[governance] RALOs without halos

Milton Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Mon Jan 23 01:53:45 EST 2006

I admire your willingness to spend so much time and energy telling people that the ALAC emporer has no clothes. However, they have been parading about naked now for several years, and anyone who pays attention at ICANN meetings can see it. 

The RALO structure created in ICANN's 2002 "reforms" is a joke. It asks people to invest huge amounts of time and energy to build organizations that have no power. It is predicated on the notion that hundreds of thousands of domain name registrants, to whom a domain name represents a $20/year investment, are going the spend the equivalent of $10,000-$100,000 a year on organizing, traveling and jawboning -- in order to elect people to Councils who elect people to another Council who participate in the process of selecting a minority of ICANN's Board members.

The only way to represent users is to give them a vote.

The real issue is not ISOC's alleged dominance of the European RALO. It is the failure (or refusal) of Vittorio and other privileged interim ALAC members to recognize the failure of the organizational model for At-Large representation after ICANN's 2002 reforms. The European RALO is a last ditch attempt to maintain the fiction that this model can work. I agree with you, Danny, that it is bad to maintain that pretense. But don't put all the blame on ISOC. Anyone who does not call for major structural reforms in ALAC is guilty at this point.

Perhaps ISOC chapters are complicit in this pretense, perhaps they are suckers. ISOC chapters are pretty diverse. I'm not sure it matters. The worst thing that can happen is that ICANN's Board will be given an excuse to continue pretending that there is a place for the public in its structures, and Vittorio and Roberto and the other "interim" ALackeys will get another two or three years of free flights and hotels at ICANN meetings. In other words, not much will change from the way things are now.

>>> Danny Younger <dannyyounger at yahoo.com> 1/21/2006 6:31:45 PM >>>

One of the four principles put forth in the White
Paper was "representation".  

This guiding document also stated:  "The new
corporation's charter should provide a mechanism
whereby its governing body will evolve to reflect
changes in the constituency of Internet stakeholders.
The new corporation could, for example, establish an
open process for the presentation of petitions to
expand board representation."

Instead of expanding board representation, you and
your fellow Board members have reduced board
representation by eliminating an entire category of
stakeholders from the Board -- the at-large community.
 My interest is in repairing the damage that you and
your associates on the Board have caused, and
restoring representation to the Internet's end-user

As this list is devoted to governance issues, perhaps
you might share with us your own views on board-level
representation for the At-Large.  


--- Veni Markovski <veni at veni.com> wrote:

> Vittorio,
> please, do not get upset by such postings. They aim
> at that, and nothing else.
> You're trying to do something good - please, keep on
> trying, and 
> don't give up!
> Now, after we have heard what are your "interests"
> according to 
> Danny, perhaps we can hear what are also Danny's
> interestes, so that 
> the game is fair.
> Veni
> At 10:30 21-01-06  -0800, Danny Younger wrote:
> >Vittorio,
> >
> >Frankly, your interest is in continuing to promote
> a
> >construct that replaces a host of At-Large
> directors
> >with a single non-elected liaison to the ICANN
> Board.
> >Your agenda, and those of many of your associates
> on
> >the ALAC, calls for taking advantage of
> >ICANN-sponsored travel perks while refusing to have
> >your Committee discuss critical at-large matters
> (such
> >as representation) with the balance of the at-large

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