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Re: [atlarge-discuss] Thomas Roessler proposes elimination of current voting system for GA

Jamie and all stakeholders or interested parties,

  Yes I know.  I read with great interests Alex's proposal on this.
It frankly stinks!  See:
For further info...

James Love wrote:

> For the GA, Thomas Roessler wants to get rid of secrete vote on policy
> issues, and the elimination of the current voting system for resolutions.
> Jamie
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Thomas Roessler" <roessler@does-not-exist.org>
> To: <ga@dnso.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 29, 2002 6:56 PM
> Subject: [ga] on using appropriate tools
> Thinking a bit more about some of the recent discussions here, I
> arrive at the conclusion that a considerable part of the problems we
> are experiencing is caused by the use of an inappropriate tool:
> Votes like we are using them right now are _not_ the tool we
> _should_ be using in order to make declarations of the intent of the
> members of the GA.
> More precisely, a vote is an instrument by which some well-defined
> body comes up with a collective decision.  The accountability for
> the outcome of the vote is collective; individual members are not
> held accountable for their individual votes.  For this reason, votes
> are held in secret. In particular, a vote deliberately withholds a
> considerable amount of information from the public.
> It is also bad to arbitrarily add new members to the voting registry
> for a particular vote: Suddenly, the body making the decision is no
> longer well-defined; the result of the vote ("body x says y") itself
> becomes ill-defined as a consequence.
> Such votes are an appropriate tool when the GA actually acts as a
> homogeneous body, that is, when it elects a chairman or
> representatives to task forces, or when it votes on its internal
> procedures: Votes are appropriate whenever the question at hand is
> how the GA as a group of individuals can best organize its
> activities.
> Votes are, however, not appropriate when GA statements are made on
> substance.  There are several reasons for this.
> Most importantly, the GA is _not_ acting as a homogeneous body when
> it comes to substantial topics: We are a mix of constituency members
> and interested individuals, of stakeholders and slashdotters.  We
> may even want to take into account outside support for substantial
> statements (Jamie tried this; similarly, it may be interesting to
> shop for support for a uniform deletions policy or certain transfer
> policies at nsihorrorstories.com).  What the resolutions discussed
> here are about is not a _decision_ within a homogeneous body, but a
> demonstration of support (and, possibly, objection!) from those who
> want to demonstrate that support (or objection).
> For such a demonstration, the deliberate loss of information which
> is connected with the current voting mechanism is not desirable: An
> explicit list of supporters of a resolution makes a lot more sense
> than the apples-and-oranges statement that "the DNSO's GA has voted
> for xyz".  In fact, I'd even go a step further than just making the
> voting process transparent: Let's get rid of the voting registry and
> the complex apparatus we are using altogether, as far as substantive
> resolutions are concerned (as opposed to questions of the internal
> organization of the GA).
> So, here's my suggestion for how to deal with future resolutions:
> Set up separate web archives where support and objection are
> collected.  The easiest way to do this is to have two separate mail
> addresses, like <resolution-[veryshorttitle]-support@dnso.org> and
> <resolution-[veryshorttitle]-object@dnso.org>.  Connect each of
> these addresses to a web archive.  Distribute a message like the
> following one widely (very rough draft), including to the members of
> the voting registry:
> If you support the above resolution, please send an e-mail
> message to <...-support@dnso.org>; if you object, please
> send an e-mail message to <...-object@dnso.org>.  If you
> want to explicitly record your abstention, send a message to
> <...-abstain@dnso.org>.
> In your message, please indicate your name, and possible
> membership in a DNSO constituency.  Please use the following
> template:
> Name:
> Membership: {ga/ga-voting-registry/constituency/external}
> Define a deadline for the submission of these messages, and produce
> the final report when that deadline is over: Namely, the
> resolution's text, and the lists of supporters and objectors,
> including their kind of DNSO membership.
> To summarize, the process suggested has the following benefits over
> the current approach:
>  - The resulting statement is well-defined.
>  - The process is transparent and can be implemented with
>    considerably less effort than the voting process; in particular,
>    the safeguards necessary to ensure the integrity of a secret vote
>    are not needed here.
>  - The very concept of capture does not make any sense, since it is
>    reasonably transparent who does and says what.  In particular,
>    there is no voting registry to be stuffed.
> Of course, one may argue that this approach is relying on the
> integrity of the Internet e-mail system too heavily; indeed, faking
> a statement of support is as easy as faking an e-mail message.
> If this is a concern, the software used would have to be somewhat
> more complex: The software would have to send a message to the
> e-mail address given which contains the resolution's text and asks
> for confirmation.  The simplest approach to implement this is like
> this: For each incoming message at one of the -support, -object, or
>  -abstain addresses, create a random unique secret string [from a
> well-defined and safe to handle set of characters].  Use that as the
> file name under which you temporarily store the message.  Demand
> that confirmations be sent to ...-{support,object,abstain}-<magic>.
> Have a mail bot listening at that address strip the magic out of
> the address, and move the saved message into the archive.  After the
> end of the vote, move unconfirmed messages into separate archives.
> Shouldn't be hard to do.
> (If you're unsure about the process I'm describing - it's the same
> thing which is commonly done to confirm mailing list subscriptions
> nowadays.)
> Comments?
> --
> Thomas Roessler                          http://log.does-not-exist.org/
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> --------------------------------
> James Love mailto:james.love@cptech.org
> http://www.cptech.org +1.202.387.8030 mobile +1.202.361.3040
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