[governance] charter 1.5

Avri Doria avri at acm.org
Sat Jul 22 11:07:20 EDT 2006


I have put my comments in-line.

On 22 jul 2006, at 08.20, Parminder wrote:

> Thanks Avri, for driving the process long and hard, but hopefully  
> now towards a closure.

yes, i very much hope that is the case.  I will submit the names for  
voting on Monday and start to build the voting directory.  once that  
is done we can schedule the vote.
> Can I share a few comments on the latest changes.
> >the most significant
> > change was to the mission where i replaced
> >
> > It is intended
> > with
> > The membership of the caucus intends
> >
> > I understand this is a slightly different meeting as it attributes
> > the intention to the membership as opposed to some abstract entity.
> >
> Can we just say ' the caucus intends....' because the mention of  
> membership in this line appears to stand out discordantly.

in my understanding of the notion of intentionality, only people can  
have intentions.  if an abstract entity like a caucus has an  
intention it is only because its membership has one.

> It appears to highlight the importance of enrolling as members,  
> kind of a exclusive ‘ only for members’ stance. Whereas we plan to  
> keep the forum wider, more open, and though developing networks and  
> other connections offer some possibilities for non-members to  
> participate in some ways – through membership of individuals  
> representing groups, HR caucus for example, or through other  
> outreach measures that we pledge to undertake in other parts of the  
> charter….

the charter includes a paragraph on membership:

>>> Membership
>>> The members of the IGC are individuals, acting in personal  
>>> capacity, who subscribe to the charter of the caucus. All members  
>>> are equal and have the same rights and duties.
as this shows, the IGC is composed of individuals who subscribe to  
the charter.  so to say that 'the membership' of the IGC is not  
exclusionary in the least.

It does, however, distinguish between those on the list because they  
want to track what we are talking about, especially when it is  
contentful, and those who actually see themselves as members.

I see no content difference between the two constructions, except  
that one is more conceptually reasonable, i.e. the people who are the  
IGC have the intention not the abstract entity called IGC.

I would be interested in hearing other opinions on this.

> Another thing about the part where the option of secret versus open  
> voting is stated.
> At all times when a case for open voting was made on this list, it  
> was insisted that there can and will be situations where secret  
> voting may be needed. So can we make the option to read
> All voting will be open, though on discretion of moderators, with  
> or without request from member(s), it can be made into a secret  
> vote. The reasons for making it a secret vote will be stated, and  
> are subject to appeal.

I can certainly substitute this for the current open voting option.   

> Elections will be run by the coordinators and will be subject to  
> the appeals process.
> Option 1: All voting will be by secret ballot with the exception  
> noted above for release of voters names.
> Option 2: All voting will be open, though on discretion of  
> moderators, with or without request from member(s), it can be made  
> into a secret vote. The reasons for making it a secret vote will be  
> stated, and are subject to appeal.

> As for making the vote on this charter itself a secret vote, I know  
> that a decision has to be taken one way or the other by the  
> moderator, and I do not want to raise dissent here and will agree  
> to go with the decision. However, this particular vote exemplifies  
> my position on open voting very well. I cannot find one reason why  
> the vote should be secret in this case, and the ‘competing’  
> imperative of transparency of process and ‘public-ness’ of opinion  
> and representation (if any) remains strong in this case.

for me there are two reasons:

- it has been the assumption of this process for a while now that the  
vote will be closed.  the charter proposal that came out of the  
drafting team contained:

>>> Acceptance of the Charter
>>> After 30 days discussion and editing, the charter will be  
>>> presented for a vote. All members of the IGC mail list will be  
>>> given voter accounts. In order to qualify to vote on the charter,  
>>> the prospective voter will first need to affirm that they qualify  
>>> as a member of the group as described elsewhere in the charter. A  
>>> list of those who self-affirm membership, but not their votes,  
>>> will be published after the vote.
Obviously this is not a option that can be voted on after the charter  
vote, so it needs to be decided beforehand.

Since yours is the only argument against this acceptance clause since  
we began the discussion, I would prefer to leave this in place.  If  
the rest of the membership desires open votes (option 2) thereafter  
they can decide that way.

Since this has stood until now in the charter, I would very much  
appreciate letting the acceptance process go through as written.
> Third thing…
> The phrase (realization of) ‘cultural concerns’ in the vision looks  
> a bit odd, can we think of a replacement that serves the purpose  
> better… that if any one has some bright idea, I couldn’t hit upon one.

I kind of like cultural concerns because it keeps us from having to  
include a long list of all the possible cultural concerns we care  
about.  And of course, since no such list is ever complete, we would  
leave a few out as we would not be able to agree on some and we might  
have no one currently in the IGC who would argue for some.  While we  
could include 'inter alia' to make up for the fact that we did not  
include someone's cultural concern, i think that is a poor consolation.

thanks for your comments


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