[council] FW: Outreach document background

William Drake william.drake at uzh.ch
Tue Dec 13 14:41:10 UTC 2011

HI Stéphane

Well, this is getting interesting…convoluted, but interesting….

Since you've waded in a couple times on a personal basis and Olga's not here to reply, let me add my own two cents in the hope that we stimulate some further list discussion in advance of the vote Thursday.  All this has happened pretty quickly without a full airing, and it'd be better to act based on full and symmetric information.

On Dec 13, 2011, at 2:01 PM, Stéphane Van Gelder wrote:

> [snip]
> I would also like to comment on your email. I do not believe that when the Council does not immediately rubber stamp a piece of work done by a group, it is disrespecting the work of that group.
> In fact, I would go as far as to say that I believe suggesting this, is disrespecting the Council.

I did not read Olga's message as expecting a rubber stamp, nor do I think her expressing disappointment is disrespectful to the council.  It is quite natural that someone who devoted a lot of energy for a couple years to running a WT that'd been mandated as she detailed, that operated in an open manner with representation from all corners of our universe, and that continually refined its text based on our feedback, would be surprised to have it suddenly go down in flames, particularly without any clear explanation of its purported deficiencies.  I doubt that other chairs of WGs WTs etc would be any less disappointed if placed in similar circumstances.
> The Council is not a letterbox. It has a responsibility to look at the work produced and say whether it approves it or not.
> What the Council must not do is rework the end product itself. But what it should do is look at the work and evaluate it again, even after it has already been evaluated by the group producing it in the first place.

Here I'm puzzled.  Reworking is precisely what's happened here.  There was a motion to charter a body that would perform a set of agreed functions.  Many councilors wanted a second deferral and then abstained on the vote because they said people should have more time to think about it.  No focused dialogue or alternative text ensured until a motion was submitted on the last day, by which time it was impossible for proponents of the charter to organize an alternative motion.  The motion does not charter said body, just pulls out one of its functions and asks staff to do it rather than have a multistakeholder collaborative endeavor per the charter.  In what sense is that not a rather substantial "rework"?
> This two-level approval process is built into our PDP to ensure that the work that the GNSO ends up approving is truly representative of community consensus (and I won't go into the different levels of consensus as we define them, as that is not important here).
> So I am not comfortable buying into the "the C and SGs were represented on the WG and therefore there should not be disagreement now" argument. First of all, because different people, even from the same constituency, have different opinions.

SGs can of course revise their views, I don't think she's arguing with that principle.  At the same time though, one would like to think that SG reps to a team do have some communication with their peers and if the latter has fundamental problems—e.g. a desire to toss out the entire enterprise—some early warning would be given.

> And also because some WG reps may not have the time to adequately look at the work (unfortunate, I know, but a fact of life nonetheless) and that same constituency's Council rep may spot something that went previously unnoticed.

This went on for @ two years, no?  The Charter is ten pages.


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