TF by limiting who can speak on a TF call, or in
their work, would alienate our TF members, and limit their effectiveness.
Neither of those sound like outcomes that we want. 

On the other hand, for the longer run, we may want to discuss "general
guidelines" for TFs for the future, and that is a worthwhile effort, and
could be useful to get all the chairs of all previous TFs and Implementation
Working Groups to meet while in Luxembourg, if most are there, and have a
conversation about what seems to work, and what doesn't. Then, we could have
an informed discussion at the Council level. We should take comment from the
TF members themselves, as well, however, not just the chairs. :-)  

After all, the TFS are a mix of councilors and members of our
constituencies. They offer a broadened and effective way of involving the
community in policy development. That should be viewed as a key objective.

So, I object to the proposal as presented below. I offer a different

Treat this TF as a special situation. Give each Constiutency three votes,
and let them manage this themselves. Allow all TF members speaking rights.
Tell the Constutiencies and the ALAC that votes will always be preannounced.

Note that we did not limit the ability of all reps to talk, but that there
needed to be a single constituency spokesperson, if there was a situation
where the official view is expressed. Each constituency can work out how to
provide that. We do NOT need to micromanage that from the Council. Merely to
support that such a statement will sometimes be needed and to instruct the
Constiutencies to figure out how to deliver it, within the TF. 

I recall this discussion clearly. As I was then, I am opposed to limiting
hearing as many voices and opinions as possible while we work together on
the TF.  The benefit of multiple participants has been the additional
contributions and "sharing" of expertise. That is an important contribution
to good policy making. 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-council at gnso.icann.org [mailto:owner-council at gnso.icann.org] On
Behalf Of Bruce Tonkin
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2005 8:43 AM
To: council at gnso.icann.org
Cc: gnso-dow123 at gnso.icann.org
Subject: [council] Voting rules for the combined WHOIS task force

Hello All,

As part of presenting reports from the WHOIS task force to the Council,
the task force must report on whether a supermajority vote has been
reached on a particular task force recommendation.

To do this we need to be clear on the method of voting.

When we set up the individual task forces, the Council decided that each
constituency would have only one vote on the task force, but that
constituencies could appoint additional members to the task force.
Part of the reasoning of one vote per constituency, was that some
constituencies would have difficulty finding multiple people to
participate in a task force and did not want to be disadvantaged.

From: http://www.gnso.icann.org/meetings/minutes-gnso-20nov03.shtml 

"Decision 3: That for the purpose of the WHOIS task forces,
constituencies be allowed to appoint more than one person to listen in
on teleconferences and to participate in the mailing list, but in any
single teleconference or physical meeting, there is only one person from
the constituency to represent the constituency's views."

Now that we have combined the three task forces we could either:
- provide three votes per constituency, and allow three members per
constituency to speak on a teleconference or physical meeting
- operate with a single vote per constituency, and allow only one member
per constituency to represent the constituency's views in a
teleconference or physical meeting

I would like the Council members to consider these options, and express
a view on the mailing list if possible.

At the Council meeting next week, we will vote on one of these two

Bruce Tonkin

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