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Re: [atlarge-discuss] role of voting

Thomas, the issue what is "important" is quite different from how you
structure a vote.   A vote should be structured to provide a fair measure of
what people support or do not support.    It is confusing sometimes to ask
people to vote against motions they agree with, for strategic reasons.  I
agreed with both GA motions, and so did most people, and the vote was the
right system, IMO.   However, once you have a vote, you might ask, what does
it mean?   Some of the people who campaigned against motion 1 because it
would destroy the GA, turned around and said it was unimportant, right after
the vote, and I thought that was not good faith.  They certainly argued it
was important before the vote!  The phony logic of what gets the most votes
is the most important is obviously flawed, for reasons already pointed out
to you.   percentage of vote != important, for many people.  I've looked at
lots of votes with high percentages, and that by itself is just a measure of
agreement.  Issues like controversy and subject matter are things I also
look at.  I have a multivariate model for importance, and most people do.

I think carelessly calling people liars and cheats is not a good idea, and
you can see how it feels when this is directed at you.  I personally think
there are a handful of liars and cheats involved in ICANN, but that most
people are doing the best they can, and have some legitmate differences of
opinions.  A little respect for those differences of opinions might be a
good thing, here or in the GA.

In the event you have two votes with are mutually exclusive (not the case
IMO of the last GA vote), you could try the Swiss approach, and ask, at the
time of the vote, if both motions pass, which one should prevail?

The ripening of the voter registry is quite an important issue.  It is hard
to get people to register in the first place.  Usually this is driven by a
vote.   If you don't have new registrations, they organization may become
ingrown and lose opportunities to be relevant to a wider audience.

Right now the Canadian Internet Registration Authority is the best practice
in terms of voting.  What do they require?   They have a system where large
numbers of people automatically can vote.  That is how the voter registry
should work, IMO.    The "ripening" would not work there.

For the all the criticism of domain name registration as a voter
registration, IMO, it is the place to start.  Problem is, you may need the
registries or registrars to cooperate.  Unless you can rely on Whois for
this, which may also work.  I would be grateful if someone could informative
on this point, which I should but do not know.

Finally, we have to have our own next election.  Our 90 days will be up


PS, today the NYT mentioned a possible rebid of the ICANN contracts, in its
story on ICANN staff departures.  I think that was "important".

----- Original Message -----
From: "Thomas Roessler" <roessler@does-not-exist.org>
To: "James Love" <james.love@cptech.org>
Cc: "atlarge discuss list" <atlarge-discuss@lists.fitug.de>
Sent: Wednesday, May 29, 2002 4:36 AM
Subject: Re: [atlarge-discuss] role of voting

: On 2002-05-25 11:14:45 -0400, James Love wrote:
: >On the GA list there is an often bitter debate over whether or not
: >we can vote on particular measures, and if we pass those measures,
: >are the votes important or unimportant, and what makes a
: >particular vote "important.", or does encouraging participation
: >mean one is "ballot stuffing" and on and on. I would ask Thomas R,
: >who is quite opinionated on these issues in his web log and on the
: >GA list, what his views of this are for the at large.
: Thanks for putting so much weight into my personal opinion - but
: that's not really justified, at least not on this list...  ;-) Some
: short notes.  (And an apology for not replying earlier.)
: 1. I call it voting registry manipulation when someone announces a
: _specific_ vote widely, and, in that way, adds lots of new members
: to a voting registry which has been growing rather slowly before
: (attempts count, too).
: In order to avoid that, one could let voting registry entries
: "ripen" before they are allowed to actually participate in a vote:
: For instance, require someone to have been in the registry for three
: months before he or she may participate in a vote.  Or require that
: those who vote have been subscribed to the discuss-list for a
: certain amount of time, so you can assume that they are (kind of)
: well-informed about what they are going to vote on.  (Web forum
: subscriptions are more problematic since people may just not visit
: the forum.  With a mailing list, people generally at least see the
: subject headers of what's going on...)
: 2. The "important vs. unimportant" discussion doesn't belong on this
: list, I believe.  Obviously, we have strongly divergent views on
: that.  I believe that the motion which gains stronger support should
: be considered the "more important" one. You believe that it's the
: more radical one.  Ultimately, that entire discussion is the result
: of Alexander's and my decision not to make the two resolutions
: mutually exclusive.  (I.e., the ballot asked two questions [do you
: want resolution a?  do you want resolution b?] instead of a single
: one [which resolution do you want?].)
: For at-large's purposes, I'd suggest that you folks try to find some
: reasonable algorithm (instant run-off applied the right way, with
: "no resolution" as one possible option?) to tackle this problem with
: _one_ vote, so you don't have to have that discussion on a
: case-by-case basis, possibly even under time pressure.  Note, in
: particular, that simply making similar resolutions mutually
: exclusive and taking the resolution which has most votes can lead to
: various kinds of not-so-funny problems [for a recent example of
: similar problems, look at the French presidential elections], and is
: certainly not the way to go.
: 3. If you want to avoid lonely decisions on whether or not a
: specific vote should be held, don't put that into the chair's (or,
: here, the panel's) discretion, but have some simple, "mechanical"
: rules to make the decision.  In these rules, in particular avoid
: fuzzy "scope of possible vote" definitions - these will be applied
: and interpreted differently, and lead to all kinds of not so nice
: discussions, as we have just seen in the GA.
: (BTW, exercising the chair's discretion on the latest GA vote wasn't
: fun at all.  Alexander and I spent several hours on the phone
: discussing all the various aspects of this stuff before we
: ultimately came up with a decision.  This decision wasn't made
: easier by (1) the kind of defined scope of the GA - WXW certainly
: had a point about that! - and (2) James's Slashdot posting.
: Ultimately, every possible decision had more arguments against than
: in favor.)
: Personally, I'd suggest you require that some 5% or 10% of the
: voting registry's members should support a suggested resolution
: before it's placed on the ballot.  You could then have some deadline
: during which alternative motions for the same ballot can also be
: brought forward.  I'll leave it to you folks to work out the details
: of that as far as the at-large effort is concerned.
: --
: Thomas Roessler                        <roessler@does-not-exist.org>

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